With FHV-companies bemoaning the death of their favourite vehicle, the Lincoln Town Car (and feverishly looking for workable and reasonably-priced alternatives), and other customers thinking the brand had virtually disappeared, Ford’s new CEO, Mark Fields, had to make a choice: kill the brand or throw money at it and revive the Lincoln brand. With a cash injection of over $ 5 billion over the next five years –Reuters reported- Lincoln, a Ford division since 1922, gets a major overhaul and a new premium platform to make it a worthy competitor to Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Details of the new platform and the size and scope of the investment have not been reported.
The springboard for the Lincoln revival plan is probably a new family of vehicles that will be built on a highly flexible premium platform that can be configured for front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive vehicles for Ford and Lincoln, according to industry sources familiar with Ford’s plans.
“It’s really important for us to have a relevant and vibrant luxury brand,” Fields told Reuters on Friday. “You need to make the investment and build this brand over time.” He declined to discuss details about Ford’s spending and product plans.
Reuters reported that according to Ford executives the immediate goal of the latest Lincoln turnaround effort is to triple the brand’s global sales to 300,000 vehicles by 2020. The long-range target is to restore Lincoln’s luster as a premium automotive marque in the United States and build it into a formidable competitor in China, where Ford is just now launching the brand years after most of its global luxury rivals entered the China market. Recently, Ford delivered its first Lincoln in China, an MKZ sedan.
• Sorely missed by the FHV-industry: the Lincoln Town Car, now out of production.