Don't look for Lincoln at Ford dealer meetings

Mick Jagger once crooned, "You can't always get what you want."

No truer words apply to dealers in Detroit this week than Jagger's lyrics.

Ford Motor Co. is hosting its Ford dealers to show them some of the future lineup and talk about new technology. Some dealers say what they really want to see are future Lincoln products. A Ford spokesman tells me that won't happen at this time.

He explains that Ford wants to differentiate Ford from its luxury sibling, Lincoln. That includes separating the brands and separating dealer events.

So dealers are only being shown Ford vehicles now. But down the road Ford likely will do a similar event for Lincoln dealers, a source familiar with Lincoln says.

Lincoln spokesman Christian Bokich declines to comment on that possibility. He adds: "We don't have any details to speak of on the Lincoln side regarding any future dealer engagements."

I'm sure the anticipation adds to some Lincoln dealers' frustration.

First, if Ford hosts a Lincoln vehicle preview event for dealers, it means Lincoln dealers face the added expense and time burden of flying back to Detroit, or where ever it's held.

It also means that dealers who must decide whether to invest thousands in Lincoln facility upgrades or surrender their franchises to Ford will have to make the decision without seeing the product that is in the pipeline.

Maybe some Lincoln dealers are not getting what they want, but are they even getting what they need?

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