• Sep 4, 2008
Automotive News sat down with Derrick Kuzak, Lincoln's product development chief, to discuss what lies ahead for Ford's erstwhile luxury marque, and Kuzak was quoted as saying, "We do think that there is room for a smaller car in the Lincoln brand," but he was unable to provide any hard details on what – if anything – is planned.

Lincoln surely has a slot to fill below the MKZ sedan (think 1-series or compact Caddy competitor), but Kuzak said in the past that Mercury will be repositioned to fill the gap between Ford and Lincoln, with a focus on smaller, premium cars. If that plan has any chance of success, Lincoln has no business getting into the compact marketplace. Ford's mid-level luxury brands are in desperate need of definition, but brand overlap seems to be de rigueur for the domestics, and if a compact Lincoln comes to fruition the cannibalization will continue unabated.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      The picture they have for that Lincoln is wonderful at least from the front. That looks like luxury car! Now if they can get the rest of the car right and restore Lincoln to glory or hell at least to able to compete in the segment. But I love that front end.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I've seen the 2010 MKZ grill and I can assure you it is a very pale imitation of the MKR concept grill above. Very careful, very cautious. So it still looks like a Fusion with a quasi-Lincoln grill. No way to build interest in an entry level Lincoln.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So we waited 5 years for a new Lincoln sedan that looks like a Mitsubishi Galant rental fleet car? Gross.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That photo is actually the MKZ concept.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The new MKZ grill has the same level of interest and refinement as the concept. In fact it is better executed in and of itself than the MKS grill, since the MKS grill was thrown on at the last minute. The rest of the MKZ is the problem but what do you expect with a mid cycle refresh. The new grill is merely to align it with other vehicles in the brand. Ford has already stated that future Lincolns will sport completely different sheet metal than Fords so prepare to be blown away by the next all new MKZ. Wish you guys could see the next Taurus and Focus. The Focus especially blows everything in it's class out of the water. I can't wait.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What?! I thought the future plan was to convert Mercury into the compact and smaller premium division to complement Lincoln's role of midsize and larger premium division. Why all this talk of a compact Lincoln now? Has FoMoCo reversed this strategy? Just when I thought FoMoCo had finally figured out the Lincoln-Mercury Division, they start making confusing statements like the one in the article.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Mercury will be repositioned to fill the gap between Ford and Lincoln"

      There's a gap?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just what we need, a Lincoln version of the Cadillac Cimarron. Let's put the eco-tech direct injection V-6 in a redesigned RWD Town Car. That's the only Lincoln that interests me currently.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I see we simply replaced the "MKS" flub with "MKZ" rather than using the strike-out feature... naughty naughty!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Everyone's going to have to get into the premium compact AND premium subcompact segment(s).
      How well they do it (translate their brand indentity and offer something of substance) will determine their success.
      • 6 Years Ago

      The Detroit-3 have brought out a bunch of new cars people won't buy including the Flex, Solstice and most Chrysler products. Wouldn't it make more sense to bring out fewer cars that people will actually pay for?
      • 6 Years Ago
      If and I doubt this will happen if Lincoln can use the Volvo C30 and Lincoln-ize it then maybe. If Lincoln can have a dramatically looking small car to go head to head with the Mini and Fiat 500 (if it comes to the US) then yes they should.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I've long been a fan of Mercury's having had them as hand me down cars in high school and college but I can't see the brand competing against Mini or even VW. Of course that could change once Mercury starts refocusing on smaller cars. A new Tracer/Lynx based on the European Focus. Then drop the Sable and make the Milan it's biggest car. Bring back the Capri based on the next generation Ford owned Mazda Miata. If Mercury is to be the small car division of Ford it needs several smaller cars. It tried before with the Mazda based Cougar and it failed. It can't be one car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Lincoln-ize the C30" - vinyl roof, white side walls, pontoon ride, mushy brakes and complimentary fedora with purchase. Just kidding, I couldn't resist.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I see your point; but I think a car like that would be perfect for the Mercury brand.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm confused. The MKZ is already smaller than the MKS. AFAIK that isn't going anywhere.

      I think it'd be cool to have something smaller than the MKZ, but if that's Mercury's new job then I agree with Autoblog that it's a bad idea. And honestly for the price premium I'd almost certainly pick a new small Mercury than a new small Lincoln anyway.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Same here - they already have the MKZ. Unless, I suppose, they mean something between the MKZ and MKS. But that doesn't make much sense either... Lincoln should focus on making the MKS a success, the MKZ something that buyers actually want, and leave the smaller size classes to Mercury...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would love to see a small car that is as quiet as a Lexus (noise cancellation technology?) and has a soft ride. I would take a less powerful engine to get superior fuel economy. That sounds like a Ford to me. The older I get the less thrilled I am at getting there first or rounding the corners so my passengers squeal in fear. (Been there, done that.) I want a car that is affordable (I'm poor... ha!) and actually pampers me. I want great fuel economy too... but would loose a few MPG's to get cosseted in the only luxury that I am ever gonna be able to afford (new anyway). The car company that does this will see lots of sales to us aging boomers. The Capri version of a Focus would seem to fit that bill.

      I realize that this will be an unpopular post on this site but what the heck... how easy would it be to market the "quietest" "highest MPG" "lowest priced" car in America?

      Just venting.... Ha!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the decision makers at these companies need to replaced with people who actually know what they're doing...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now all Cadillac needs is an American BLS.
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