As Ford Motor Company prepares to start phasing out its entire North American car lineup except for the Mustang and the new, crossover-inspired Focus Active model, the company’s Lincoln luxury division could also see its portfolio downsized rather dramatically. The midsize Lincoln MKZ and full-size Continental are obvious candidates for discontinuation as Ford vows to stop investing in “traditional sedans” for North America, but it might not just be Lincoln’s cars that face the axe; according to Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks, “most Lincoln products” are “value destroyers” for the automaker, and could potentially be scrapped.
“We’re going to feed the healthy part of our business, and deal decisively with the parts that destroy value,” CEO Jim Hackett told analysts during a conference call last week.
As we reported back in March, sources tell us that the Lincoln Continental – an all-new luxury sedan introduced for the 2017 model year, which Ford spent $1 billion bringing to market – will be discontinued after the current, tenth-generation model reaches the end of its life cycle. The Lincoln MKZ, which shares its platform with the Ford Fusion sedan, seems almost certain to go out of production as its stablemate is terminated in 2019. In fact, out of Lincoln’s entire lineup, only the Aviator and Navigator seem safe. Both are comparatively large, high-margin vehicles, and the Aviator, which will replace the MKT, is due for a revolutionary redesign that will see the full-size crossover ditching its FWD-based layout for a RWD one.
The Navigator, which is all-new for 2018, received its own revolutionary redesign that saw it adopting the Ford F-150’s 10-speed automatic transmission and donning a lightweight aluminum body. Sales so far have outpaced production, with Ford having to invest an extra $25 million at its Kentucky Truck Plant to help speed things along.
(Sources: Automotive News)