By on June 4, 2013

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Lincoln is cutting their free maintenance program in half, from 4 years/50,000 miles to 2 years/24,000 miles.

Automotive News reports that dealers were informed of the change last month.

In a May 6 memo sent to dealers, Lincoln said the revised program “complements short-term 24-month leases.” In a statement, Lincoln said the new program is “competitive with other luxury brands.” Jaguar and Volvo also recently cut back their complimentary maintenance programs.

Some dealers expressed disappointment over Lincoln’s decision, but Rhode Island dealer principal told AN that most Lincolns are leased for between 2-3 years, and the move wouldn’t have a great effect on his business. But given Lincoln’s supposed push for industry-leading customer service, it’s puzzling why Lincoln would decide to cut the program so drastically. It’s not just the Germans who offer 4 year maintenance packages either – Cadillac does it too.

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52 Comments on “Lincoln Cuts Free Maintenance Program In Half...”


  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    We will look back on this day and know this was the beginning of the end for Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      You might be right. What this says to everyone is that Ford has given up on Lincoln, and not willing to stand by the brand. So why should the consumers believe in the brand and buy Lincoln? I predict it will go the way of the DeSoto and join brother Edsel before too long.

      For comparison, Hyundai still have its long warranty, even though their car’s not the unreliable junk it used to be. You could argue that their products today can stand on its own, and don’t really need the long warranty program anymore. What the warranty’s saying today is basically that Hyundai believes in its product, and willing to stand behind it. This decision by Ford basically says the opposite.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        This isn’t a reduction in the warranty for Lincoln. Re-read the article.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        Gents… they’re not cutting the WARRANTY, they’re cutting the “Free Maintenence” perk. Oil changes, tires, wiper blades, bulbs, etc. used to all be free.

        I disagree that this is the ‘end of Lincoln’. Stay tuned for Cadillac do do the same thing.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          To be fair, the average customer loosely perceives the warranty as a free maintenance program, even when it’s expired.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Sadly you’re right danio. We even had a lady want her accident car fixed free because of the bumper to bumper warranty. $12,000 in damage mind you.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            What do you do when the customer is that much of a moron, MBella? How do you let them down easy?

            CoastieLenn — does Lincoln cover wear-items like tires, wiper blades, and bulbs? That would be novel.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Most people think that stone chips are warrantable too. The reasoning usually follows along the lines of the paint not being strong enough to resist gravel truck accidents and how that is somehow a defect.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I agree with you. It’s a desperate move to save a little bit of cash, as customers turn to longer warrantied, better reputed, and more highly supported marques.

  • avatar
    segfault

    With the oil life monitor that is standard on most new Fords, the “free” maintenance probably amounts to 2-3 oil changes and tire rotations.

    Then again, Mercedes doesn’t include any maintenance at all, and Audi only comps the first service.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      So if it’s only those couple services, this cutting of the free maintenance won’t be saving them much money.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        Most “high end brands” can’t leave the dealer for less than $150-$200 for an oil change, tire rotation, xx-point inspection and any other superfluous tidbits. If they save $450 per car for those two axed years (figure $225 per year)… multiply that by ~150,000 vehicles (very rough estimate for two years) sold- You have roughly $67,500,000.

        That’s not “not saving them much money”.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You’re counting the end price the customer pays as the same cost the manufacturer/dealer is saving by not providing the free service. That’s fallacy.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            And oil changes at a Lincoln dealer don’t cost $150. I take my two Fords to a Lincoln dealer for service. One every 7500 miles and the other every 10000 miles. My cost is usally $29.95 (With $10 off coupon I tend to get weekly) for an oil change, tire rotation, inspection, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            CoastieLenn

            Even if it cost the manufacturer/dealer only 10% of that number (which is equally untrue, its much greater than that- but for the sake of arguement….) it would still result in $6.75M saved. That’s like not having to pay thier CEO and CFO’s!

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          Plus, these programs are not ‘free’ The cost of them are built into the price of the vehicle.

          Lincoln isn’t backing out on what they already gave to their customers…this isn’t a retroactive change to someone who already took delivery.

          I don’t know for sure, but I would imagine this change takes place with the 2014MY.

  • avatar
    morbo

    No. The beginning of the end was when Cadillac brought the Gen 1 CTS, stunned the world with design and content backed with excellent marketing; Trinity engaging in automotive battle with the Twins in their Escalade still ranks as greatest automotive sequence of my generation.

    Lincoln’s response. Crickets. Oh and we’ll cancel the LS, NOT bring out a T-Bird based Mark 9, and let Volvo/Jaguar/Land/Rover/Aston do the heavy lifting. Town Cars, navigators, and fancy Fusions for us!

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      What are you saying? Please rewrite this in readable English.

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        Here, let me translate for you.

        Herpa derpa derp, herpa derpa derpa.

        TL:DR

        CTS was a great car backed by excellent marketing from The Matrix movies. Lincoln failed to take advantage of quality platforms available to them in the mid 2000’s to field a viable competitor.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “Lincoln failed to take advantage of quality platforms available to them in the mid 2000′s to field a viable competitor.”

          This is correct but in fairness this was probably because of the near bankruptcy Ford was under in 2005/06/07 prior to Mullally.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Its been nothing but sadness for Lincoln for the last decade. I want to buy a Lincoln, but I can’t justify the purchase of an MKZ compared to a Fusion. In order to get similar equipment in an MKZ to a loaded Fusion Titanium, you have to START at $42000. Maybe you get the THX sound system and a couple other things, but I lose headroom and legroom.

      I could consider buying a $42000 Lincoln if it a RWD/AWD midsized car with the 3.5 Ecoboost or Coyote V8. It can even have an automatic transmission, I don’t care. I’d place a dang order today.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You can have a 1 year old MKS (or a 2013 with 20K miles on it), which fits every bill you just asked for. Hop to it.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Touche. The new ones are in the high 40s even with A-plan. I’ll have to look at the off lease cars at the nearby Lincoln dealer.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It looks good in navy or their cinnamon red metallic color, or perhaps graphite. The lighter colors reveal the body panel lines (lines which also collect road dirt badly in winter).

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        The MKS feels smaller inside then the Fusion.

        Having bought an 06 Fusion for family, test drove an ’11 MKS, and ultimately buying an ’11 300C, the MKS isn’t class competitive at it’s price point on technology, size, or driveability.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Like I’ve been saying for a while, even if Lincoln is cash-strapped, it could START by not having the same key-fobs, instrument panels and general interfaces as Ford. Even if the technology underlying it all was the same, they could at least bother to make it look special for their premium brand.

        And if I had to pay $42,000 for a FWD-based sedan, I’d be looking really hard at the Lexus ES 350, or better yet, a really nice Toyota Avalon.

  • avatar
    kitzler

    you are correct Seg, some Germans are not generous, but being able to just have an annual oil change is a big plus, the Japanese still require a 5-6K mile service interval. My Audi does not use a drop of oil in 10K miles, my Lexus oil thirst varied from 1qt to 1.5 Pts every 5K miles.

    Regarding Bertel’s article on the sinking German sales, hopefully this will mean they will send more vehicles Stateside, at least we may have a better inventory to choose from! These lost sales must be psychological, I don’t remember German unemployment figures being that low ever.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I can tell you one thing having several of these 10K service interval engines apart. Even though they hold up, they are very dirty inside by 40-50K miles and by 100k the compression readings do seem to be a bit lower than they should. The 5-6K intervals seem to be more on the money, and the interval I would do oil changes at if I owned one. Do you think the Germans use some special unobtainium that the Japanese haven’t yet discovered?

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Future customers won’t notice because there aren’t that many to begin with. So it’s a management win! Right?!?

  • avatar
    lowsodium

    Those 5 old people are going to be angry.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    They still make Lincoln? How about Mercury?

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I’m sorry, just to be clear, we’re talking about The Lincoln Motor Company? Right?

    Oh, ok, thanks.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    Exactly. Their sales are dropping, customer base shrinking, so let’s give them ANOTHER reason not to buy our product. Ford brilliance strikes again.

    John

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I applaud Ford’s efforts to kill Lincoln. They are close to overtaking GM in total sales with only one living brand. I think they could really shake up the marketing world by succeeding with a model line that stretches from Fiesta fleet cars through Fusion Energi sedans and cowboy Cadillacs to various silly money Mustangs.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      No to mention another recall.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Ford should not exist today. Its name, the blue oval should be burned and buried. Memory should be erased. That guy Henry was personal friend of Hitler after all and supported anti-Jewish campaigns.

    But that MKZ thing is nice. So what I was saying? Lets destroy Ford and leave Lincoln. Even without 4 year maintenance plan

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      Henry Ford was an anti-Semite, true. Henry Ford also paid a fair wage for Black workers and immigrant workers, despite the opposition of the white ‘native’ majority workers of his time.

      You take the good with the bad. It’s not GM’s hands are clean, since they built thousands of bombers for the Luftewaffe and untold other machinery for the Nazi war effort. ALMOST every major US Multinational from the 1930’s has blood on their hands due to Nazi-era divisions.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    Most luxury buyers don’t select cars based upon free maintenance; Mercedes and Lexus offer nothing but still vie for the number one sales spot each year.

    It’s definitely not nothing, though; our local Lexus dealer charges $400 for their glorified oil change.

  • avatar
    kjb911

    Since a majority of Lincolns are leased for the 24 month plan does this really matter?

    My Focus is scheduled for 10,000mi oil changes and can’t imagine the Lincoln any different which for most would work out to an oil change a year. Coupled to a fact that the average oil change/tire rotation from quicklane comes out to 42.00 after tax I figure most people won’t even bat an eye. This is unless Ford decides that just because it’s a Lincoln it needs a higher priced oil change for the same service…

    most cars do not have a major service within their plans and one of the most profound (correct me if I’m wrong) is VW’s fluid change for the DSG falls right after the service plan ends which is a serious chunk of change…

    Hell I had no idea my Focus had a service plan for the first 24,000 when I bought it

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    The MKZ in the picture looks very bulbous and overinflated. I’m not feeling it.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    I saw a new Lincoln the other day and must say it looks much better in person than in the pictures. Remember, the new designer of new Lincols to come used to work for Cadillac. Look what he did for them.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Yeah, he ruined both brands *rimshot*

      Well in the case of Lincoln, it was pretty much DOA when he got there.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      You’re right; it does look better in person. But the styling is still very hit-or-miss. Since great styling can often make a car an instant success, Lincoln needs a design triumph…like the 2013 Ford Fusion or 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That’s definitely not going to boost sales. You get a better deal from snobby BMW (although the local Bimmer dealership where I live is very unhelpful—and won’t provide a loaner—if you didn’t buy the vehicle from them.)

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Not to quibble, but if most leases are 2-3 years, then what is the cost of keeping the 4-yr maintenance program?

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Ford is a crap company, I know this from personal experience with a family member with recent dealings with them. Their product is total crap and their corporate is run by monkeys. They had my family members 2 year old car in service for 2 months straight and would not lemon law it and only compensated him for one month worth of payments. He was going to buy a brand new MKZ, he just bought a brand new fully loaded Azera last week and is happy and still has another 2 new cars to buy before the end of the year. He will never touch Ford or Lincoln products ever again.

    So when Lincoln eventually dies, you will know why, it will be because of horrible customer service from Ford corporate and poor reliability of their cars.


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