Lincoln Plans Product Blitz
- Lincoln will expand the number of nameplates it offers later this decade as part of an effort to become a full-line luxury brand.
- All Ford Motor Company vehicle platforms are being considered to develop additional Lincoln vehicles, including the new rear-drive 2015 Ford Mustang platform.
- Lincoln says it needs a wide range of vehicles to target luxury buyers.
SANTA BARBARA, California — Lincoln will expand the number of nameplates it offers later this decade as part of an effort to become a full-line luxury brand. All Ford Motor Company vehicle platforms are being considered to develop additional Lincoln vehicles, including the new rear-drive 2015 Ford Mustang platform.
"We know we need added nameplates," said Matt VanDyke, global head of marketing, sales and service for Lincoln, in an interview with Edmunds. "We know that we need to get into other segments with other vehicles."
Asked if that meant a possible sporty Lincoln model developed on the rear-drive 2015 Ford Mustang platform, VanDyke, said: "Sure. We won't rule out anything."
Lincoln is in the process of reinventing the brand, attempting to build credibility in the highly competitive luxury segment.
While Lincoln will continue to share vehicle platforms and powertrains with the Ford brand, engineering upgrades, vehicle-platform lengthening and shortening to create different vehicle silhouettes, and significant styling differentiation are among the areas that will further separate the automaker's luxury and mass-market brands. The Lincoln brand currently markets six vehicles.
The redesigned, slightly longer 2016 Lincoln MKX midsize sport utility will hit dealer showrooms in 2015, followed by a new full-size sedan in 2016 that will replace the current MKS sedan. These four models are currently Lincoln's core vehicles.
In addition, Lincoln markets the Navigator, a full-size, rear-drive sport utility that received a styling makeover for the 2015 model year. A split-wing front grille is added, a key design cue for Lincoln's new models. The MKT, a full-size, front-drive sport utility vehicle, remains untouched for the 2015 model year.
VanDyke said the automaker is in the process of determining what models will be added to the Lincoln model line.
"The opportunity for us is to really sort out where we go with the second generation of products," VanDyke said.
He would not say how many nameplates will be added or describe the models.
"We have a very great understanding that we are in an extremely, extremely competitive segment of the automotive industry," he said. "Everyone has great products in the luxury industry. Everyone has really great marketing. There is an extremely competitive buyer experience.
"So we don't think that four new products in four years means that we can sit back, take a break and rest. It is absolutely the beginning, it is the foundation."
Edmunds says: Lincoln appears ready to give car buyers a product bonanza.