Lincoln’s New Maintenance Program Is Not So Luxurious

In a move that has surprised Ford Motor Co’s (NYSE:F) Lincoln dealers and consumers, the company announced that it will start cutting back on its complimentary maintenance program beginning with its 2014 models, according to a report from Autoblog Wednesday.

While Lincoln’s complimentary scheduled maintenance program initially promised customers four-year/50,000-mile service, it is now cutting that down to two years and 24,000 miles, following a similar move from Jaguar and Volvo who have also reduced the length of time that they pledge to offer maintenance.

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According to a May 6 memo Lincoln sent to dealers, highlighted by Automotive News,  the move will “[complement] short-term 24-month leases.” However, the new program was not well received by all as many believe it will only serve to disappoint current customers and change the way they view the brand.

And amid a time when Lincoln is working to distinguish itself as an appealing luxury brand again, the move confuses many, including Paul Mercer, general manager of Diffee Ford-Lincoln in El Reno, Okla., who said, “They want to set themselves apart and find a niche in the luxury market. That’s sending the wrong message, in my opinion.”

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Regardless, Lincoln maintains that the new program will help them be competitive with other luxury brands, especially as they work to focus on short-term leases.

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