Canada’s 43 Lincoln dealers are wooing prospective buyers with 24 and 48-hour test drives and a $100 dinner voucher for a night on the town courtesy of Ford Canada.
“When you say Lincoln, people think only of the Town Car even though it hasn't been built in quite a while,” said Christine Hollander, product communications manager at Lincoln Motor Company. She said the brand was not marketed aggressively.
Everything changed seven years ago, when Ford got rid of its other luxury brands and poured millions of dollars into Lincoln.
One half of the Lincoln approach is about the vehicles — new models, aggressive designs and technology upgrades. The second half of the approach is one-on-one, executive-level service for buyers.
While Ford calls the “reinvention strategy” voluntary for its dealers, any who declined to go through the training or to make investments in their showrooms will not be selling Lincolns.
According to Hollander, 90 per cent of Canadian dealers have either finished or started renovations. She said the company is targeting “cultural progressives.”
“They are accomplished, open-minded, influential, early adopters and thought leaders,” said Hollander.
The Hamilton Spectator says the Lincoln training began with a stark warning: If you can't sell Lincolns to younger buyers, the business is at risk.
But there is huge opportunity, said Hollander.
Spending on luxury in Canada is expected to grow 25 per cent over the next few years.
With files from the Hamilton Spectator and AP.