Lincoln will let retailers decide if they want to invest in transitioning to electric vehicles, and has no plans for buyouts, as some automakers have offered to dealers. - IMAGE: Lincoln Media

Lincoln will let retailers decide if they want to invest in transitioning to electric vehicles, and has no plans for buyouts, as some automakers have offered to dealers.

IMAGE: Lincoln Media

Lincoln’s transition to electric vehicles is coming with an industry accessory: an increasingly smaller dealer network.

Though it anticipates the number of its dealerships will drop by more than 12% this year from 2021 to less than 600, Lincoln plans no buyout program like other automakers have introduced, including Buick and Cadillac.

“We continue every year to work on the network and say, 'Do we have the right dealers in the right markets with the right focus?' Lincoln President Joy Falotico told Automotive News at the Detroit auto show this week.

“Certainly, as we go to EVs and we see that concentration, that will create another opportunity for dealers to decide if the investment makes sense for them or if it doesn't. It will be completely up to them if they want to proceed with the Lincoln brand … With EVs, no matter how you look at it, that’s going to be an investment for our dealers, so it’s a choice they have to make."

Lincoln plans to meet with dealers early next month to discuss EV sales requirements.

The automaker plans to introduce three battery-electric vehicles by 2025, followed by a fourth in 2026.

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