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The Spaminator
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Majority of Lincoln dealers in key markets agree to renovations, new facilities
By: Bradford Wernie
February 3, 2012
Automotive News

DETROIT -- More than half of Lincoln's dealers in the top 130 U.S. markets have committed to invest in upgrading their dealerships as the brand tries to reinvent itself, Lincoln said today.

Their agreement is a major step forward for Lincoln. Many dealers had been on the fence, uncertain whether to bet that Ford Motor Co. will be able to reinvigorate its luxury brand.

Lincoln says 75 dealers in such cities as New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago have already built new facilities or undertaken major renovations of their stores in line with Lincoln's version of the Ford Motor Co. Trustmark facilities plan.

Ford's luxury brand is whittling down its dealer count as part of its reinvention. Lincoln has exceeded its target of reducing its dealer count in those 130 markets to below 325, from 500 previously.

After seeing MKZ Concept

Ford declined to say exactly how many of the roughly 325 dealers have completed the work other than to say it is now more than half.

News that a majority of those dealers have made the commitment comes less than a month after Lincoln unveiled its MKZ Concept car at the Detroit auto show, a vision of the brand's future design direction.

Jim Farley, Ford vice president of global marketing, sales and service, says the dealers have made a commitment to provide more than just improved buildings and showrooms.

"What is most important is that our vision for Lincoln is about personalized service'" he said in an interview on the eve of the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas. "I don't want to leave you with the impression that our vision is beautiful furniture and nice tile. What really matters to us is a really nice environment."

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Mercury C557
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Lincoln dealers upbeat about new products on horizon - Automotive News
Automotive News -- February 3, 2012 - 12:01 am ET

...Bob Tasca Jr., chairman of the Lincoln National Dealer Council, is in one of those top 130 markets. He talked with Staff Reporter Bradford Wernle:

What was the message to Lincoln dealers at the Detroit auto show?


The message was a commitment -- the kind of commitment Lincoln is making in their distribution system. They've made tremendous progress in that area. It's a full-court press. This is still a 3- to 5-year process. We're heading in the right direction. They've got a lot of talented people who get up every morning and worry about building that Lincoln brand back. I'm excited about it. There's a small sport-utility coming, and that's going to be a big plus.

What would you like to see from Lincoln advertising?

I can't tell them how to advertise. They do a very good job of advertising, but their products weren't where they should be. You can advertise until the cows come home, but if you don't have the right product, you're not going to sell cars.

When you put that new MKZ out there with some advertising, you're going to get some traffic. Look what they did with Ford. It's not something that hasn't been done before. They had products. The quality was there. They got noticed. The rest is history. If they can do it with Ford, they can do it with Lincoln.

How can Lincoln win the new "culturally progressive luxury customers" it is looking for?

You know who they are, but you need to have a product that appeals to them. It starts with the product. If you don't have a product that appeals, you never get the opportunity to even meet those customers. The first product we have that's a "wow product" is this new MKZ, gas and hybrid.

Of course it will be the industry leader in fuel economy with the hybrid. We also think the four-cylinder EcoBoost will be best in class. I think there will be a lot of surprised people when this car pulls up. They'll say: "Is that a Lincoln? Wow!"

We recognize there are a lot of other beautiful products out there. No one is standing still; you need to be constantly moving.

What is Lincoln's main challenge?

The challenge is very simple. First of all you've got to have the product, which we're working on. Second is marketing. Give us a chance.

Is Ford doing enough to keep Mercury customers in the fold?

There's aggressive lease-renewal money. There's a six-month early-bird program. For a person driving a leased Mercury under Ford's Red Carpet lease program, Ford will waive the last six payments to keep the customer in a Ford product or a Lincoln product.

We've had very good success keeping Mercury customers in the Ford family. Remember that I have Ford along with Lincoln. It's easier for me to keep them than it is for a stand-alone Lincoln dealer.

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Ask anyone "Who makes the EcoBoost", and they will say Ford...Lincoln should use a different name, even if it the same engine! Same goes with the "My Lincoln", which is too close to "My Ford".

If you are trying to attract the "culturally progressive luxury customers", why advertise using an old man who fits the established business generation they are trying to break away from?
 

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Ask anyone "Who makes the EcoBoost", and they will say Ford...Lincoln should use a different name, even if it the same engine! Same goes with the "My Lincoln", which is too close to "My Ford".

If you are trying to attract the "culturally progressive luxury customers", why advertise using an old man who fits the established business generation they are trying to break away from?
I could really care less about the name MyLincoln Touch.. but I agree 100% with EcoBoost. I think it should be marketed under TwinForce
 

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I could really care less about the name MyLincoln Touch.. but I agree 100% with EcoBoost. I think it should be marketed under TwinForce
I agree. Ecoboost is the dumbest name ever for an engine. But hey, they gotta keep the tree huggers happy I guess. The general buying public doesnt know a turbo charger from a drum brake. I have thought all along Ford marketing caved in to the eco nut jobs. If I owned one of these the first thing I would do is debadge it. I suppose they thought that those who understood what the turbo engines where all about would just over look the stupidity of the name.
 

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There should be a series of ads that focus on Ecoboost/Twinforce or whatever the Lincoln version will be named to explain what it is, what it does and why you need it. This sounds stupid but does the average buyer understand about direct injection and twin turbos? Or what does a turbo do? Or what is used to measure "per liter" in an engine size? Why do I get more power with turbo. Informational things like this could be a boost overall to the average consumer. Also include informational ads on other mechanical features that aid in the overall function of the vehicle. Just showing the body and interior with MyLincoln technology in an ad or commercial is one thing but there needs to be more to educate the average consumer so they know exactly why they have what they have and its purpose. This may sound rather dry and meaningless, almost like a waste of time but honestly there are people out there who don't know what these things actually do and why. For example: Take one of the recent Ford Edge ads I saw. It shows the woman referencing "20's" for the wheels and has no clue what it means.
 

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Mercury C557
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Ask anyone "Who makes the EcoBoost", and they will say Ford...Lincoln should use a different name, even if it the same engine! Same goes with the "My Lincoln", which is too close to "My Ford"...
imho "EB" is kinda fun to say
& they haven't made my "Got Boost?" commercials yet :pout:
& if the engines ARE the same, I prefer the same name
now
if/when the Nano engine(s) come out, IF THEY'RE EXCLUSIVE
then Lincoln can rename them with my blessing

pre-edit/OH!
had a thought about MyWhateverTouch
maybe they could bring out the avatar version for Lincoln first
that's where you can choose a personality for you vehicular virtual assistant


...If you are trying to attract the "culturally progressive luxury customers", why advertise using an old man who fits the established business generation they are trying to break away from?
Totally
it's so 'TwenCen'

bring back the

or something else futuristic/SciFi
 

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I like this spin from Ford media.

If you read and think about it, it says almost 1/2 of dealers in key markets think that Lincolns Facility program will not pay off and isn't worth the investment. Also it means that the vast majority of dealers outside of "Key Markets" think its not worth it as well.

Almost every dealer I've talked to has said that they see no way they'd recoup the investment Lincoln is asking them to make, and many rural dealers are very upset since Ford wants to segregate the Ford customer from the Lincoln customer, and Most of the Lincoln customers around here drive Ford Trucks, and when they're getting they're truck (or one of their fleet in many cases), they won't see Lincolns if they're segregated.

One other issue I've heard is about loaners, Lincoln will require Lincoln loaner vehicles, sounds good, but If someone brings in their Navigatior to get worked on and you give them an MKZ they won't be happy, and MKZ will be the lincoln loaner for most dealers due to cost and low utilization of the Lincoln program. Now you could give them an Expedition, and would make the customer happy, but Lincoln says no.

I'm betting on Lincoln failing, sad, but they forgot the thing that saved Ford. It's the product STUPID! The dealers have been saying it for years and Ford listened for a while and its paying dividends right now, however, Ford is making money and forgeting again so it looks like history will continue to repeat itself.
 

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I got a nice update a while ago from my friend over at Lincoln of Columbus, they are about 2 weeks from completion of their facility and it is really looking great. The cafe area doesn't have its equipment installed (Cappucio and baked goods will be served complimentary, IIRC), but is otherwise complete. There wasn't a great view of the customer lounge, but its a large room with a wall of windows to the outside, a 65" screen, and 8 or 9 large, leather chairs with an attached fold-away work surface.

This is the view from I-270 (Columbus' Outerbelt). The glass cube to the far right of the photo is actually the "delivery area", 2 bays where the sales staff goes over the vehicle with the customer (no more hurrying through this presentation during the cold winter months!)


Here's a better view of the delivery area:


The garage door to the right is the service entrance (which is just the drop off point, the tech drives the car outside the other end and into the service bays), with the main entrance to the left.


The Lincoln star was being installed today above the main entrance:


The reception desk just inside the main entrance:


The Cafe area:


I thought this was a nice detail: The service reception area has 3 of these custom-built (and very classy looking, IMO) work stations:


Some interesting notes:

-The signage is the "old" Lincoln star, not the more streamlined version shown at NAIAS
-There is one more side of "frontage" that actually faces the road the driveway is off of, as well as additional walls and signs on that face. I'll try to get views of those soon.
-They have 4 conquest customer-order 2013 MKS ordered already, in addition to their stock units, which are expected to begin arriving in March.
 

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I like the look of it!
 

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I think that they should get rid of the large television in waiting rooms. No matter where you go in the daytime, it seems these are tuned to the lousiest fake judge or creepy talk shows showing results of surprise paternity tests or people sleeping with their ex-girlfriend's mother.

I do not want to visit the Lincoln waiting room and be forced to see and hear Jerry Springer or Judge Judy dealing with all the low life you would run into at Shady Pete's Used Car Emporium
 

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GOOD point, Logan

I equate "Dudge Doodie" as I call her with the pervasive smell of Target-popcorn


what if they had just the stock market channel on AND headphones?
or
how about frequently-changed videos of vacation destinations - maybe even local getaways?
tho
I'm thinking that one of the dealers' missions is to provide loaners so no one really HAS TO stay in the waiting room
 

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GOOD point, Logan

I equate "Dudge Doodie" as I call her with the pervasive smell of Target-popcorn


what if they had just the stock market channel on AND headphones?
or
how about frequently-changed videos of vacation destinations - maybe even local getaways?
tho
I'm thinking that one of the dealers' missions is to provide loaners so no one really HAS TO stay in the waiting room
It all depends on what they air... they should be told to avoid those types of shows
 

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I think that they should get rid of the large television in waiting rooms. No matter where you go in the daytime, it seems these are tuned to the lousiest fake judge or creepy talk shows showing results of surprise paternity tests or people sleeping with their ex-girlfriend's mother.

I do not want to visit the Lincoln waiting room and be forced to see and hear Jerry Springer or Judge Judy dealing with all the low life you would run into at Shady Pete's Used Car Emporium
The day I was there, it was on ESPN (which is a perfect fit in this town), though it was on "mute" with captions activated. IIRC, the remote was left out though, so presumably the "audience" has control.
 
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