Question: Lincoln automobiles the luxury car division of the Ford Motor
Lincoln automobiles, the luxury car division of the Ford Motor Company has fallen on hard times in recent years. Over the decade from 2000 to 2010, Lincoln fell from the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S. all the way down to number eight. Further many consumers who buy luxury cars such as Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Cadillac never consider purchasing a Lincoln product. Ford is now looking to revive and rejuvenate its Lincoln division to position it as a real competitor to the current foreign and domestic luxury cars. But Ford believes achieving this new upgraded position involves not just introducing better and more exciting cars; there is also a channel problem—too many Lincoln dealers and too few that have the kind of upscale facilities and service capabilities that can provide the kind of customer experience luxury automobile buyers expect. Ford estimates that it will need to cut some 200 dealers from the current 1,200 and that many of the remaining dealers will have to spend something in the neighborhood of $2 million each to upgrade their dealerships. Discuss the concept of the “customer experience” in terms of the role played by the product versus the channels through which it is sold.
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