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lincoln to cut 40 percent of dealers picture

Ford is hoping to move Lincoln up the automotive ladder, and in order to accomplish this goal, the company will cut at least 200 dealers, mostly in major metropolitan areas.

"The future direction of the Lincoln ownership experience has been charted on a joint basis between Ford Motor and select dealer representatives," spokesman Christian Bokich told Automotive News. "It is important that Lincoln dealers are the first to hear about this information from the company."

Ford’s luxury brand currently has 1,221 U.S. stores, with around 276 stand-along Lincoln-Mercury dealers. Up to 40 percent of these dealers will be cut, as Lexus, the nation’s leading luxury brand, has just 236 stores. Maybe Lincoln should be cutting 40 percent of its chrome as well.

The company currently ranks eighth among luxury brands and should sell around 83,000 vehicles in 2010. With so many dealers, the company sells fewer cars per outlet than any other luxury brand. Ford hopes that these cuts will help that statistic.

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