• MKZ offers lease pull-ahead program.
  • Current lease customers can get a 2012 MKZ.
  • Leases can be pulled ahead six months.

Drivers who are leasing a Lincoln MKZ might be able to get a new one sooner than they first thought. The automaker recently announced that through Dec. 31, it will allow anyone currently leasing an MKZ to end their lease early if they sign up to lease a 2012 model.

According to Lincoln, the program will help clear out inventory of its 2012 MKZ midsize sedan before a fully redesigned 2013 model arrives later this year. The 2013 MKZ, which the automaker says will help reinvent the Lincoln brand, offers major technological and stylistic improvements over its predecessor. As a result, the luxury brand doesn't want 2012 models at dealers when the 2013 arrives.

While the terms of leasing a 2012 MKZ depend on the driver and vehicle, the automaker says current customers with less than six months remaining on their lease are eligible for the pull-ahead program. The program will waive the rest of the lease, allowing drivers to get in to a new model without penalty.

Although such pull-ahead programs are rarely advertised to car shoppers, their existence isn't new. Many manufacturers use the programs for the same reason as Lincoln: to clear out inventory of an aging vehicle before a new one arrives. Rather than use television or print advertisements to announce the programs, which usually affect only a few lease customers, automakers typically announce them through direct mail, since they know precisely which customers they intend to target.

Pull-ahead programs can also be used to improve customer loyalty. Some automakers offer such deals on nearly every lease to entice buyers into choosing a new vehicle from the same brand instead of waiting until the end of their lease, when they might shop for a competitor.

With the arrival of the 2013 MKZ, Lincoln will begin a rejuvenation process crafted by parent company Ford that's designed to restore the brand to its past success. In addition to technological and stylistic advancements over its predecessor, the 2013 MKZ will offer several fuel-efficient new powertrains designed to directly compete with rivals like the Lexus ES and the Hyundai Genesis.

What it means to you: If you're leasing a Lincoln MKZ, this deal might allow you to get a new one sooner than you thought--and if you're leasing another vehicle, consider asking your dealer about any available pull-ahead programs as the end of your term draws nearer.

author photo

Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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