• Nov 23, 2010
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.

[Source: Automotive News]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      ford doesn't seem to be making friends with many dealers these days. They cut mercury, they forced Lincoln dealers to spend millions on renovations, before showing the product, even when they renovated less than 10 years ago, and now they are leaving the smaller markets starved for cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lincoln, try making cars that people actually want to buy. If you were in demand like say, Lexus, you wouldn't need to close so many dealerships. However, downsizing and making a nice profit aren't bad ideas.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Remember, a lot of these used to be Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. It's not the fault of Lincoln product that there are too many dealerships. Remember when they killed Mercury they mentioned how few Mercury-only dealerships there were? This is just the other Mercury shoe dropping.

        BTW, how many dealerships does Lexus have?
        • 4 Years Ago
        They have way too many dealers as it is now, down sizing is probably the best move right now, then bringing out better product, I mean look at Lexus, they sell over double what Lincoln does and they have what... 700 dealers? Lincoln has way too many
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who really wants some piece of $hit Lincoln product anyway? Uhhhhh.. Not me !!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I did for one, an MKZ last Wed. in fact. My wife and I love the car and have received nothing but compliments from everyone who has seen it. Brought the car back to Florida from Georgia and it drove and performed flawlessly. It replaced a high end GM midsize and it definitely is a nicer car. What do you drive Mr. opinionated?
      • 4 Years Ago
      One of the side effects of killing Mercury.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It makes sense to have the Lincoln dealerships in more urban areas. Close to rental car lots, Taxi cab and airport shuttle companies.

      I don't see many taxi and shuttles being sold in rual areas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another stupid move by Ford, they are doing so many things right and then they go and make this ignorant decision. The reason Mercury's market share was so small is that they virtually eliminated all but 4 vehicles in their product lineup and then they use that as the excuse to cut it out completely. Why would you not let the dealers determine who stays and who goes, sell the cars to whoever wants them and let the market sort them out. They are also planning to stop producing the Ranger, at a time when gas is on the verge of skyrocketing again and GM is eliminating the S-10. Don't they recognize the opportunity to gain market share? How about freshening up the Ranger instead of ignoring it for 10 years and then declaring it a declining product line.

      These are the types of decisions that got Ford in trouble to begin with, now the cycle is starting over again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't understand - the small town dealers are going to be clamoring for more units, and Lincoln is going to any no, you can't have any more?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cutting rural dealers will cut Lincoln's share of the luxury market. It would be better to encourage smaller mini-dealers who sell from an office or door to door, taking special build orders, as was done in the 1950s. There is no reason a Lincoln cannot be sold like a piece of Tupperware. The order is taken and the vehicle delivered in 8 weeks. Ford would establish its own regional service facilities, which would all but eliminate dealer and dealer service fraud. If Ford didn't want to operate warranty repair centers, it would simply franchise them out, as it does, now. Service centers would not be limited to Ford warranty work. This scheme would increase Ford's presence, increase dealerships and grossly slash costs. In the '50s, in rural America, a dealer would bring order books to your home. He would sit at your kitchen or dining room table and put together a custom build order. You'd sign it, write a check, and 6-8 weeks later, your car was delivered.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like they will be directing more inventory to the metro areas because so it's dealerships can be sustainable considering the monetary investment they are asking them to buy into. And of course, in those areas, one dealership can provide service to many more people than a dealership in the country will.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's why they call 'em Town Cars, I guess.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't understand small town dealers...

      There are towns that have 3 or more car dealers, but don't even have a BestBuy or movie theater! Most people buy and service their cars far less than they buy electronics/games or watch movies, so it's completely unnecessary!

      Not that cities are much better... there are 4 GM dealers that are closer to my home than the nearest cineplex!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think anyone wants a lincoln anyway. This year was the last year of the town car, I am aching for the old days.. Lincoln was CLASS!!! not what they are making today. Cadillac still had a large 4 dr Class.. I am a lincoln lover, but they just ran out of CLASS!!! What the hell is going on. They tool away the Mark , Continental, now the Town car.. Mkz, Mks, these are not names for cars.. Sorry guys..
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1

        I hate alphanumeric names. Pure laziness. And that tells me they don't really give a $hit about their product.
    • Load More Comments