If your go-to rental car is a Lincoln, well, we have some bad news. The domestic luxury automaker is scaling back its sales to rental companies such as Avis and Hertz to help increase residual values as the automaker releases new products, according to Automotive News. You may have to go for a Cadillac instead in the near future. However, Lincoln will continue to sell to commercial businesses such as hotel and airport livery services.
"Those are very deliberate efforts to really focus on residual values as our new products come out," Robert Parker, Lincoln's director of marketing, sales and service, told Automotive News. "What happens is those cars come back in six to 12 months. That's problematic on our residual values because that's when all the depreciation occurs. The longer they stay out, the better."
Rentals represented nine percent of the company’s overall sales in 2017, with the company’s daily rental sales down 27 percent through this year’s first quarter. Commercial fleet business sales represented just two percent of the company’s overall sales.
"Fleet hasn't been a huge part of our business," Parker told the publication. "But it's not insignificant."
Gallery: 2020 Lincoln Aviator
The cutback in rental sales has hurt the company. Overall Lincoln sales fell 2.1 percent in March alone with sales down 17 percent through the first three months of the year. However, even with sales dipping, Lincoln’s average transaction price is up $6,200 in the first quarter, according to Automotive News.
What will help Lincoln is its strong SUV lineup that’s coming. Already, the Navigator is selling well with retail sales up 101.6 percent in March. The addition of the refreshed MKX – now the Nautilus – and the Aviator in 2019 will only help the company as it scales back its rental sales.
So, while you may not be able to rent a Lincoln, the one in your driveway could be worth a few dollars more going forward.
Source: Automotive News