A meeting is set to take place on April 18-19 between Lincoln National Dealer Council members and Ford Motor Co. executives where dealers are expected to ask for clarification on what standards they’d have to meet by this fall. The council’s chairman said that Ford had sufficiently explained to dealers via webcasts, mailings and regional meetings. But according to many dealers, the details are unclear.
These standards were announced at the Lincoln meeting last February at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention.
Among the new standards are the following: Dealers have to offer Lincoln loaner vehicles for Lincoln service customers. In addition, at least 30% of dealers' used Lincoln vehicles have to be certified as pre-owned.
If the dealers are unable to meet the standards by Sept. 1 and have chosen not to give up their franchises to Ford, they risk losing a portion of their dealer discount (the difference between what a dealer pays for a vehicle and its sticker price) beginning Oct. 1.
A dealer said that this dealer discount could reach $700 or more on a vehicle that’s priced at $35,000. According to Lincoln spokesman Christian Bokich, these questions will be answered in an online guidebook that would be available on April 11 at Lincoln's dealer Web site. For inquiries, Lincoln has offered a toll-free phone number and an e-mail address.
Many dealers ask if they will be in violation of the rules for giving a Ford-brand loaner to a Lincoln service customer even if the customer requests the Ford. One situation frequently cited is if a Lincoln Navigator SUV is brought in for service and instead of a Lincoln MKZ sedan, a customer prefers a Ford Expedition.