DEARBORN - More than half of all Lincoln dealers in the top 130 U.S. markets have committed to upgrade their facilities, creating a new sales and service experience for future Lincoln owners.
“We have shared our plans about future Lincoln products, the brand going forward and the consumer experience we have envisioned, and already a majority of our dealers have said they are with us,” said Ken Czubay, vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Ultimately, this is good news for our customers, who will see our new approach to the luxury consumer experience at every touch point.”
Seventy-five dealers in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago already have completed new facilities or major facility renovations.
Their collective voluntary investments are in line with a 2010 consumer analysis, which revealed luxury car buyers have high expectations of more than vehicles when shopping for a new automobile. Consumers want and expect the retail environment will meet their design expectations as well as their needs – including open floor plans, well-appointed semi-private areas available for business or personal use, and digital technologies to help them save time and seamlessly access their digital lives.
The Lincoln team understands meeting luxury customers’ expectations extends beyond brick and mortar.
“We are reinventing every part of the business – from the vehicles to the ownership experience,” said Jim Farley, group vice president for global Marketing, Sales and Service. “We understand that to win over today’s discerning luxury buyers, we need to create and deliver individualized experiences for them. This is driving us to literally rethink everything – from how many professionals you have at your beck and call when you return to us for vehicle service to how we make it easiest for you to choose the starting location of your next new vehicle test drive.
The news of the dealers’ commitment to Lincoln builds on the brand’s product momentum.
Last month, Lincoln introduced the all-new MKZ Concept at the North American International Auto Show. The sedan concept signals a new generation of Lincolns and strongly hints at the design direction of the Lincoln MKZ arriving in dealerships later this year.
Lincoln also saw sales increase for its key vehicles in January:
•Lincoln MKZ posted a 6-percent increase versus a year ago. The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, America’s most fuel-efficient premium midsize sedan delivering 41 mpg, also continues to be a strong seller, especially in California where MKZ Hybrid comprised 58 percent of MKZ retail sales last year.
•MKX sales were up 7 percent versus a year ago. The Lincoln two-row premium crossover was a key vehicle for Lincoln last year in Miami, where annual retail sales increased 22 percent.
•Plus, MKS premium full-size sedan sales increased 23 percent versus last January. An upgraded model arrives in dealerships this spring.
Lincoln was named the most dependable nameplate among all brands, foreign and domestic, by J.D. Power and Associates in its 2011 long-term dependability study.