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Lincoln Wants To Eliminate A Third Of Its Metro Dealers

Ford outlines broad restructuring of brand to retailers.

by on Oct.06, 2010

The 2011 Lincoln MKT making its debut at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

More than a third of the dealers representing Ford Motor Co.’s only remaining luxury brand will be eliminated under a dramatic go-it-alone restructuring plan for the Lincoln division.

Bringing Lincoln’s retail network more in line with its import competition is just the first step in a broad brand transformation that will also yield seven all-new or significantly updated models for the marque in the next four years. (Click Here for that story.)

“We are fully committed to transforming Lincoln into a world-class luxury brand,” Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas, told about 900 of the division’s dealers and their representatives during a meeting in Dearborn, Michigan.

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But the presentation also outlined some serious challenges for a Lincoln revival.

Until about a decade ago, Lincoln was a strong contender in the U.S. market, locked in an ongoing battle for sales dominance with its cross-town rival Cadillac.  But the new millennium saw a shift away from domestic to import luxury brands, with makers Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz surging to the top of the sales charts.