Are you sure Abe done it this way?

“Dammit,” says Ford to its remaining Lincoln dealers, “this is a luxury brand, and it’s time we acted like it.” To wit:

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.)


  1. McGehee »

    12 April 2011 · 12:07 pm

    I can’t remember the last time I saw an ad for Newnan’s local Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealer, but their web presence still references the Mercury brand.

    I’d say calling for the defunct brand to be dropped from signage and naming is reasonable, but it’s only been three months and for all I know in this economy most of those dealers may still have Mercurys on their lots.

  2. Dick Stanley »

    12 April 2011 · 12:29 pm

    Your headline confused me. I thought this post was to be about Abe Lincoln’s resupply of Fort Sumter, which led to the Confederate bombardment of the place, starting the Civil War, 150 years ago today. My bad.

  3. fillyjonk »

    12 April 2011 · 12:42 pm

    I’m guessing my local dealer must be Ford only. I’ve never heard even a whisper of loaner cars during things like extended recall repairs.

    Hell, I’d have taken their tiniest compact as a loaner and been happy, if it had only been offered. Instead, I either had to rely on the kindness of friends for a couple days, or rent a car from a slightly skeevy place outside of town. (Oh, the JOYS of living in a small town…)

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