Lincoln to provide free pickup, delivery for service vehicles

0DETROIT — Lincoln, in a bid to stand out among larger luxury brands, today said it will provide free pickup and delivery of service vehicles to new owners starting with 2017 models.

The company will pick up a customer’s car at any location, leave a Lincoln of equal or greater value to use as a loaner, and then return the owner’s car after work on it is finished.

Lincoln Service Valet will be part of the vehicle’s warranty coverage and available throughout the U.S.

“It’s the single most important item we’ve done in some time,” said Ed Witt, owner of Witt Lincoln in San Diego. “For customers today, one of the things that they value the most is their time. This is a process by which the Lincoln dealers and the Lincoln Motor Co. can eliminate people’s needs to come to the dealer for almost anything.”

A strong consumer response to the program would add to Lincoln’s momentum. New products have helped boost U.S. sales 15 percent through May, making it one of the fastest-growing automotive brands. Yet it remains in eighth place among luxury marques, behind European and Japanese rivals as well as General Motors’ Cadillac.

Lincoln says it is the first automotive brand to offer pickup and delivery as a standard service across its full product line.

Dave Sullivan, a product analyst with AutoPacific, said that while some brands do that for higher-end models or at participating dealers, Lincoln’s service puts it in “uncharted territory,” which is a good step for a brand that fell off the radar of many luxury-car buyers.

“There’s too many brands copying each other,” said Sullivan, who was briefed on the plan. “It’s time for some of these brands to think outside the box in terms of how to up their service game.”