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DATE News (chronologically)
10/05/10
automotive
Ford to close hundreds of Lincoln dealerships
Ford Motor Co. plans to eliminate more than a third of its Lincoln dealers as part of its effort to revive the luxury brand, according to a dealer who attended a closed-door meeting Tuesday.

Ford revealed the plan to its 1,100 Lincoln dealers at the meeting in Dearborn. Ramon Alvarez, who owns a Lincoln, Mercury and Jaguar dealership in Riverside, Calif., said Ford has identified 130 market areas where the brand has the best chance. It plans to consolidate its dealerships into those areas.

He said the plan will help remaining dealers be more profitable and allow them to invest more in showrooms. Alvarez said Ford wants dealers to upgrade services and offer perks like delivery of vehicles to buyers' homes.

"You have to be optimistic about these things," he said. But he acknowledged the move will be tough for rural dealers and those outside the market areas.

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