Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
September 6, 2013
Lincoln has been having a rough year so far and Ford wants to help out. The way they are doing is causing an uproar with their dealers.
According to Bloomberg, Ford has implemented a bonus program for Lincoln dealers in certain markets that is known as stair-step incentives. Stair-step incentives work by giving higher bonus once a dealer sells a certain number of vehicles. For example, if you sell ten models, you will get a $500 bonus per model. Sell an additional ten models and the bonus increases to $1,000. Hence the stair-step.
“There are some inherently unfair aspects of stair-step programs. They’re confusing to the market, they’re not necessarily good for customer satisfaction, and when you see a burst of sales at the end of a stair-step program, there’s always a payback. Right after that, the sales dip,” said Don Chalmers, owner of Ford and Lincoln dealerships near Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Confusingly, Ford is sending mixed messages on this matter. Ken Czubay, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service said Ford doesn't use stair-step incentives. Meanwhile, Ford's sales analyst Erich Merkle said the company is using the incentives for “selective legacy vehicles”. In this case, the “selective legacy vehicles” are the MKS, MKT, and MKX.