Lincoln's newest flagship car is the Continental, a large luxury sedan filled with technology. And Lincoln has another new flagship, but it's not a car. It's a display space at Fashion Island in Newport Beach called the "Lincoln Experience Center," the first of its kind in the country.
"We want customers, or clients, to have what we call the 'Lincoln way experience.' An effortless, warm, personal humanly crafted experience," said Scott Zugel, regional marketing manager for Lincoln Motor Company.
You can check out Lincoln models over a complimentary coffee beverage or infused water, ask questions and even go on a test drive. The one thing you actually can't do is purchase a car. The associates on the floor are knowledgeable about Lincoln products, but don't sell them.
"They will got through everything that you need to know about the vehicle, but there's no pressure of sales," said Lincoln's Scott Zugel.
This debut Lincoln space is just one of many new, creative ways to get people to check out a vehicle.
Longtime rival Cadillac has an interesting approach called BOOK. You pay $1,500 a month for a lease, which seems quite tight, but you get to swap out your Cadillac for a different model anytime you want. So far, it's only offered in New York City.
Land Rover is launching their new Discovery model, and to help convince you that it's a vehicle for adventure, they'll take you on one, though at your cost. The Land Rover Experience lets you climb all kinds of terrain in either Utah, or Nairobi in Africa. Prices start at around $5,200 per person.
Or how about a conventional test drive right from your home? Luxury car makers are increasingly doing that, and so is Volkswagen, with the help of Amazon. The home delivery giant is partnering with VW to offer 45 to 60 minute test drives of the new Atlas SUV, starting and ending at your front door.
Getting people to try your car is a challenge, being done in creative new ways. But in the luxury arena, customers are now expecting great follow-up service after they've made the purchase. And auto makers are responding.
Lincoln is offering a door-to-door service valet, meaning you never have to go to the dealership for service or maintenance.
"What the luxury buyer want, it's all about time, and what can we do to save them time," said Scott Zugel of Lincoln.
The Lincoln service valet even leaves a loaner car while yours is being worked on. Hyundai's new upscale Genesis brand is doing something similar, offering complimentary pick up and drop off for service appointments, along with the loaner car.
Selling cars can be a tough business, so finding creative new ways to do that could be a growing trend.
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