Lincoln focuses on the most relevant segments image

Lincoln is targeting 100,000 US sales for this year, and the company’s future plans are focused on expanding in segments that are important for the brand’s main market.

Ford’s Lincoln division is expected to have its best year since 2008, when the company achieved its highest sales number. These optimistic projections are based on a 7.5 percent demand increase in 2015, following the 16 percent growth last year. The brand has faced the same “cars for elderly” perception problem as GM’s Buick, but Lincoln says the average age of its buyers has dropped from 67 a few years ago to 58 today, closer to luxury market’s average of 54. For instance, BMW’s average buyer is 50 and Lexus has an average owner age of 59.

But to maintain its rejuvenating trend and keep the demand as high as possible, Lincoln will have to bring in new updated cars that are more relevant to the segment in which it wants to grow. So, the customers will not see luxury coupes and sports cars, as “we need to cover the core segments first,” Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln, told Automotive News. The changes that the brand wants to make to its image are to be seen in the 2017 MKZ model, which adopts a more classic design. But for Lincoln, the room for improvement is significant, as its US sales rank eighth among luxury brands this year.

“The products are there,” said Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific. “But I don’t think they’re hitting the targets they need to hit in the competitive world. I don’t think anyone was expecting that yet, though. It’s a 10- to 15-year plan.” Kumar Galhotra, Lincoln’s president, have said the brand will bring in the near future two more new cars for expanding the line-up, but they are planned to be revealed closer to 2020. According to sources, one of these new models will be a big crossover, and the other likely to be a compact car to rival with BMW 3 series.

Via Automotive News Europe