Ford Wants Canada Scrappage Program Overhauled

Head of Ford Motor in Canada says his firm will not seek federal aid, but the government can help automakers by overhauling Ottawa's scrappage program for older cars.

OTTAWA (CP) -- The head of Ford Motor Co. in Canada says his firm will not be asking the federal government for a bail-out to ride out the bumpy year ahead.

But David Mondragon says the government can help his company and the auto sector in general by scrapping Ottawa's $300 scrappage program for older cars, which he calls woefully inadequate.

The Ford executive says a $3,500 program for anyone who scraps their 10-year or older jalopy for a new vehicle would boost sales enormously, however.

He says a similar program in Germany boosted sales by 22 percent in February.

About 30 percent of Canadian automobiles currently on the road are 11 years or older, he says, and contribute 12 to 18 times more pollution than new vehicles.

Given the importance of the auto sector in Canada, he says boosting sales would have a significant impact on the economy.

Mondragon told a Parliamentary sub-committee that 2009 will be an extremely bumpy year for Canadian auto makers.

He says he expects sales to fall 13 percent over 2008, or 250,000 fewer vehicles, which will result in $20 billion in lost sales and $3 billion in lost taxes for governments.

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