About 20% of Lincoln’s metropolitan dealerships across the United States have been cut during the past six months. Late last year, Lincoln said that it will reduce 175 showrooms from its total of 500 to avoid redundancy and to boost the sales levels of the dealerships left.
Bloomberg said that after six months, Ford was able to shut down 100 showrooms. What Ford will do next is to upgrade the remaining facilities in order to raise sales.
Ford has planned to conduct new training exercises as well as to improve standards with regards to staffing. Ford gave Lincoln dealers an ultimatum for them to comply with the standards before August 31.
The standards that Ford asks for will need a $2 million (EUR1.4 million) investment for each store. This includes free car washes for Lincoln customers. The dealerships will not be able to meet these standards easily since Lincoln sales have dropped by 11% in 2011 while the industry had a 20% boost.
To raise sales, Ford pledged to unleash seven new Lincoln models on the market towards the end of 2014. It’s also possible that Ford will display a new Lincoln concept model at the New York Auto Show.
On April 13, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said that there’s a “transition period” with Lincoln. He explained that Ford made a commitment to dealers that it will come out with a competitive lineup of vehicles but that they will have to wait as it takes some time to market these vehicles.