Blog messages with the tag 'Lincoln':
Everyone has heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” However, Ford Motor Company seems to be doing just that.
At a meeting held in Detroit last week, Ford CEO Alan Mulally told the Lincoln dealers present that they had two years to complete $1 million worth of renovations on their showrooms. If dealers have joint Ford and Lincoln dealerships, then it’s worth it to dish out $1.9 million on restorations.
And although some Lincoln dealers might welcome this ultimatum, those in disagreement really have no other choice. Ford plans on reclaiming franchises that refuse to invest in refurbishments, taking over the dealerships and providing compensation for the out of work dealers. It really is a “take it or leave it” arrangement.
The reason for all this hubbub is Ford’s wish to revamp its only remaining luxury brand, Lincoln. Ford projects its U.S. Lincoln sales will balloon from the 86,000 units sold in 2010 to 162,000 by 2015. Redesigned models of the Lincoln MKS sedan, MKT crossover, and MKZ hybrid will bring more appeal and shine to the revamped showrooms in 2013. But the showroom overhaul is the first step in making Lincoln a more appealing luxury brand.
But Ford is interested in more than just improving its dealerships; it wants to make them exclusive as well. Indeed, the ultimatum only applies to urban dealers at this time. Dealerships who can’t afford the pricey makeover are simply given the boot.
Ford is using this tactic to decrease the number of Lincoln dealers specifically in the top 130 U.S. markets, where 55 percent of its business is derived from. At the close of February, 434 Lincoln dealers were in the top 130 markets. By the end of this year, Ford wants that number to dwindle to 325.
Thus that Lincoln dealer you see when you drive to work or pass on your way home may soon be victim to a grim fate. Or maybe it will be one of the lucky ones, given a new coat of paint and freshly laid carpet. In the eyes of Ford, it seems that either way is fine.
Many factors weigh in to determine Forbes’ list of Safest Cars for 2011. First, all cars had to be chosen as a 2011 “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Second, in order to create a list exclusively made up of cars, all trucks, vans, SUVs, and crossovers were removed. Then, any models that did not receive a perfect score of “good” on every IIHS crash test were removed.
The four crash tests include; front-, side-, and rear-crash tests as well as a rollover test. The front test includes a 40-mph frontal offset crash that measures how well the car’s restraint system controlled the dummy’s movement during the crash. The side tests are based on crashes where the side of the vehicle is hit by an object moving at 31 mph. The rear-crash test measures the dummy’s neck pressure when they are hit from behind by an object moving at 20 mph. The rollover test, tests the strength of the roof when a metal plate is pushed against the roof at a rate of 0.2 inches per second. To get a “good” rating on the rollover test, the roof must withstand a force four times greater than the vehicles weight before reaching five inches of crush.
After all the tests had been completed and the numbers were calculated, Forbes’ named these vehicles as the safest cars in 2011:
• BMW 5-Series
• Buick LaCrosse
• Cadillac CTS Sedan
• Chevrolet Cruze
• Lincoln MKS
• Mercedes C-Class
• Mercedes E-Class Sedan
• Subaru Legacy
• Subaru Outback