More than a third of U.S. Lincoln dealerships have opted out of a certification plan to sell electric cars as part of the luxury brand’s EV shift, Automotive News reported Friday.
Following the example of parent company Ford, in October 2022 Lincoln asked its dealers to invest in upgrades to sell electric vehicles or phase out the brand. According to Automotive News, Lincoln now has 356 of its approximately 600 dealerships, representing about 88% of its sales volume, committed to this electric future.
Of those dealerships ready to make the EV leap, about 90% are in the country’s top 130 luxury markets, according to the report. Each dealer has to spend about $900,000 on charging equipment, including DC fast chargers and seven Level 2 240-volt AC chargers, as well as other costs such as training. Dealers outside of this group will have to shell out $500,000 for a DC fast charger and four Level 2 units.
Lincoln Star concept
The 59% of Lincoln dealerships that have chosen to make these investments is lower than the two-thirds of Ford dealerships that have chosen that brand’s EV program. Lincoln dealers who also have Ford franchises must invest in both programs to sell electric vehicles for both brands, Automotive News noted.
The response from Lincoln dealers is similar to that of rival Cadillac, which is also slated for an EV shift. General Motors offered buyouts to Cadillac dealers (and Buick dealers) who didn’t participate in its EV plan, which also requires investments in charging equipment. About a third of Cadillac dealerships chose to embrace the acquisitions rather than sell electric vehicles. GM wants both Cadillac and Buick to be all-electric by the end of the decade.
2023 Lincoln aviator
Both Ford and Lincoln sign up dealerships to sell electric vehicles for specific periods. Lincoln’s first enrollment period ran through December 15, 2022. Dealers who have not enrolled will have no opportunity to return to the Lincoln brand until a second enrollment period begins in 2026.
Dealers who don’t sign up will have to stop selling Lincolns if the brand moves to electric vehicles. Lincoln does not currently sell EVs, but plans to launch three worldwide by 2025, add a fourth by 2026, and account for nearly 90% of its North American sales volume in EVs by 2030, according to Automotive News.