DETROIT -- Beginning with 2014 models, Lincoln is cutting back its complimentary maintenance program to 2 years/24,000 miles from 4 years/50,000 miles.
In a May 6 memo sent to dealers, Lincoln said the revised program "complements short-term 24-month leases." In a statement, Lincoln said the new program is "competitive with other luxury brands."
Jaguar and Volvo also recently cut back their complimentary maintenance programs.
Dealer reaction to Lincoln's change was mixed.
Paul Mercer, general manager of Diffee Ford-Lincoln in El Reno, Okla., said: "They want to set themselves apart and find a niche in the luxury market. That's sending the wrong message, in my opinion."
He added: "It's going to be disappointing to the existing customer base."
Larry Taylor, president of Beau Townsend Ford-Lincoln in Vandalia, Ohio, said: "They want us to treat these customers unbelievably well. I was surprised by it."
But Bob Tasca Jr., owner of Tasca Automotive Group in Cranston, R.I., which includes two Lincoln dealerships, said the change would not make a big difference to his business. "Most Lincolns are leased for two or three years. A major part of my business is short term. I want to put them out for two or three years, not four or five," he said.