Lincoln has struggled in recent years to redefine itself in an evolving luxury market.The brand has had trouble bestowing a premium image on its range of re-skinned Ford models. One way to help lift the Lincoln’s prestige would be a high-end halo model, but, according to a new report, that isn’t in the cards for Lincoln.
Automotive News is reporting that Lincoln will be focusing on “the highest-volume luxury segments” in favor of developing a low-volume, high-prestige car to sit atop of the brand’s lineup. With that kind of strategy in place, it means you shouldn’t expect an S-class rival from Lincoln any time soon. Such a model costs hundreds of millions to develop and has relatively low sales margins, according to AN.
Lincoln will direct its money toward cars like the all-new 2013 MKZ sedan (pictured here) and the so-called MKC crossover based on the Ford Escape that’s due next year. After that, the current lineup will all be overhauled (MKS, MKT, MKX, and Navigator), but not expanded further. The company feels the financial returns of any models beyond its current range wouldn’t be worth the cost to develop them. A halo model can help raise a brand’s perceived prestige level, even if it doesn’t directly net many sales.
Lincoln’s sales have remained flat so far this year over the first seven months of 2011; the brand has moved just 48,937 units this year, slotting it between Scion and Infiniti in sales volume. According to AN, that amounts to a miniscule 0.6 percent of the market in the U.S., so it makes sense that the brand is looking for sales over all else. Maybe, once Lincoln gets back on its feet, plans will change – Cadillac was in the same spot 15 years ago and showed off the gorgeous Ciel concept last year that could preview a forthcoming halo car for the luxury brand.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)