There's profits in numbers.

That's going to be the approach to new vehicles at Lincoln, Automotive News says. Lincoln will focus on high-volume vehicles instead of low-selling flagships and halo vehicles. That means a steady diet of alphabet soup loaded with MKZ's, MKX's and MKS's for dealers and no more fancy flagships or other vehicles that don't meet the volume metric. We'd rule out high-performance sport cars as well, but Lincoln, by definition, rules that out.

Those big-ticket vehicles costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, and, while they may bolster a brand's reputation, they wouldn't help Lincoln's bottom line. So the next big Lincoln to arrive will be a compact car known as the MKC. Then we'll see redos of the MKX, MKT, MKS and Navigator.

Dumping high-level aspirations may reek of desperation, but for Lincoln, these are desperate times. Sales for the brand were down 11 percent in July and two percent for the year, according to Autodata Corp. The brand currently lacks prestige, style or even an unique platform.

In July, Lincoln sold 6,975 units, making it a distant last place out of mainstream luxury brands. Inifiniti had the next lowest total, selling 11,619 units.


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  • 160 Comments
      Toddley
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lincoln, how ******* hard is it for you to build something on the Mustang platform? Mustang + luxury interior + bold exterior = M3 competitor. Or build a roadster with an Ecotec V6. WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR YOU TO BE INTERESTING?!?! Jesus. Stop letting the accountants run the place. Lincoln is such a snoozefest.
        johnb
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Toddley
        I agree, though I'd say go after the M5. Leave the Mustang to fight the M3.
        piggybox
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Toddley
        except anything like M3 or M5 won't be a volume seller
          SatinSheetMetal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @piggybox
          Well once you see how cool that car is you are much more likely to buy an MKZ that you can afford right?
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      If anyone needs a halo car it's Lincoln. It'll get butts into the showroom. I gotta disagree with Ford on this one.
      Ben Doolittle
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lincoln no longer has a purpose. It's biggest competitor will be Ford's own top-of-the-line models.
        johnb
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ben Doolittle
        exacty why they should go further upscale and leave ford's midpriced cars alone to fight gm's midpriced cars.
      Master Austin
      • 2 Years Ago
      The reason the ES, TL, 3, C, G, A4 sell well for automakers is because it introduces buyers at entry price point, for those who aspire for the upper echelon LS, 7, S, M, A8. Lets face it, most luxury cars sell for those who wants to send a message of "I have arrived". Take the upper sedans out of the equation, and what, Lincoln will expect the MKZ buyer to continue to buy the MKZ every few years because there's nothing to step up to ? Reminds me of Saturns issue from 10-15 years ago.
        T. Yu
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        Not disagreeing your point. But people buying 3-series are probably aspire to M3 rather than 7-series. A4 --> RS4. etc.
          Togoshiman
          • 2 Years Ago
          @T. Yu
          I think you're both right, and that's the beauty of those successful strategies. You can aspire and upgrade to larger/more luxury or more aggressive/sportier. In a Lincoln you upgrade... to a hearse? Build a new Continental, swing for the damn fences.
      thegreatsb
      • 2 Years Ago
      So... If I'm reading this article correctly, it almost sounds as though Lincoln is going to fill Mercury's void? Wow.
      Jason
      • 2 Years Ago
      They are already low volume. Their biggest problem is image and they won't change that by refreshing their boring cars. They need a halo car more than anyone.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Those big-ticket vehicles costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, and, while they may bolster a brand's reputation, they wouldn't help Lincoln's bottom line." Yeah, actually it will it, just takes a few years to build a reputation and I'm guessing whoever came up with this status quo nonplan is trying to maximize the short term numbers and to Hell with what happens to Lincoln 10 years from. It's the typical short-sighted corporate group think that got them where they are today - not even on the radar.
      Mel @ aWingThing.COm
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, Ford is clearly at a loss with the brand is not commited into turning the brand around.
      merlot066
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mulally might completely ruin his reputation at Ford by being remembered as the guy who killed Lincoln (and Ford of Australia). The past few years of runner-up meh Lincolns has been okay because of the world financial crisis and the massive overhaul that was needed within Ford. The economy has improved a little bit (at the very least leveled off) and Ford has a complete lineup of competitive, if not class leading, vehicles. Ford's recent vision has been all about world-class product that will create sales on its own and yet they're taking the exact opposite approach with Lincoln and the harder it backfires the harder they try to make it work. The MKZ, MKX, Navigator, and even the MKS are fine vehicles on their own, but they don't stand on their own. They need to be surrounded with a RWD 3-series/C-class competitor and a genuine RWD flagship. They have the current Mustang platform, they'll have the new Mustang platform, they have the DEW platform, if they wanted to they could re-engineer the Falcon platform for RHD vehicles, and at this point they are financially secure enough that they could make themselves a new, exclusive RWD platform for Lincoln if they really wanted to. They might think they might not make as much money but all they need to do is look at Lexus or Mercedes and see how much money people are willing to spend when there is a fully-stocked dealership of competent luxury vehicles. They still platform share for the ES and all their SUVs/crossovers but they have the IS, LS, and LFA to keep the brand interesting. At least they're set on keeping Lincoln around but sadly we might have to wait until someone new steps in to take Lincoln to the world class level it was at towards the end of the last century.
        imoore
        • 2 Years Ago
        @merlot066
        I agree with nearly everything you say, especially the part about Ford Australia. If GM can include Holden's vehicles in its global vehicle mix, then there should be no reason why Ford should isolate Australia. In fact, whjy can't they tie together Australia and Lincoln for joint vehicle development?
      Josh
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Those big-ticket vehicles costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, and, while they may bolster a brand's reputation..." But isn't reputation the whole reason why anyone buys a big ticket vehicle in the first place ? Ruling out a high performance luxo/sports car? Sounds like Lincoln's ruling out itself. I don't get what the issue is. GM was able to accomplish some necessary 'volume' with a half-assed RWD sedan, even that would still work. No driving peer of my age is going to buy a 'luxo' entry level small cross over from a brand that's mostly found on livery cars.
        SatinSheetMetal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Josh
        If GM and Chrysler managed to do it without spending all the time and money to make a Halo car then why would it be necessary for Lincoln? They need to actually start making some money before they spend what is required to make a Halo car.
          roy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SatinSheetMetal
          They wasted that money on the MKS, MKT, and MKZ
      Brian Joseph
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh you mean that Lincoln is going to stop making inspiring halo cars and is just going to do volume cars based on Fords? I can't imagine what that's going to be like.
      MrWhopee
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a catch-22, and I'm surprised the guys at Lincoln can't see it. Lincoln is concentrating on "volume" cars but they won't sell in volumes without a halo model. Or are they content with 7000 units as "volume"?
        SatinSheetMetal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MrWhopee
        Not true, Chrysler's 300 IS their Halo model and they are doing just fine right now. Having a good product will bring people in, Lincoln needs to find a purpose for themselves, get some new designs, and then work on quality and pricing. Once they have some vehicles moving they can worry about a Halo car, right now it is just too much time and money invested with too little return. Even if Lincoln did manage to make a nice $90,000 Continental halo car would it really make more people drive off the lot in the lackluster MKS, I highly doubt it.
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