Lincoln cuts back complimentary maintenance program

Article by Anita Panait, on June 7, 2013

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.

The 2013 Lincoln MKZ production version – almost similar to the Lincoln MKZ Concept unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2012 – is underpinned by a new distinctive design language.

Defining the profile of the Lincoln MKZ is its sweeping roofline as well as its raked windshield and lengthened backlight. All of these lend the MKZ a sleeker and flowing appearance that is around 10 percent more aerodynamic than its predecessor. Wolf remarked that the shape of the MKZ is a vision completed with just a few strokes.

While the new Lincoln MKZ does sport a modern appearance, it didn’t fail to retain classic Lincoln design elements like a re-interpreted version of the split-wing grille that made its debut on the 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr. The new Lincoln MKZ also features rearview mirrors set on door-mounted, sculpted pedestals -- a design that allows the front door glass to extend farther to enhance visibility as well as to allow more light into the cabin.

On the other hand, the new Lincoln MKZ comes with specially crafted headlamp assemblies that employ light emitting diode technology. Interestingly, just as the driver turns the steering wheel, the front headlights also turn in sync, thereby enhancing visibility on the rear. The rear end, meanwhile, features a characteristic full-width taillamp graphic as made possible by LED technology.

Topics: lincoln

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