Ford Motor Co. is giving up to $1,000 in cash each to employees and retirees who entice friends, relatives and neighbors to buy new cars and trucks.
The announcement Friday came as early numbers showed a big jump in General Motors Corp.'s market share under its new incentive program, which lets all customers use the employee discount rate through July 5. Ford's program also extends employee discounts to all customers.
For the first 12 days of June, GM's share of new-vehicle sales hit 30.3 percent, according to a survey by J.D. Power and Associates. That is a big jump from the 25.4 percent share GM had this year through May. GM had a 27.6 percent market share in 2004.
The incentive programs followed a sluggish first five months for GM and Ford, as Japanese automakers and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler unit gained market share.
Through May, GM's 2005 U.S. sales were down 5 percent to 1.9 million and Ford's were down 4 percent to 1.3 million. DaimlerChrysler sales rose 1 percent for the year to 927,000, while Nissan's were up 16 percent, Toyota's 12 percent and Honda's 1 percent.
Ford's market share is down a percentage point to 19.1 percent so far this year.
Employees or retirees will get $50 for the first customer they draw. They get $75 for the second, $100 for the third, $150 each for the fourth through seventh and $175 for the eighth, Ford spokesman Jon Harmon said.