Lincoln scraps plans to build the MKC small car, will go for MKD CUV

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 3, 2011

Lincoln has scrapped plans to build the MkC and will instead, turn its attention to the new CUV, which is known internally as the MkD, according to sources inside FoMoCo. A source divulged that Ford has worries that the MkC would attract sales away from the larger MkZ sedan. About 16 months ago, Ford Motor Company embarked on a plan for the Lincoln brand to become as prominent as Audi and BMW.

Back then, Ford determined that Lincoln will be offering seven new or heavily revised vehicles within four years. Ford had planned to make a production version of the Concept C that’s named the MkC.

This was supposed to feature a Ford Focus derived platform and several other new technologies to distinguish it from the Audi A3 and Lexus CT. Ford then formed a Lincoln-only team composed of luxury experts, designers and engineers. It was also reported that the 2013 Lincoln MkZ has been delayed again. Its launch was supposed to be in first quarter of 2012 but it was changed to June 2012.

Now, the MkZ is scheduled to arrive in late 2012. Fortunately, the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion remains on track to be launched in mid-2012. A source said that the “MkD,” the CUV based on the Escape, is not a conventional CUV and looks like a tall hatch.

Its interior dimensions are slightly less than that of the Escape, implying that it could rival Audi's new Q3. Ford hasn’t confirmed yet if the “MkD” will enter production. In a separate matter, Lincoln is reported to be developing two new V-6 engines that are powered by EcoBoost. It’s believed that these new engines will deliver 400hp and 425hp.

Lincoln’s MKC Concept was introduced at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The MKC Concept is Lincoln’s vision of how it will make its entry into the auto industry’s fastest-growing small luxury utility segment.

The small luxury utility segment recorded a growth of almost 60 percent in 2012 and of more than 200 percent in the last four years, thus overshadowing all other luxury segments. And Lincoln's strategy to grow with four new vehicles that are geared towards the highest-growth segments within the next four years involves opportunity.

According to Jim Farley, Lincoln’s executive vice president for global marketing, sales, and service, the company is reinventing Lincoln by emphasizing the largest and fastest-growing segments of the luxury car market and at the same time offering customers something new and different. He says that the recently introduced MKZ puts Lincoln back in the map in the largest luxury segment while the MKC Concept underscores a key opportunity in the fastest-growing luxury segment.

The luxury segment is driven at both ends of the demographic spectrum. On one end are buyers who are just coming into affluence and are purchasing their very first luxury car. On the other end are buyers who are making the switch from large vehicles to smaller cars in order to simplify their lives. Also included in the growth of this segment is China, where the carmaker will be entering the market through independent dealers starting in the second half of 2014.

Lincoln is reinventing itself in all aspects of its business – from its lineup of stylish vehicles, to personal client services provided by its dealerships, to how drivers can engage with their cars. Lincoln has made it its goal to appeal to a new type of luxury customers – considered cultural progressives – who are open to a new world of experiences and concepts.

These "Lincoln Experiences," in both current and future vehicles, will include various distinctive features, such as programmable ride control, push-button transmission engagement, personalized lighting, diverse and unique powertrains, and a bunch of customizable functions that are unique and personalized for every client.

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