Lincoln has been getting creative in figuring out ways to grow its market share and improve its brand image in the competitive luxury car segment. Between developing attractive new models and coming up with industry-exclusive services like the Lincoln Personal Driver chauffeur service, Lincoln is quietly gaining back the presence and relevance it once had among the upper crust of the automotive world.
One of the latest examples of that is in the Lincoln Experience Centers. Lincoln Experience Centers aren’t dealerships, but places to show off Lincoln models and introduce shoppers to the brand who normally might not have considered a Lincoln as their next luxury car.
The first Lincoln Experience Center went up last year in Fashion Island, an open-air luxury shopping center in Newport Beach, California. Ambitiously located in enemy territory just steps away from a Tesla gallery and a short drive from one of the biggest BMW dealers and one of the biggest Mercedes-Benz dealers in the country, the Lincoln Experience Center is working on attracting affluent shoppers getting them interested in Lincoln.
“In Newport Beach, we’ve had 100,000 clients visit the Lincoln Experience Center,” said a Lincoln representative in an email to The Drive. “Our market share in the L.A. market is up 29 percent since we opened the Lincoln Experience Center.”
Twenty-nine percent is a pretty significant jump in market share in a pretty important place for luxury cars. In an effort to replicate that success, the second Lincoln Experience Center went up in Frisco, Texas near Dallas in August of 2017.
“We are pleased with the consumer traffic we’ve seen at the [Frisco] location so far, especially as the all-new Navigator becomes available,” the Lincoln representative said.
“We have a very targeted approach in where and how we launch our Lincoln Experience Centers,” the Lincoln rep said when asked if there were plans to open more Experience Centers in the future. “While we are continually evaluating new opportunities in this space, we don’t have any additional Experience Center openings to announce at this point in time.”
We asked if any particular models were especially popular at Lincoln Experience Centers and not surprisingly, it sounds like the all-new Navigator SUV is a hit.
“We are excited about the early momentum that the Lincoln Experience Centers have helped generate around the all-new Navigator, which is just hitting dealerships across the country now,” the Lincoln rep said. “Our vehicle displays at the Lincoln Experience Centers helped contribute to the more than 1,200 client vehicle orders that we received for Navigator before it ever reached dealerships.”
The success of Lincoln Experience Centers is a good example of the fact that when you sell a luxury car, you're not just selling a car. You’re selling an experience. A good product alone isn’t good enough.