Lincoln is a little hard to explain these days. Despite the strongest Ford lineup in a long, long time, their luxury brand is kind of languishing in the product department. Sure, the Lincoln MKC is pretty decent, but they need more than that. The higher-ups at Ford recognize this and are planning new models with a big infusion of cash.
Automotive News today reported that despite some very expensive headaches with their airbag recall, Ford plans to inject Lincoln with $2.5 billion by 2020. Their goal is 300,000 cars worth of annual sales globally, about triple what they do now. Most of that growth is expected to come from China.
(As the Detroit News pointed out today, none of these expansion plans apparently include Europe, a market that continues to elude Cadillac as well.)
New models are on the way, according to new Lincoln president Kumar Galhotra. They include a new version of the MKX crossover and a replacement for the full-size MKS sedan. There are two other additional, unspecified models planned as well.
They need all the help they can get. Autonews says that while Ford has had strong sales as of late, 50,000 of their customers move to a luxury car every year, and only one in four of those choose a Lincoln.
What kinds of cars should Lincoln build? I'll go with the generic answers: a mid-size, rear-wheel drive sedan, possibly on the 2015 Mustang's fantastic new platform, with EcoBoost and V8 options; and a large luxury flagship sedan, not unlike the 2002 Continental concept (which is actually for sale this month if anyone wants it.) Beyond that, one would guess a larger SUV or crossover to replace the aging Navigator is somewhere in the pipeline.
I know Lincoln is kind of low-hanging fruit these days, but nobody wants to see this storied American brand fail, and with the right amount of investment and smart use of Ford's existing tech, they may just be able to pull it off. I hope they do.
How about we keep some normal names, though? Like, you know, Continental? That's way better than CT6.