Ford Motor Co. chief executive Mark Fields has committed to spend at least $5 billion over the next five years to revamp its Lincoln luxury brand, which has received lesser attention during the time of his predecessor Alan Mulally, sources told Reuters. For the past two decades, Lincoln has been losing its luster, and both dealers and customers have been wondering whether Ford has no more care for the brand.
Ford’s renewed interest in Lincoln comes as the carmaker experience changes under its new CEO, who has managed to gain the support of Executive Chairman Bill Ford and its board.
The $5-billion investment will include spending in a new platform that will underpin several future Lincoln vehicles, revamping the brand’s product portfolio and repositioning it as a real rival to global premium leaders like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, according to the sources.
"It's really important for us to have a relevant and vibrant luxury brand," Fields told Reuters. He remarked that there is a need to make the investment and build the Lincoln brand over time. He said that Ford is looking at the Lincoln rebuilding effort "in terms of generations of products," which means the project would go past the next decade.
Ford officials remarked in September that the turnaround effort at Lincoln has an immediate goal of tripling its global sales to 300,000 vehicles by 2020 – a target that dubbed as “overly optimistic” by a number of industry analysts as well as some former executives.
The effort has a longer-term goal of restoring Lincoln's luster as a premium auto brand in the United States while and transformer it into a formidable carmaker in China.