Ford’s Lincoln Mercury dealers feel a lack of love

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. calls it “quality time,” but some Lincoln Mercury dealers see it as a slight.

Ford opted to meet only with Ford division dealers in Detroit this week and cut Lincoln Mercury dealers -- and those brands -- from the discussion.

Ford says it’s just a delay. It will meet with Lincoln Mercury dealers -- but not until this fall.

“We wanted to be able to share our plans with Ford dealers, as well as Lincoln Mercury dealers, and decided that would be best achieved with two events where we could really spend quality time on our plans at both events rather than try to jam both Ford and LM elements into one session,” wrote Ford spokesman Steve Kinkade in an e-mail to Automotive News.

Fair enough, but that doesn’t make Lincoln Mercury dealers feel any better.

Those who are standalones fret enough about their future without Ford division products to sell. They likely don’t feel any better now not getting a date to the dance. A couple L-M dealers told me they are skeptical that Ford will show them the same love this fall as their Ford division counterparts are getting right now.

Kinkade’s final word on it: “There will be a L-M event this fall.” But the details “Haven’t been finalized yet.”