It is well known that one of Ford's biggest problems on the consumer front is a bloated dealer network that saps resources from the mothership. In an effort to streamline things on the street, Ford is trying to eliminate at least 600 dealerships throughout the country.
Much of the issue centers on too many dealers in condensed, urban areas, which have the tendency of creating unnecessary competition and, in turn, drive prices south. The plan is for larger, more affluent dealers to "buy out" their smaller, less profitable counter parts, bring the dealer network down to manageable levels.

According to some dealers, Ford has offered on-the-block dealers as much as $300,000 to alleviate the pain of being bought out by their competition. One dealer, quoted in Automotive News, called the offers "chicken feed," saying that a sum that small would do little to persuade owners that have invested several times more in upgrades and equipment over the years.

Currently, Ford insists that dealers who close their doors do so of their own free will, however, if things continue to slide downhill at the Blue Oval's headquarters, voluntary closures may quickly become a thing of the past.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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