By Nat Shirley
Tuesday, Jun 4th, 2013 @ 5:36 pm
 
Lincoln currently offers one of the most generous complimentary maintenance plans in the luxury segment, but the brand is set to significantly pare down the program in the near future.

For the 2014 model year, Lincoln will trim its free maintenance program from 4 years/50,000 miles - the same coverage length offered by BMW and Cadillac - to 2 years/24,000 miles.

Although the move is seemingly at odds with its increased emphasis on customer service, Lincoln claims the plan still complements the kind of short-term leases that many of its customers choose - and some dealers agree.

Bob Tasca Jr., owner of two Lincoln dealerships in Rhode Island, told Automotive News that the shortened plan wouldn't have an impact on sales.

"Most Lincolns are leased for two or three years. A major part of my business is short term. I want to put them out for two or three years, not four or five," he said.

However, reactions to the new maintenance program certainly weren't uniformly positive.

"They want to set themselves apart and find a niche in the luxury market. That's sending the wrong message, in my opinion. It's going to be disappointing to the existing customer base," said Paul Mercer, general manager of Diffee Ford-Lincoln in El Reno, Oklahoma.

Lincoln isn't alone in cutting the length of its complimentary maintenance program - both Jaguar and Volvo have announced similar reductions in recent months.