Lincoln is going all out in its bid to redefine itself as a luxury automobile. Last week in Detroit a meeting of 120 Lincoln dealers met with Ford's leadership team, including CEO Alan Mulally, to discuss the rebuilding of the brand and ideas for the future. Ford has promised a $1 billion investment towards the Lincoln brand, with 7 new or refreshed models expected to be on the way. Each Lincoln dealer is expected to upgrade their showrooms by $1 million.
The expectation for Lincoln-Ford dealers was double. If the dealers don't follow through with the renovations Ford will maintain the right to revoke their franchise. The overhaul is expected to be in by 2015, with sales this year expected to fall under 80,000. "We talked about the product and the experience and our commitment to make Lincoln a world-class luxury brand," said spokesman Christian Bokich. "We have seven new or significantly refreshed vehicles coming out in the next three years."
Ford is hoping to bring their numbers up above the 150,000 mark for 2015. For a company hoping to compete with other premiuim brands such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes this remains quite a challenge. While its chief competitors have dealerships in mostly large cities, Ford has 1,100 Lincoln dealerships in America with the majority of those are located in urban markets.