DEARBORN - Lincoln has officially launched the Lincoln Certified Pre-Owned and Off-Lease Retention Program – LCORP to insiders – and it promises to be a win-win-win for the Lincoln brand, Lincoln dealers and most of all Lincoln customers.
The program, which is now available at all of Lincoln’s approximately 900 U.S. dealerships, is the result of a collaborative effort between the Lincoln brand team, the Remarketing Operations group and the company’s credit arm, Lincoln Automotive Financial Services.
“The program is designed to help improve the residual value of Lincoln vehicles, maintain vehicles that have just come off lease within our dealer network and ultimately make us more competitive as a brand,” said Rob Martin, manager, Lincoln Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Brand.
With nearly 100 percent dealer LCORP participation in the top 130 luxury markets, Lincoln hopes to gain a competitive edge, said Martin.
Key to the success of the LCORP plan is Lincoln selling more off-lease cars directly to its dealers online.
“In the past, most off-lease vehicles were moved to a physical auction location and sold there in a setting that is open to all used car dealers,” said Martin. “What we’ve done is we’ve leveraged our online platform to sell more vehicles directly to our dealers, which means less cost for us a company and a better opportunity to retain the vehicles within the dealer network because our dealers have first crack at the cars.”
The strategy appears to be working. In the first six months of this year – which was the introductory period for LCORP – 50 percent of off-lease Lincolns were sold directly to dealers online versus 26 percent in the same period last year.
“If our dealers control the supply of vehicles that means we control more pricing power in the used car market,” he said. “For us, that means residual value improvement and for our customers it means lower cost of ownership and lower lease payments.”
Customers also benefit in other ways.
“All CPO vehicles go through a rigorous 200-point inspection, which means everything has been checked on the vehicle,” said Martin. “Any parts that need to be replaced are replaced with genuine Ford Motor Company OEM parts. So the vehicle is reconditioned to a high level.”
The experience that a CPO customer receives at the dealership is designed to mirror a new vehicle experience.
“When a customer receives a new car, the dealership will take them through a delivery checklist. They will have the same experience when they take delivery of a CPO vehicle,” said Martin. “CPO customers also receive 24-hour roadside assistance, three months of free Sirius Radio, a CARFAX vehicle history report, a complimentary oil change and a comprehensive warranty. In addition, Lincoln AFS also provides special low APR financing for CPO vehicles. It’s everything you would expect when you purchase a new vehicle but allows entry into the brand at a lower price point.”
Martin says the warranty offered with CPO Lincoln vehicles is exceptional.
“We cover six years from the vehicle’s original warranty start date or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first) which is one of the strongest CPO warranty offerings in the industry,” he said. “And it’s a comprehensive warranty – very much like the one you would get with a new vehicle. Our goal is for our CPO customers to have an excellent ownership experience that leads to them purchasing new Lincoln vehicles from us in the future.”