2016 Lincoln MKC, MKX Sales to Women Buyers Drive Brand's Growth | Edmunds

2016 Lincoln MKC, MKX Sales to Women Buyers Drive Brand's Growth

DEARBORN, Michigan — Women buyers are driving growth for the Lincoln brand, particularly when it comes to sales of SUVs like the 2016 Lincoln MKC and the all-new 2016 MKX.

The appeal of Lincoln's SUVs to female shoppers should help the brand compete with such models as the Acura RDX and MDX, BMW X3 and X5, and the Lexus NX 200t and RX 350.

Based on IHS Automotive data, Lincoln says that registrations by women buyers of Ford's luxury brand models have increased 45 percent since 2005, compared to Lincoln's overall registration growth of 4 percent during the same period.

Registrations to women of the MKC alone increased by 52 percent during the second half of 2015 and accounted for 59 percent of all Lincoln SUV growth last year. And sales to women buyers of the MKX in December increased 48 percent over that month in 2014, further contributing to the growth curve.

Women are achieving higher levels of prominence in their professional and personal lives, and, according to Sheryl Connelly, Ford's global consumer trends and futuring manager: "It's no surprise that as women reap the rewards of their success, they have increasing influence in shaping the luxury market landscape."

Cadillac, Lincoln's domestic rival, is clearly making a play for the pocketbooks of female car shoppers, too.

Earlier this week, Cadillac and the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced the launch of the Retail Lab, which Cadillac called "an innovative program" for designers who are "driving the fashion industry forward."

Participating designers will be showcased in a custom pop-up shop located on the ground floor of Cadillac's global headquarters in New York. The idea is to give the designers valuable retail experience beyond the runway.

Designer Diane von Furstenberg, creator of the iconic wrap dress, helped Cadillac launch the Retail Lab.

It's not just about selling Cadillac CTS and CT6 sedans. It's about heightening Cadillac's link with the fashion industry and women car shoppers.

A study of women and vehicle sales trends, conducted by research firm Frost & Sullivan, found that women buy or influence the purchase of 80 percent of cars sold.

 A number of studies, including the one from Frost & Sullivan, have found that while men tend to shop for vehicles based on brand, image and specific model, women tend to concentrate on features, practicality, interior layout, safety and reliability. So it's not surprising that a large number of SUVs and crossovers are sold to women.

Edmunds says: Luxury automakers are warming up to the idea that women have enormous clout when it comes to vehicle purchases.

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