When Ford introduced its dearlership program last summer, executives expected it would be tough to cut down stores, increase sales per store and improve dealer profits. However, dealers seem to be heading out quicker than Ford expected.
300 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury plants will be gone by the end of 2007, half of the 600 the company hoped to get rid of by the end of the decade. Ford hopes that the fewer stores will sell more cars, giving them more funding for marketing and improvements. Ford spokesman, Jim Cain, says Ford has seen increased sales for the stores remaining in the markets where a dealership has been removed.
Ford hopes to increase annual sales of metro-market stores from about 1,000 to 1,500 within five years. Currently the average of Ford-brand-only dealerships sell an average of 645 new cars.
In the first half of 2007, Ford has closed over 130 stores. Toyota stores average 1,821 units annually.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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