Ford Motor Co.’s top marketing executive says Ford wants the initial changes to Lincoln dealerships to emphasize customer experience more than store redesign. Jim Farley, Ford group’s vice president of global marketing, sales, and service, says that research shows that to boost sales, customers have to get “what they're accustomed to -- or more.”
In the next 60 days, Lincoln’s regional reps will visit dealerships to see if they want to remain with the franchise. Farley, when interviewed at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show, said he was not ready to reveal what Ford expects from Lincoln dealers.
However, Farley said that the center of Lincoln’s latest marketing campaign, world-class technology, should be part of the dealership experience. While he did not give details, Farley said that the company has noticed “a dramatic change in luxury attitudes.”
He said that boomers have been “through the wringer,” with how the economy has affected their “expectations and their feeling of wealth.” Farley added, “A return to 'what you get for what you pay' has a lot of resonance.”
He said Lincoln aims to have 300 dealerships in major metro markets, which is much fewer than the current 495 dealerships. However, Farley did not give an overall total of what Lincoln wants. He also would not say how many dealers want to drop the franchise. [via autonews - sub. required]