The latest assault on the franchise system comes from Ford as they place their Lincoln dealers squarely in the crosshairs. Lincoln has informed their dealers that they plan to eliminate the holdback payment which has been a standard practice for the franchise several decades. Ford indicated they made the decision in part because other luxury OEMs like Audi and BMW do not pay their dealers holdback.
Ford also says that Lincoln dealers will have an opportunity to earn additional Dealer Cash payments if they meet a variety of available programs (jump through all their “hoops”). Ford has made the programs needlessly complex. Ford will have four Dealer Cash programs for their dealers:
• Lincoln Commitment Program - Phase 1: Pays 2.75% of Invoice for Lincoln dealers who meet signage, training and customer initiative requirements - e.g. washing customer service cars.The “frosting on the cake” is that Lincoln's going to raise the invoice price of their vehicles 1% to pay for their new programs but MSRP pricing will remain the same. There goes another percent of the ever shrinking Dealer Margin.
• Lincoln Commitment Program - Phase 2: Pays an additional 1% of Invoice for Lincoln dealers who meet additional training requirements and manage to provide 70+% of their Internet Leads with a quality response within 12 hours.
• Lincoln CPOV Incentive - Pays 2% of all new Lincolns Invoiced per quarter if a dealer meets Lincoln's CPOV sales target.
• Lincoln CPOV Incentive - Pays a flat fee for each CPOV vehicle based on some other (not reported) criteria.
Ford indicated they've been working with their Dealer Council concerning these changes. I would love to hear the view of Dealer Council representatives who think these changes are good for the Lincoln brand or the franchise.
NADA has sent Ford a letter regarding this matter urging them to reconsider. NADA's Task Force on Facility Image Programs and Multi-Tier Pricing has taken this issue up on their agenda as well.
Do you think the other manufacturers are watching this issue closely? Do you think any of them would love to eliminate dealer holdback? Perhaps we should start a pool on which manufacturer follows suit and when it will happen. Keep an eye on this.
National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation Helps Victims of Hurricane Sandy
The National Automobile Dealers Association has pledged $1 million to jump-start a national fund-raising campaign for the Emergency Relief Fund of the association’s charitable foundation. The Emergency Relief Fund provides assistance to dealership employees that are affected by natural disasters.
The SDADA board of directors voted to contribute $2,500 to the Emergency Relief Fund at the November meeting in Huron. Trace Beck generously volunteered to match the $2,500 SDADA contribution.
Beck Motors and Wegner Auto had employees benefit from the NADACF Emergency Relief Fund last summer when Pierre was flooded by the Missouri River.
Since 1992, the Emergency Relief Fund has provided nearly $5 million to more than 7,700 dealership employees.
If you are looking for ways to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, the NADACF is a great tool for that purpose. I urge you to consider contributing. Please contact me if you have questions.