Lincoln is slowly rising back up with products such as the Navigator, the 2019 Nautilus, and the upcoming Aviator. This has given the brand confidence and is asking dealers in the top 30 U.S. luxury markets to split away from Ford and build stand-alone stores.
"Customers expect the environment to be equal to the product. They want to buy a luxury product in a luxury environment," said Robert Parker, Lincoln's director of marketing, sales, and service.
Executives point out that the stand-alone stores regularly outsell Ford-Lincoln dealers and are responsive for most of the sales gains in recent years.
About 150 dealers are located in the 30 markets that Lincoln says account for 70 percent of the industry's luxury sales. Already, about half of the dealers have either started construction or finished standalone. Lincoln wants the remaining dealers to do the same and is offering some incentives; help finding land for their new store, large bonuses for each vehicle, and allow them to sell the high-end Black Label models. Dealers can say no to this, but executives believe most will make the switch.
"This is the time for us to leverage this opportunity with the world-class products and continue to evolve and step up our client experience," said Greg Wood, Lincoln's sales and service manager.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)