Lincoln sat on the sidelines at the Detroit auto show as Ford revealed the Vertrek and electric Focus, but the luxury brand wasn't completely neglected. At the show, Ford promised that future Lincolns won't just feature unique designs but different technology as well.
Lincoln has a number of new products in the pipeline to augment the mild success of the MKZ sedan and MKX crossover. In 2010, Lincoln sales were 3.6 percent higher than in 2009.
For 2011 and beyond, the plan is for more differentiation, and if Ford wants Lincoln dealers to pay for expensive dealership upgrades, that's probably a good idea.
“The strategy isn't just new products, but full differentiation from the Ford brand in not only design, but in technology,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development, to Automotive News and others at the Detroit Auto Show.
Details such as an adjustable suspension system, different engines (a specially-tuned EcoBoost V-6, perhaps), and upgraded all-wheel drive could help establish Lincoln as definitively upscale in comparison with Ford. As with Acura, Lincoln doesn't intend to add a rear-wheel-drive vehicle in the near future.
With Mercury gone, Ford may have more money (and attention) to devote to Lincoln. If you were in control of the brand, what changes would you make to Lincoln without putting a strain on Ford's finances?
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)