Although when Mercury was axed Ford announced that it will invest more in the Lincoln brand, it appears that the American manufacturer wants to cut at least 200 Lincoln franchises. This means that Ford will cut 40 percent of its dealers in major metropolitan areas, in an attempt to inject more luxury into its last remaining premium brand.
In order to inject more luxury, Ford will substantial dealership upgrades that will raise Lincoln’s game in terms of customer experience to the level seen on other luxury brands such as Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Bmw.
Several Ford souces said that the manufacturer will outline the plan at a two-day Lincoln dealer meeting what will begin on Monday, Oct. 4, in Dearborn, Mich. According to the same sources, Ford believes that it can increase per-store traffic by having fewer locations in the major metropolitan areas.
Last year, the average number of sales per Lincoln dealership was 67… very small, comparing it with Lexus' 947. Lexus currently has 230 U.S. stores, while Lincoln has1,221, down from 1,596 in 2000.
Also, Audi has 270 stores, Bmw 338 stores and Mercedes-Benz 352 stores. Reading this, it makes perfect sense, because Ford will also save money, and sell more vehicles with the help of a smaller number of dealers.
Regarding the new Lincoln dealerships, these will include higher facilities standards and improved customer service. In some cases Ford will offer buy-out packages to dealers. [via autonews - sub. required]