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  • William Maley
    William Maley
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    Lincoln Dealers Criticize Stair-Step Incentives

    William Maley

    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.

    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    and how is the Navigator not "select legacy vehicle". The MKZ is the only thing in the Lincoln lineup that is new.

    Because they actually sell Navigators

    It's the second worst seller after the MKT and even then is only 75 units a month ahead.

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    They should just close this brand down already. The product line is terrible, the advertising is terrible, they have no consistent design language, and no strategy for the future. They can't compete with the German and Japanese luxury brands, they can't keep up with the money those brands spend, and those brands have a big lead already. So that leaves them to battle Buick and Chrysler, and I don't think Lincoln can even do that, their lineup is worse than Buick's and the Fusion is actually nicer than the Lincoln version.

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    smk4565 I hate to disagree, but I thought the marketing was magnificent and really enjoyed the commercials regarding the newer styles. I have always had a bent towards Cadillac and with their seeming appeal to a different demographic, I felt Lincoln would just follow suit. Lincoln is one of the classic American rides (from presidents to movie stars) and I mean "the ride" as well. I would hate to see it go and I hope it stays and improves its position in the market.

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