Earlier this week, it was reported that Ford’s new Fusion hybrid and Mercury Milan were fuel efficient enough at 39 mpg to qualify for a $3,400 income tax credit from the IRS. Huzzah!
Too bad, it’s not true. Well, unless of course, the Fusion purchase is made before March 31st of this year. And that’s a problem because Ford won’t get the Milan or Fusion into showrooms until right around then, if not later, according to the LA Times.
The LA Times explains why it all changes after March 31st:
That’s due to the fact that the IRS program phases out the credits once a car maker surpasses a certain number of hybrid sales (60,000 to be exact). Toyota and Honda long ago broke that threshold, and their vehicles are no longer eligible for any credit at all. But Ford only broke that barrier in the fourth quarter of last year, by selling lots of Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids. Under IRS rules, the credit on Ford vehicles will fade away, in steps, until it hits zero after the first quarter of 2010. Until March 31 of this year, Ford’s four different hybrid vehicles are still eligible for their full credit. But on April 1, those credits will be cut in half. And on Oct. 1, they’ll be halved again.
Still, $1700, isn’t a bad deal in its own right. If a hybrid buyer really wants the deep government discount though, she can purchase the car sight unseen from a dealer and still get their discount.
Earlier today we reported that the government is kicking around another tax incentive plan for low emission autos. That plan would give people that trade in their old car for a new car $4,500. That means if both tax incentives held, at the same time, purchasing a new hybrid car would come with an $8,000 discount. Bailouts.
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