Hoping to avoid the recalls that beset its popular Escape and Fusion models, Ford is sending some Lincoln MKZ luxury sedans from its plant in Hermosillo, Mexico to Flat Rock, Michigan, for final quality validation, before being shipped to dealers, Bloomberg reports. Flat Rock builds some Fusion models, along with Hermosillo, as well as being home to the Ford Mustang. The Lincoln MKZ shares a platform with the Ford Fusion.
Ford would not comment on the exact number, or percentage of units that are being shipped from Hermosillo to Flat Rock as part of the stepped-up quality validation process. The new 2013 Lincoln MKZ has received the most amount of interest of any new model in the brand’s history, judging by pre-orders for the model. Dealers have not been able to fulfill customer orders due to the longer quality-control process.
Having a popular model is critical for Lincoln, which saw its lowest sales month in more than 30 years, selling only 4,191 models in January 2013. The MKZ, and the production version of the MKC compact SUV concept shown at last month’s Detroit show are a key part of Lincoln’s turnaround plan.
Lincoln’s 2012 sales total was 82,150, compared to BMW, which led U.S. luxury car sales with 281,460 units sold.