Before Lincoln dealers invest a huge amount of money on improvements and customer services, they are asking Ford Motor Co. to show them the new products that will be launched. Ford has asked these dealers to undergo renovations before it unveils the products that are meant to bring back the brand to the top of the luxury segment. Dealers became skeptical since Lincoln sales grew by just 1% through July even as the overall market increased by 11% and as it lost Mercury higher sales volumes. Ford agreed to the request and invited dealers as well as the media to the briefing.
According to Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development, Lincoln is going in the “right direction” but has to take a further step. What this means is that Lincoln will be offering features and designs that differentiate it from the Ford Taurus, the range-topping flagship model. Kuzak pledged that there would no longer be badge engineering. He said that unique models need “unique development staffs.” So far, over 100 people have been assigned to Lincoln’s design team. This is a remarkable change from a couple of years ago when the designers that took charge of Lincoln models were included in the team of Ford’s designers. Scott Tubin is Lincoln’s director of product development.
These staff members are meant solely for Lincoln’s powertrain development. However, several models will have unique powertrains, mated to eight-speed transmissions. He said that Lincoln will have features and technologies that are unique to it. These include push-button shifting controls. It certainly won’t be using the chrome push-button shifts seen on the notorious Edsel. The look of the interior is opened up when the shift column is taken out. In addition, Lincoln will be using fully retractable, all-glass roofs. Notably, this is a massive sliding pane and won’t be the typical 2-foot-by-1-foot sunroof. It has continuously controlled damping, which enables the driver to select from the ride qualities available. All-wheel drive is offered in all models. All current Lincoln models offer these features, except for the Town Car, which will soon be phased out.