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)