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Lincoln goes big-city


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Lincoln goes big-city

85% of stock will go to top markets; small dealers feel squeezed

Jamie LaReau

Automotive News -- November 22, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

LOS ANGELES -- Lincoln dealerships in large metro markets will get the vast majority of Lincoln production, which is unnerving small-town dealers.

About 85 percent of Lincoln's inventory will be allocated to dealers in the top 130 U.S. markets, said Ken Czubay, Ford's vice president of U.S. vehicle sales, service and marketing.

The allocation to big markets, higher than their current share, is part of Lincoln's plan to trim its dealership roster and prod dealers to invest in operations and improve customer service.

The new allocation is expected next year, for the 2012 model year at the latest.

One rural Lincoln dealer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said executives "told us 88 percent of all Lincoln production will go to the dealers in the top 130 markets, and 12 percent goes to the rural markets. So if 500 of us stick around, 12 percent of that production won't feed us.

"We're worried if we choose to stay, we won't be able to get any Lincoln products."

About half of Lincoln's 1,200 dealerships are in small markets, said Lincoln spokesman Christian Bokich.

Czubay said at the Los Angeles Auto Show that Ford is working with small dealers to help them decide if they can afford to stay in business.

"The reason all of the competitors concentrate their business on the top 130 markets is because that's where the luxury market is," he said.

Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said: "There will be some flexibility, but clearly what we discussed with the dealers is that when you look at the top 130 markets, that's where the luxury business is. So it's very important for us to have production for those markets so they are able to participate from a market share standpoint."

Lincoln wants to trim about 200 stores in the top 130 markets to improve per-store sales. It will seek to close stores in other markets, too.

Lincoln sold 70,120 vehicles this year through October, up 6 percent from the 2009 period. Lexus, by comparison, sold 183,529 vehicles through October, up 9 percent.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101122/RETAIL03/311229977/1422#ixzz162wyBk00

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...Lincoln wants to trim about 200 stores in the top 130 markets to improve per-store sales. It will seek to close stores in other markets, too...

Lincoln wants to trim about 200 stores in the top 130 markets to improve per-store sales. It will seek to close ALL stores in other, less-urban markets.

fixed ^ (imho)

I'm rather disappointed maybe more (...ashamed...angry) about the way Ford is 'rewarding' many of their long-time Lincoln dealers.

Otoh, if some of the dealers just can't face the facts ... that they might have No business model, anymore or for-the-last-decade - - - Imho the sooner they're away from Fomoco the better the dealers' chances are.

& it won't surprise me at all ( IF Lincoln lives ), for Ford to start re-creating new dealerships in the not-that-distant future... ...like as part of the non-urban Ford dealers that they definitely have said they ARE holding on to.

aside; the Lincoln-Mercury dealer in Reno sort of evaporated (so it seems) not long ago.

BMW (brand new buildings & site a couple years ago), Audi, Acura (per commercials: the highest rated Acura dealer in the US), Lexus (they actually have well-made local commercials), & I believe MB are doing just fine here.

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Report: Lincoln skews volume toward urban centers, unnerves small town dealers

by Zach Bowman (RSS feed) on Nov 23rd 2010 at 8:28AM


Lincoln has apparently had enough of small-town life. According to Automotive News, Ford's luxury brand plans to give its dealerships in metropolitan areas the lion's share of production moving forward. The company says luxury buyers are typically centered around larger cities, and as such, up to 85 percent of the company's inventory will go to its dealers in the 130 largest U.S. markets in the future. That move denotes a larger percentage than the company has used in the past. Needless to say, this makes those dealers that are out in the sticks more than a little nervous.

AN reports that the remaining 15 percent of Lincoln products will have to be split between some 500 rural dealers. With so many hands fighting for the scraps, it's all but inevitable that more than a few will go dark in short order. Lincoln says that nearly half of the company's 1,200 dealerships are located in smaller markets. The company says that it wants to close down around 200 of its top-market stores, and that some thinning will be required in other markets as well.



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