DEARBORN - All salaried and hourly employees and retirees of Ford Motor Company are eligible to receive exclusive pricing on Ford and Lincoln vehicles through the company’s AXZ Plans.
There is often confusion, however, over what each plan offers and who is eligible to use it.
The A Plan is the active employee purchase program and the Z Plan is the retiree purchase program. But aside from the letters that differentiate one group of people from the other, the plans are exactly the same, according to Dave Smith, manager, Vehicle Programs.
"The A-Z Plans are identical, and they are the best deal anyone can get on a Ford or Lincoln vehicle,” he said. “The ‘A’ simply represents an active employee and the ‘Z’ represents a retiree.”
Smith says the same plan was named with two different letters years ago in an effort to provide the company with a way to gather metrics on which group of people was buying which vehicles.
Those who qualify for A-Z Plans are able to generate four personal identification numbers (or PINs) per calendar year. They may use those PINs to sponsor immediate family members including: spouse, parents, spouse’s parents, brothers and sisters including step- and half-siblings and in-laws, grandchildren, grandparents, and same sex domestic partners and their immediate families.
“Family members that aren’t eligible for A-Z Plan sponsorship are aunts, uncles and cousins,” said Smith.
Whenever an employee or retiree sponsors a family member, Smith says their transactions are subject to audit.
“People need to be aware that they are on the honor system,” he said. “If they say that someone is a member of their immediate family, it must be a valid relationship.”
Smith advises people who use A-Z Plans to have their PIN in hand before visiting a dealership to purchase a vehicle. Employees and retirees are encouraged to generate their PINs on our website at www.axz.ford.com. The website is available 24/7. PINs may also be generated by calling AXZ Headquarters at 800-348-7709 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.
“Many people will go to a dealership and make a deal before they have a PIN and then find out later that either they’re out of PINs or the person they’re sponsoring isn’t eligible for the Plan,” he said. “It causes a lot of issues.”
Once a PIN is generated it is good for one year from the date of issue. If it is not used within a year, the system automatically cancels it.
A-Z Plan discounts vary from vehicle to vehicle and they are not negotiable, says Smith.
“The A-Z Plan is the best deal you can get, so you can’t go in and try to negotiate below that,” he said. “People always think there is a better deal to be had, but there is not.”
With that said, however, Smith adds that many incentives are compatible with A-Z Plans.
“In most cases, many of the common retail incentives or rebates that you hear about through broadcast and print advertising are combinable with A-Z Plans,” he said. “It’s important to consult with your dealership to find out what additional discounts are available.”
Employees and retirees may sponsor vehicle purchases for people outside of their immediate family through the X Plan as part of the Friends & Neighbors program. Business partners of Ford – such as suppliers, vendors and other special organizations – have access to the same X Plan as part of the Partner Recognition program.
“Both deals are the same,” emphasizes Smith. “There’s no advantage to one over the other.”
Smith says people commonly ask what the difference is between the X Plan and the A-Z Plans.
“Customers may pay a little more on an X Plan deal, but it is generally the best deal the average consumer can get outside of A-Z Plan,” he said.
As with A-Z Plans, employees/retirees are able to generate up to four PINs per calendar year for X Plan.
Smith says it’s important for people to keep in mind that they should only offer X Plan PINs to people that they know.
“We’re not supposed to offer X Plans to just anyone. We’re supposed to have some sort of relationship with that person,” he said. “You shouldn’t go online on Facebook, for example, and offer X Plan PINs to strangers. The PINs are not intended for that type of use.”
In addition, X Plan PINs must never be sold, says Smith.
“People cannot accept money for PINs,” he said. “That’s against the rules and would result in loss of plan privileges.”
And as with A-Z Plans, employees/retirees using the X Plan are strongly encouraged to generate a PIN for a friend or neighbor before they visit the dealership to make a new vehicle purchase and to remind people that X Plan deals are not negotiable.
“At the end of the day, we want our employees to be driving our products and the A-Z Plans are an excellent deal exclusively for our employees, retirees, and their families,” said Smith. “They work or worked for Ford and they have helped produce the best vehicles in the world.”