Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa has announced a “payment deferral option” for Ford Credit customers who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Blue Oval brand’s local arm says both personal and business customers impacted by “reduced income or cashflow” now have the option of requesting a payment deferral from Ford Credit.

“While the payments will be deferred, it’s important to note that finance charges will continue to accrue for the period, once approved,” the firm pointed out in its statement.

“Ford is continuing to evaluate the impact of COVID-19, including its economic impact, on an ongoing basis. While it is too soon to speculate about the impact on defaults, we are looking at various possible scenarios and related actions that may become necessary should customers find themselves in financial difficulty,” says Kerry Henderson, managing director of Ford Credit South Africa.

“The payment deferral option has been introduced for Ford Credit customers to alleviate some of the financial pressures during these unprecedented times. Customers are invited to approach us directly in the event of any form of uncertainty or financial distress,” she added.

Ford says customers will be required to provide a “motivational letter” with the deferral application, including proof of lost income and the inability to work due to the COVID-19 restrictions, as well as a letter from their employer advising of the suspension of remuneration during the national lockdown.

Business customers, meanwhile, will need to provide “proof of the inability to generate revenue in line with the gazetted COVID-19 restrictions”.

Ford Credit says customers can make contact by calling 0860 669 669 or emailing “[email protected]”.