EV transition could close 600 Lincoln dealerships nationwide

The Lincoln Star Concept made its global debut at the brand’s Centennial Celebration event in Los Angeles the evening of April 20, 2022. The Lincoln Star Concept serves as inspiration for the brand’s fully electric vehicles coming in the future. Lincoln also announced it will deliver three new fully electric vehicles by 2025 and a fourth by 2026 as their electrification journey continues. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 20: A general view of the Lincoln Centennial Celebration on April 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Lincoln)

Lincoln President Joy Falotico has stated that she expects dealership numbers to shrink to below 600 stores by the end of the year.

According to a recent interview conducted by Automotive News, the luxury Ford brand is expecting its total number of dealerships to shrink to under 600 nationally by the end of the year. Automotive News’ dealership census states that the brand had over 1,000 dealerships just five years ago. What motivates dealerships to leave at such a rate?

President Falotico clarified in her interview that upcoming forced investment into new sales systems and electric vehicles are likely motivating dealers to leave the brand. A similar trend has been seen in General Motors’ competing brands, Buick and Cadillac. They have seen their total dealership numbers collapse after the brands stated that dealers would either be selling electric vehicles and investing in them or they wouldn’t be selling vehicles from the brands at all.

The Lincoln president noted that, while Lincoln will not be offering the same buyout program as Cadillac and Buick, dealers should still expect to make changes as electric vehicles become the norm.

Nonetheless, the sentiment is evident from many dealers; they don’t want to sell or invest in electric vehicles.

With Lincoln’s meeting with dealers coming up in October of this year, Lincoln might look to introduce a similar system to their Ford parent company. Although Ms. Falotico noted that the tiered system that Ford has put in place with their dealers would likely not be the same as the Lincoln system, “I don’t see us needing to have a multiple-tiered approach because we’re a smaller brand,” she noted.

Lincoln’s future dealership plan remains a mystery, but the President is likely correct in assuming more dealership losses before the end of the year. But this could prove to be a pivot point for the brand. Lincoln has long needed a rejuvenation of some kind, and this could be the opportunity and shakeup they have been looking for.

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EV transition could close 600 Lincoln dealerships nationwide
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