Lincoln Coronavirus Financial ...

Jeff Youngs | April 24, 2020

While Lincoln represents a mere 5% of parent Ford Motor Company’s (Ford) overall sales, the brand serves a vital role for the automaker. With a focus on luxury, technology, and design, Lincoln is positioned as the aspirational brand in Ford’s two-marque lineup. To be sure, Lincoln’s two newest models – the Aviator and Corsair SUVs – embody all that Lincoln is trying to be right now. If you’re not sure what that is, watch this recent promotional spot.

Lincoln Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

In the same spirit of providing a boost to parent Ford, Lincoln has rolled out several programs designed to boost the spirits and economic wellbeing of both existing and new customers that find themselves struggling in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. To help out, the company is offering payment relief as well as 0% (APR) financing.

In addition to the Lincoln customer relief efforts, Ford has announced a number of initiatives to help in the fight against the coronavirus. Highlights include:

  • Directing more than $500,000 to nonprofit groups and supporting food delivery to seniors and kids.
  • Working with 3M to manufacture Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs).
  • In partnership with GE Healthcare, expanding production of ventilators, with the ability to produce 30,000 a month.
  • In cooperation with the UAW, assembling more than 100,000 plastic face shields per week.
  • In collaboration with the UAW, producing face masks for internal use globally and pursuing certification for medical use.
  • With supplier Joyson Safety Systems, leading efforts to manufacture reusable gowns from airbag materials.
  • Lending its manufacturing support to help produce COVID-19 collection kits for patient testing.

Learn more about what Ford Motor Company is doing to aid in the fight against coronavirus and COVID-19.

Lincoln Customer Relief Programs

Like most other car companies, Lincoln is offering coronavirus car payment plans to help those customers in need of a little extra time.

Existing customers that financed or leased through Lincoln Automotive Financial Services (LAFS) can take advantage of payment deferrals. To learn more about payment deferrals and discuss options, customers are advised to visit LAFS. Alternatively, a special hotline phone number provides access to help at 1-800-723-4016.

Additionally, LAFS is offering to customers who buy a new vehicle the option to defer the first payment for up to 120 days. The offer is valid on purchases made through April 30, 2020 and does not apply to leases.

Lincoln dealers are also taking extra steps to ensure customer safety and a streamlined buying process. From extra vehicle cleaning to remote sales experiences to pickup and delivery for service (where available), Lincoln retailers are striving to make the sales and service experience more pleasant and reassuring.

 
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Lincoln New Car Incentives

In addition to its already existing new-vehicle incentives, qualified buyers who finance through Lincoln Automotive Financial Services can get 0% (APR) financing for up to 72 months, depending on the model. Cash and owner loyalty rebates are also available, as well as lease specials. Contact your local Lincoln retailer or LAFS for more details.

Lincoln is also making it easier to shop from home. Potential customers can schedule an appointment on the automaker’s consumer website, and a Lincoln product specialist will provide a personalized, one-on-one virtual product tour of the Aviator or Corsair SUVs. The automaker anticipates soon adding the Navigator to the list.

Lincoln Factory Closures

As the coronavirus reached the U.S. in full effect in early March, Ford began taking extra precautions to protect its workers.

As of March 16, all employees that could were ordered to work remotely. Days later, on March 19, Ford temporarily suspended production in Europe. Meanwhile, as of March 23, all North American manufacturing facilities were halted until March 30 for cleaning and sanitizing. Just one day later, on March 24, Ford announced the March 30 date would be extended indefinitely.

Ford had announced plans to restart production at select plants in North America as early as April 6, but those plans were scrapped. No date was set for restarting production in Europe, but Ford has said that it will be at least May 4 before cars start rolling off the assembly line once again.

On April 14, Ford is planning to start building vehicles at its Dearborn Truck Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant, Kansas City Assembly Plant’s Transit line, and the Ohio Assembly Plant.

Lincoln Economic Outlook & Sales Forecast

With sales of 25,561 units, Lincoln (+2.3%) was one of only four brands to post a U.S. sales increase during the first quarter of 2020. While the relatively low unit count may not seem all that newsworthy, the automaker is quick to point out that retail sales were up 6.9%. Clearly, in the current environment, that’s a win.

The increase was led by Lincoln’s two new SUVs – the two-row Corsair, which replaced the outgoing MKC, and the three-row Aviator. Despite the boost from Lincoln, overall sales at Ford Motor Company were down 12.5% compared to the first quarter of last year.

With SUVs as popular as ever and, at least for now, reasonable gas prices available nationwide, Lincoln is well positioned to weather this storm and be in a strong position for when demand returns to something resembling normal. The brand is even working with Rivian to produce an all-new electric vehicle, which will further expand the brand’s portfolio and appeal.

As for the industry as a whole, there is no doubt the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll. Prior to the virus’s spread, J.D. Power forecasted annual sales of 16.9 million units for 2020. The company has since revised the forecast to between 12.2 million and 14.8 million, depending on the length of the economic shut-down.

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