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OAKVILLE, Ontario — Ford of Canada is broadening the Recycle Your Ride program to make vehicles from model-year 2003 or older eligible for "retirement" starting Saturday, meaning the proportion of Canada's vehicles qualifying for the program will climb to roughly 60 percent.

The program allows consumers recycle their old car for money toward a new Ford purchase. This offer is on top of what shoppers can get via Retire Your Ride, a program from the Government of Canada that offers $300 to bring in vehicles from model-year 1995 or earlier.

So, when shoppers buy or lease a 2010 Ford or Lincoln vehicle and retire a vehicle from model-year 2003 or older, they can receive $1,000 if the new vehicle is a 2010 Ford car or compact truck; $2,000 for a 2010 Ford full-size sedan, crossover or SUV; or $3,000 for a 2010 Ford full-size truck or Lincoln vehicle.

Previously, Recycle Your Ride only allowed vehicles from model-year 1995 or older to be eligible.

"Through our exclusive agreement with Summerhill Impact, Ford is the only manufacturer that is retiring 1996 to 2003 model year vehicles," stated David Mondragon, president and chief executive officer of Ford of Canada.

"The Ford Exclusive Recycle Your Ride program makes it more affordable for consumers to purchase a new vehicle, which offers the latest in safety features, fuel economy and smart technologies," he added.

Citing data from the Automotive Recyclers of Canada, officials claimed that when a vehicle is swapped in, more than four-fifths of each unit (by weight) is "reused, re-manufactured or recycled."

Executives contend that if 10,000 model-year 2003 (or older) units were pulled off the streets for 10,000 new vehicles, roughly 83 tons of smog-forming emissions could be eliminated each year.

Ford said more than 6,000 units have been retired via Recycle Your Ride so far.

"There are substantiated environmental benefits of retiring older vehicles," stated Ersilia Serafini, chief operating officer of Summerhill Impact, with whom Ford is teaming for this program.

"For example, a 1995 model year or older vehicle produces 19 times more smog-forming pollutants (Volatile Organic Compounds and Nitrogen Oxide) than a 2004 or newer model," Serafini added.