Aston Martin. Jaguar. Land Rover. Volvo. At one time, these made up Ford’s portfolio of luxury brands. As part of our ONE Ford plan, we sold these brands because they didn’t fit into our long-range goals. But we held on to one stalwart: Lincoln.
In late 2012, we reintroduced “The Lincoln Motor Company” as part of a campaign to revitalize the brand and woo new customers. We see a tremendous opportunity in Lincoln, which will deliver four new models over four years. Buyers of luxury cars slowed their spending during the economic recession, and many today are looking for what we call “affordable premium.”
The Lincoln MKC concept crossover vehicle, which debuted at the North American International Auto Show in early January, aims to compete in the small luxury sport utility category. The Lincoln MKZ, meanwhile, is our latest premium midsize sedan, starting at just under $36,000 – slightly less than our closest competitor. We’re also planning to begin selling Lincoln in China in 2014 – our second market for vehicles outside of North America. Introducing Lincoln into China marks the next step in our expansion in Asia and highlights our commitment to serving customers in the luxury market.
Lincoln is focusing on the largest and fastest-growing segments of the luxury market, with the intention of having all-new entries competing in 90 percent of the premium industry by 2015. The global premium industry overall is projected to grow by 39 percent by 2017, with China playing a key role. By 2017, the U.S. and China will represent 50 percent of the global premium industry.
Our globalized platform approach allows us to use Ford models as starting points for the revamped Lincoln.
To build enthusiasm and excitement, we launched an edgy new advertising campaign, including print and television ads. The first print ad began with the provocative question: “Does the World Need Another Luxury Car?” The answer: “Not really.” The ad campaign captures the founding principles of the Company and makes them relevant for a new generation of luxury buyers.
Lincoln was originally called the Lincoln Motor Company in 1922, when Edsel Ford purchased the Company from its founder, Henry Leland. During its early years, Edsel worked with numerous custom-body suppliers to make Lincoln one of the most distinctive luxury brands in the industry, with motorcars that were considered urbane, sleek and elegant. The revitalization of the Lincoln brand marries this heritage with our most modern technologies to meet the needs of savvy consumers who have many choices.