Tired of the traditional dealership experience? Lincoln understands your problem.
There’s nothing worse than spending your day at an uncomfortable dealership, negotiating prices and signing papers for hours on end. That’s why Lincoln is introducing a new line of boutique-style dealerships, called the Vitrine dealerships, which are set to change the name of the car buying game.
That’s part of Lincoln’s future growth, which also includes a host of electrified vehicles. We’ll talk about those in a minute, but let’s focus on this new dealership first.
A Luxury-Defined Experience
When you’re buying a luxury car, it would make sense that the experience of purchasing the vehicle should be as luxurious as the vehicle itself — but in America, you’re more likely to find fast-talking salespeople looking to make a commission, not someone there to give you a full, comfortable experience to the best of their ability. But that’s what Lincoln wants with the Vitrine dealerships.
A vitrine is a glass display case, the kind you’d see storing precious relics in the Louvre. The name was chosen to echo the sentiments of the dealerships: creating a unique, one-of-a-kind experience that you’ll cherish as much as an ancient artifact. That includes transforming the dealership into something more akin to a modern hotel lobby, with soft lighting, contemporary furniture, and high-quality food and beverages.
Lincoln announced last week that over one-third of its sales have been conducted online over the past year. People just aren’t interested in physically going to a dealership to make a purchase anymore, in part because the experience of doing so can be exhausting. The boutique-style dealerships are here to help cater to that experience. You’ll be able to physically see Lincoln’s vehicles and make a digital purchase, but you can do so in a comfortable location with a host of Lincoln representatives available to answer your questions. It will also serve as a location for customers to drop off their vehicles for service. You can do most of your research, scheduling, and designing online, but the physical location still exists in case that wasn’t enough.
Right now, there are 28 Vitrine dealerships across America. Lincoln’s goal is to add another 50.
An Electrified Future
As with most brands, Lincoln is turning to electrification as its future business strategy. People want electric or hybrid vehicles, so Lincoln will provide four new battery electric vehicles — or, what we recognize as fully-electric cars, ones that run solely off battery power instead of gasoline — starting next year, with an even larger goal of having a majority of its lineup fall under the zero-emissions category by 2026.
“You typically see luxury clients more as tech adopters and certainly with the propulsion paired with that connectivity and that intelligence you get in the vehicle and those digital experiences, it makes sense we’re seeing that,” said Lincoln President Joy Falotico said during a virtual news conference last week. “It’s going to be a transition period, and we want to make sure we have what clients want.”
The company is pretty sparse on the details right now; we’re not going to hear more about what, exactly, these vehicles will be for a while. But we can anticipate these new models will likely be based around Lincoln’s anchor models, like the Corsair, Nautilus, Aviator, and Navigator. They’ll all be based on the same chassis.
Updated Tech for an Updated Brand
Coinciding with Lincoln’s electrification is the addition of a suite of new technologies, with the Lincoln Intelligence System serving as its base. This will be a cloud-based infotainment system, which means that it’s constantly able to pull new data. That means you’ll always see the most recent traffic situation while you’re driving, and you’ll also have access to all of Lincoln’s over-the-air updates to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly.
It’s also going to include the following:
- Apple CarPlay
- Digital Alexa assistant
- Digital owner’s manual
- Security alerts sent right to your phone
- Hands-free driving assistance features that will utilize sensors and radar to let drivers take their hands off the wheel in certain, pre-mapped zones
It’s going to be a very promising future for Ford’s luxury brand, indeed.