According to Automotive News [behind paywall], Ford has issued an ultimatum to its Lincoln dealers: either they agree to meet minimum brand requirements by September 1, or they face losing their franchise. Ford’s demands include that dealers
- Offer perks such as a free car wash and a Lincoln loaner vehicle to Lincoln service customers
- Have a dedicated service manager and dedicated sales staff for Lincoln, if the dealership is paired with a Ford store
- Have only the word “Lincoln,” without “Mercury,” appear on all franchise signage
- Have at least 30% of used-Lincoln inventory be certified pre-owned
Geez. The local Infiniti store manages three out of four, and they’re paired with Porsche-Audi fercrissake. And Lincoln does about the same annual volume as Infiniti: 100k or thereabouts.
This particular objection, which I find risible, was raised:
[W]hat if a customer wants a full-sized loaner replacement for a vehicle that’s been turned in for service, but the dealer only has MKZs on the lot?
It is bad form, I think, to complain about freebies. The cheapest thing on the Infiniti lot, until recently, was the G35 sedan, and that’s mostly what they lent out; once they sent me off in an FX, probably because that was all they had left. It’s not like they were stashing Nissan Versas on the premises.
(Title swiped from the late Waylon Jennings.)