Ford telling Lincoln dealers it will improve MKZ supply image

Ford executives provided updated shipping information on the MKZ sedan to frustrated Lincoln dealers during a Sunday meeting at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo.

Earlier this month, Ford said Lincoln sales fell 18 percent in January because of a shortage of the MKZ sedan. Ford’s luxury brand sold less than 4,200 vehicles last month, of which only 453 were MKZs. According to Ford execs, Lincoln won’t have a full stock of MKZ cars until early April. Lincoln executives said on Sunday they expect to solve the MKZ stock problem by the end of the first quarter.

Dealers are frustrated by the lack of inventory because customers want the cars, Don Chalmers, a Ford and Lincoln dealer from Rio Rancho, New Mexico, was quoted as saying by the Detroit Free Press. “The morale is really about information, what’s coming, what’s happening. We have their enthusiasm, we have their confidence and we have their wonderful feedback,” said Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln marketing, sales and service, about the carmaker’s communication with dealers.

Ford is frustrated too by the MKZ delay, but said it won’t speed up production at the expense of quality. „Building a brand is all about putting a foundation in and that’s why we’re taking so much time to get the quality right,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service for Lincoln and Ford.