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.
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.