Lincoln, after persuading dozens of its dealers to spend millions of dollars building glass-walled standalone showrooms, now says they have to invest $900,000 more on chargers and other upgrades in order to ride with the brand into the electric-vehicle era.
The requirement, more than quadruple what rival Cadillac is mandating from its dealers, will mainly cover installation of EV chargers for public use as well as in-house sales and service needs. The news, unveiled to dealers this month by Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley and other executives at a meeting in Las Vegas, is part of a broader pivot for Lincoln that includes a greater emphasis on remote experiences, a reimagined online sales platform and implementation of no-haggle pricing.
Most Lincoln dealers also have Ford brand stores, which are required to make up to $1.2 million in upgrades to sell EVs. Stores must have separate chargers for the two brands, meaning a dealer who sells both, even if they're dualed under one rooftop, might have to spend more than $2 million to sell EVs beyond next year.
While Lincoln does not yet sell any battery-powered vehicles, and isn't expected to for several more years, executives say they need to prepare now to woo younger buyers who its research shows are open to luxury EVs.