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by Jay Traugott
It's make or break time for the struggling brand.
Lincoln is trying so hard these days to repair the damage that's accumulated over the past few decades. After years of being the number one brand for Florida retirees and limousine companies, Ford's premium brand knows they need to reinvent their image.
Along with new models like the MKZ, Lincoln product planners seem to be going with a less is more approach in the near future. According to reports, we can expect to see more downsized models instead of those classically large sedans.
In other words, that means there won't be an Audi A8-like low-volume halo car. Such a model would cost millions to develop but Lincoln predicts they'd sell less than 10,000 units a year. The plan instead is to focus on a younger generation of buyers with smaller models designed to compete with the likes of the new Acura ILX, BMW 1 Series, and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA. The MKZ, complete with its really cool retractable hardtop, panoramic-style roof, will essentially be the largest car in their lineup, not counting models such as the MKT crossover.
Still, Lincoln knows the MKZ is important in order to help solidify their ground in the luxury car segment, so we can expect to see its continued development. Within the next year or two, Lincoln will enter the premium small crossover segment with a model based off the new Ford Escape. To prevent the old person car image from returning, redesigns of existing models like the Navigator, MKX, MKT, and MKS are also in progress.