Just a few years ago, Ford had so many luxury brands in its then considerable suite of marques that there were upscale offerings for just about any taste in every region of the world. Aston Martin, Land Rover and Jaguar are now in the hands of other owners and Volvo is on the outs, so how will Ford deliver luxury goods to other regions of the world? How about Lincoln?
The idea has been kicked around to no avail in the past, but with a growing luxury market in emerging markets like China, the Blue Oval may need a new global plan for its lone luxury marquee. Automotive News reports that Ford will only discuss expanding Lincoln globally when its North American operation gets turned around. Ford President of the Americas Mark Fields told AN, "We don't have any plans at this point to take it global. That doesn't mean in the future we wouldn't look at that, but it's very important for us to focus on North America."
If Ford waits for Lincoln to turn around in North America before looking at other markets, the process could take a while. Lincoln sales were down 23 percent in 2009, with sales dipping to a 28-year low of 82,847 units. Many of Lincolns newer models have arrived with a luke-warm reception from both journalists and the car-buying public, though there are high hopes for the recently introduced 2011 Lincoln MKX and its trick MyLincoln Touch interface. Another Lincoln that could help spur sales overseas is a smaller model based off of the Concept C from the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]