Lincoln dealers reluctant to upgrade showrooms until new products are confirmed

As GM did with Cadillac dealerships, Ford is expecting its Lincoln dealers to invest solid amounts in their facilities as part of a brand re-imaging. According to several dealer’s sources, Ford is asking some dealerships to invest over $ 1 million for improvements. Herein lies the problem; Ford has yet to lay out the standards, and dealers are still uncomfortable with the unannounced nature of Lincoln”s future development.

Said one dealer on the improvements: “They told us there would be no new products for about 24 months. I don’t know how the stand-alone Lincoln dealers are going to make it, especially those dealers who have to spend $2 million on their upgrades.”

Ford is also planning to cut at least 200 of its 1,200 U.S. Lincoln franchises. It has begun offering cash ranging from $300,000 to $1.5 million to dealers to walk-away from their dealerships if they are not in a “˜preferred location” or if they are unwilling to make the improvements.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)