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Being a Lincoln dealer in the 21st century has been anything but easy, as Ford has been looking to shed its luxury brand dealers the past couple years. Then Blue Oval recently killed off Mercury, a brand Lincoln dealers traditionally used as a feeder program. And perhaps the biggest challenge has been coaxing buyers into the showroom, as the brand's 2010 sales total of just 85,828 units clearly illustrates.

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Lincoln Concept C – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Ford may have come through the automotive implosion relatively unscathed, but that doesn't mean the company isn't still trying to trim its costs. According to Automotive News, Ford wants to consolidate its dealer network by closing the doors on some 300 lots. The reason? While the automotive market is slowly improving, no one expects to see the kind of buying levels enjoyed before 2009 anytime soon. As a result, Ford wants to boost the profitability of its dealer network by reducing the number o

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2010 Lincoln MKT – click above for high-res image gallery

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In 2006, Ford began to shrink its dealership network in order to more efficiently align its distribution network. Three years later, it appears that the hardest hit are the company's stand-alone Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. While there were 619 Lincoln-Mercury dealerships nationwide just a few years ago, the number had dwindled down to just 357 at the beginning of 2009.

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Mercury spokesmodel Jill Wagner – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2008 Mercury Sable – Click above for high-res image gallery

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