Lincoln is revising its complimentary maintenance program from 4 years/50,000 miles to 2 years/24,000 miles, starting with 2014 models. In a May 6, 2013, memo to dealers, Lincoln said the revised program "complements short-term 24-month leases." Lincoln's revised program will cover a maximum of three service visits whereas the old one covered eight visits.
Lincoln issued a statement saying that the revised program is "competitive with other luxury brands." It could be noted that Jaguar and Volvo recently revised their complimentary maintenance programs.
Dealers met the new program with different reactions. For instance, Paul Mercer, general manager of Diffee Ford-Lincoln in El Reno, Oklahoma, told Automotive News that Lincoln is sending the wrong message with the revised program, adding that it will be disappointing to the existing customer base.
Larry Taylor, president of Beau Townsend Ford-Lincoln in Vandalia, Ohio, also told Automotive News that he was surprised by Lincoln move, since the carmaker wants dealers to customers unbelievably well. Bob Tasca Jr., owner of Tasca Automotive Group in Cranston, R.I., said the revised program would not make a big difference to his business since most Lincolns are leased for two or three years.
Carroll Lachnit, features editor at Edmunds.com, remarked to Automotive News that Lincoln's move is line with a trend of scaling back of complimentary maintenance program. She noted that BMW remains the gold standard for coverage. The BMW Ultimate Service program covers all factory-recommended maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles. Lachnit said complimentary maintenance could make a bigger difference for car buyers than lease customers.