Ford Motor Company announced Thursday that it is rolling out a zero-percent financing incentive program for its Escape and Mariner Hybrids.

The plan offers zero-percent financing for 60 months, or a $500 down payment-matching cash incentive. Ford launched the program in California and Washington, D.C. last month, and apparently the results have been promising enough that the company is taking the program nationwide.

The Escape is selling slowly in both gasoline-powered and hybrid versions, and big rebates for the gas-powered version have placed Ford's green version at a serious price disadvantage (the hybrid is up to $6,000 pricier). As Ford also offers zero-percent/60 month financing on the standard Escape, Ford feels it needs the spiffs to improve the hybrid's value.

Sounds like Kermit, Ford's Escape Hybrid spokesfrog, has his work cut out for him.

[Source: Automotive News]