Ford announced that it plans to reduce its dealer network by another 10%, or 300 outlets, to help effectuate the rationalization and improvement in profitability of the network. This is the latest move by Ford in a series of aggressive measures aimed at combating weak auto demand. The company is also slated to shut down its Mercury brand by the end of the year; a move that is sure to increase the pressure of remaining Lincoln dealers, as Lincoln”s and Mercury”s have always been sold in shared locations. There were approximately 1,189 Lincoln franchises at the end of July.
“The dealers are full partners in every decision the company makes,” Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president for global marketing, sales and service, said at an investor conference in San Francisco. “When you are trying to consolidate your network from 6,000 down to 3,000, the dealers are on your side, and they will help you participate in the consolidation.”
Commenting on a separate matter, Farley also said that Ford plans to implement the premium EcoBoost engine across all models; a different sentiment than was originally given to the engine, as it was at first only to be an option for most of Ford”s vehicles.
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)