Ford revealed the plan to 900 Lincoln dealers during a closed-door meeting Tuesday. Dealer Ramon Alvarez says Ford has identified 130 market areas where Lincoln has the best chance. It plans to reduce the 500 dealerships in those areas by 35 percent. It also will make cuts to the 700 dealers outside those metropolitan areas.
Alvarez owns a Lincoln, Mercury and Jaguar dealership in Riverside, Calif. He says the plan will help remaining dealers be more profitable and allow them to invest more in showrooms. Alvarez says Ford wants dealers to upgrade services and offer perks like delivery of vehicles to buyers' homes.
Lincoln sales peaked in 1990 at 231,660 vehicles, according to Ward's. Last year, the brand sold 82,847.