Report: Ford to differentiate Lincoln with unique sheetmetal, powertrains

Ask our parents' generation to picture the prototypical Lincoln and they'll likely point to the Town Car. Our generation? Probably the Navigator. But what do these vehicles have in common? Well, aside from being Lincolns, and large ones at that, they're both essentially Ford products – Crown Vic sedans and Expedition SUVs respectively – with different grilles and plusher interiors.

That's a practice that's a bit closer to ending, though, according a new Automotive News report. The story has Ford and its luxury division planning to differentiate the two lineups, starting with completely different sheetmetal. Platforms will continue to be shared, albeit with modifications to suit Lincoln models, but the luxury brand will benefit from a higher level of technology and equipment, with some receiving unique engines. Despite all of this, the report indicates that a new rear-drive Lincoln is not planned.

In related news, AN reports that Lincoln is looking to remove at least 200 franchises that operate in 130 top U.S. markets. Those who still aim to stick with the brand will be required to update their stores and services.

It's all part of Ford's plan to reinvigorate Lincoln as the company's premier luxury division, having already shuttered Mercury and sold off Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin. Ford won't, however, be attempting to take Lincoln global, focusing instead on the domestic market where the brand has equity.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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