MKC crossover reshapes Lincoln revival image

Although it was unable to move the luxury segment’s classification, the fastest-growing premium brand in America last year was now BMW, Lexus or Audi. It was, surprisingly, Ford’s Lincoln.

Cadillac and Lincoln have long fallen out of the top three-tier for the US luxury segment, dominated since the 2000s by Japan’s Lexus and Germany’s BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The latter was actually the eighth largest in the US last year, a place that it has occupied in the past five years. But the brand that was once known for dreary big, barge-like sedans is making a comeback – riding the US customer’s love for sport utility vehicles. For example, the recently introduced MKC crossover – which was sold for eight months last year only – managed to single-handedly lift the brand’s deliveries by 16 percent in 2014 – while the overall luxury market growth was just half, at 8 %. Lincoln will now build on the momentum gained by the crossover segment with the help of the redesigned MKX, a larger SUV that had its official premiere last month during the North American International Auto Show.

Ford’s brand was long waiting for the revival – back in 2013 when luxury brands were already reaping the benefits of the overall market rejuvenation Lincoln was seeing sales drop to a shameful 32-year low. In 2014 the MKC tallied 102 percent of the brand’s increase for the year: 13,077 units of the model were sold and Lincoln surged by 12,780 vehicles. While impressive, the revival is still on a long path – for example the entire delivery quota for last year was less than the figure the Town Car was posting back in 1998 – when Lincoln was also surging past Cadillac as the No. 1 luxury automaker in the US.

Via Automotive News