Lincoln brand executives listened to dealers regarding an indefinitely paused commitment program to separate all dual Ford-Lincoln showrooms, but a decision is not expected until later this year.
Company officials, including Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett, used the brand's make meeting to stress the importance of standalone showrooms, saying separate facilities are necessary to compete with other luxury brands. Executives showed charts of sales increases for dealers who have made the switch.
The company will meet with its dealer council in March and "make a go/no-go decision" on possible tweaks after that, according to Kevin Cour, the brand's director of marketing, sales and service. Executives have indicated they intend to keep the program in some fashion.
"We plan to move forward with the program, we just want to try and make it as good as possible for everyone," Joy Falotico, Lincoln's president, told Automotive News. "We just want to hear their voice, go back and make some enhancements and regroup."
The 90-minute meeting focused heavily on how Lincoln dealers could improve customer experiences, which is key in the competitive luxury market. Falotico said the brand completed 170,000 pickup and deliveries in 2018, double the number of 2017.
Dealers were not shown any future product at the meeting, although the introduction of a redesigned MKC, expected to be called the Corsair, is anticipated this year. Executives also stressed the importance of the Aviator crossover, set to debut this summer.