Lincoln won't buy out EV-reluctant dealers

Lincoln won't buy out dealers who don't want to sell electric cars like GM.

The automaker will sell three EVs by 2025 and a fourth by 2026. Lincoln will likely end 2022 with under 600 retailers, says president Joy Falotico. That's down from 685 last year and from over 1,000 five years ago.

General Motors bought out one-third of Cadillac dealerships unwilling to invest in electric vehicle equipment as part of its plan to electrify its brands and vehicles. It recently bought out Buick dealerships. Lincoln won't.

Falotico told Auto News they don't plan a buyout program. "Every year, we evaluate our network to see if we have the right dealers in the right markets with the right focus. 

As we move to EVs and see more concentration, dealers will have to decide if the investment makes sense. It's up to them whether to use the Lincoln brand.

Ford's retail network must choose between two investment levels to become EV-certified. They must do so by Oct. 31 if they want 2024-2026 EV certification. Falotico said Lincoln hasn't finalized dealer plans.

"We're not Ford," she said. "As a smaller brand, I don't see us needing multiple tiers. We're still determining timing. Given our lineup, we expect to need to move quickly. We're not on Ford's schedule."