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Lincoln Nautilus Sales Drop Faster Than Segment Average During Q4 2020

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Lincoln Nautilus sales fell in the United States, Mexico, and South Korea during the fourth quarter of 2020.

Lincoln replaced the MKX with the Nautilus in 2019, in conjunction with the crossover’s midcycle refresh. Availability of both models overlaps in some markets as dealers sell out remaining MKX inventory and transition to the Nautilus. For this reason, our figures include both Nautilus and MKX results, as applicable.

Lincoln Nautilus Sales - Q4 2020 - United States

In the United States, Lincoln Nautilus deliveries totaled 6,690 units in Q4 2020, a decrease of about 13 percent compared to 7,727 units sold in Q4 2019.

During the complete 2020 calendar year, Nautilus sales decreased about 28 percent to 22,742 units.
MODEL Q4 2020 / Q4 2019 Q4 2020 Q4 2019YTD 2020 / YTD 2019 YTD 2020 YTD 2019
NAUTILUS -13.42% 6,690 7,727 -28.28% 22,742 31,711

Lincoln Nautilus Sales - Q4 2020 - Canada

In Canada, Lincoln Nautilus deliveries totaled 451 units in Q4 2020.

During the complete 2020 calendar year, Nautilus sales totaled 1,753 units.
MODEL Q4 2020 / Q4 2019 Q4 2020 Q4 2019YTD 2020 / YTD 2019 YTD 2020 YTD 2019
NAUTILUS * 451 * * 1,753 0

Lincoln Nautilus Sales - Q4 2020 - South Korea

In South Korea, Lincoln Nautilus deliveries totaled 14 units in Q4 2020, a decrease of about 96 percent compared to 333 units sold in Q4 2019. It's believed that availability issued were responsible for the significant drop in sales volume.

During the complete 2020 calendar year, Nautilus sales decreased about 39 percent to 475 units.
MODEL Q4 2020 / Q4 2019 Q4 2020 Q4 2019YTD 2020 / YTD 2019 YTD 2020 YTD 2019
NAUTILUS -95.80% 14 333 -39.41% 475 784

Lincoln Nautilus Sales – Q4 2020 – Mexico

In Mexico, combined Lincoln Nautilus deliveries totaled 26 units in Q4 2020, a decrease of 83 percent compared to 152 combined Nautilus and MKX units sold in Q4 2019.

MODEL Q4 20 / Q4 19 Q4 20 Q4 19 YTD 20 / YTD 19 YTD 20 YTD 19
NAUTILUS -75.70% 26 107 -49.50% 102 202
MKX -100.00% 0 45 -72.98% 67 248
TOTAL -82.89% 26 152 -62.44% 169 450

Competitive Sales Comparison (USA)

Sales results of the Lincoln Nautilus in the United States keeps the nameplate in eighth place out of 11 rivals in its competitive set in Q4 2020. The Lexus RX led the segment in first place, followed by the BMW X3 in second, which made up a cumulative 17,946 units when combined with its sister vehicle, the X4. Audi Q5 took third, followed by the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Acura MDX, Volvo XC60, and Cadillac XT5 (see running Cadillac XT5 sales), followed by the Nautilus. The Lincoln outsold the Infiniti QX50, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and BMW X4.

Notably, six out of the 11 models in the segment posted an increase in sales volume during Q4 2020.

Sales Numbers - D-Segment Luxury Crossovers - Q4 2020 - United States

MODEL Q4 20 / Q4 19 Q4 20 Q4 19 Q4 20 SHARE Q4 19 SHARE YTD 20 / YTD 19 YTD 20 YTD 19
LEXUS RX -0.17% 34,808 34,866 22% 24% -8.99% 101,059 111,036
BMW X3 +17.76% 23,541 19,990 15% 14% -14.50% 59,941 70,110
AUDI Q5 +14.61% 21,065 18,380 14% 13% -25.30% 50,435 67,516
MERCEDES-BENZ GLC-CLASS -11.39% 18,639 21,034 12% 14% -28.55% 52,626 73,650
ACURA MDX +3.21% 15,263 14,788 10% 10% -8.08% 47,816 52,019
VOLVO XC60 +38.17% 11,616 8,407 7% 6% +4.91% 32,078 30,578
CADILLAC XT5 -1.95% 10,950 11,168 7% 8% -29.38% 35,223 49,879
LINCOLN NAUTILUS -13.42% 6,690 7,727 4% 5% -28.28% 22,742 31,711
INFINITI QX50 +26.17% 6,316 5,006 4% 3% +12.19% 20,885 18,616
ALFA ROMEO STELVIO +35.61% 3,526 2,600 2% 2% +8.89% 10,284 9,444
BMW X4 -0.96% 2,896 2,924 2% 2% -12.34% 7,677 8,758
TOTAL +5.73% 155,310 146,890 -15.77% 440,766 523,317

On a segment share basis, the Lincoln Nautilus took a 4 percent share, substantially lower than the 22 and 15 percent held by the segment-leading Lexus RX and BMW X3.

The luxury D-crossover segment expanded 6 percent to 155,310 units during Q4 2020, meaning Lincoln Nautilus sales significantly underperformed the segment average during the quarter. In fact, Nautilus sales fell the most (on a percentage basis) during the week.

We should note that Lexus RX sales now include the two-row RX and the three-row RX L, with the three-row RX L being a rival to the new Lincoln Aviator. As such, a more apt comparison would be to pit Nautilus and Aviator sales against those of the RX.

Sales Numbers - Lexus RX Family vs. Lincoln Nautilus & Aviator - Q4 2020 - USA

MODEL Q4 20 / Q4 19 Q4 20 Q4 19 Q4 20 SHARE Q4 19 SHARE YTD 20 / YTD 19 YTD 20 YTD 19
LEXUS RX -0.17% 34,808 34,866 71% 71% -8.99% 101,059 111,036
LINCOLN AVIATOR +13.33% 7,280 6,424 15% 13% +177.30% 23,080 8,323
LINCOLN NAUTILUS -13.42% 6,690 7,727 14% 16% -28.28% 22,742 31,711
TOTAL -0.49% 48,778 49,017 -2.77% 146,881 151,070

Adding Nautilus and Aviator sales nets Lincoln 13,970 combined deliveries in Q4, 20,838 units less than the Lexus RX.

The Ford Authority Take

The substantial drop in Lincoln Nautilus sales during Q4 2020 is concerning, especially when considering that the midsize luxury crossover posted the biggest drop in sales in its segment on a percentage basis.

Potential factors that may have contributed to the lackluster performance include:

  1. Sub-par Nautilus inventory at the retail (dealer level).
  2. More desirable product offerings from competitors, including substantially newer offerings from Infiniti and BMW.
  3. Better purchase or lease incentives offered by competitors, including higher residual values for lease customers.

Luckily, the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus will deliver several updates in key areas, including an overhauled cockpit (interior) with new infotainment. Here’s to hoping that this will be enough to spur interest and purchase consideration of the Nautilus.

About The Numbers

  • All percent change figures compared to Lincoln Nautilus and MKX sales for Q4 2019
  • In the United States, there were 79 selling days in Q4 2020 and 78 selling days in Q4 2019
  • South Korea sales figures reflect actual vehicle registrations rather than wholesales
Ford Motor Company Q4 2020 sales reports:

[mtxcg_posts cats=”Nautilus” count=”2″ show-more-posts=”true”

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Written by Francisco Cruz

Frankie's first favorite car was a 1968 Ford Mustang, and he's had a strong appreciation for the nameplate ever since. Later in his youth he became infatuated with Eleanor, thanks to Nicholas Cage's stellar performance.

Frank's a real jokester, too.

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12 Comments

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  1. I’m not surprised that sales have declined as the 2020 was an aging design in a highly competitive market. The 2021 interior redesign appears to be excellent but I wouldn’t have traded my 2012 MKX prior to this refresh. Still, the front fascia rework is so subtle that unless someone sees the ’20 and ’21 side by side they’d never know the difference. I thought the grillwork might get a makeover. I’ve read the taillights were redesigned too but I see little evidence of that.

    Don’t get me wrong; I love my MKX and will be brand loyal based upon my experience. But to capture new buyers I doubt the 2021 will turn heads on the highway and get new folks in dealer showrooms.

  2. One possible answer would be to make any makeover stand out, especially against the outgoing model. When markets are rich with competitors and you are lagging in the sales league, then, any upgrades have to be strong. Obviously, market surveys call out a need for interior improvements but restraining the number of exterior changes has not been well received? Facelifts must be worth the Dollars or you risk ending up in no man’s land.

  3. Probably drivers were waiting for the refreshed nautilus because it’s more luxurious and it has sync 4. If I were them I would wait also because why is it worth it to get the old model when all you have to do is wait a few more months for a car that adds features as it gets older unlike the old Nautlius.

  4. The problem for the last 15-20 years is Lincoln and Cadillac and a few others went to the Alphabet soup naming convention. Trying to compete with the European naming with letters and numbers only loses many. How many vehicles can people name by brand. Lincoln, “continental”, Ford, ” Mustang and F150″, Chevrolet, “Camaro, Impala, Corvette. Cadillac, “Deville”. Half of which are no longer made. What in the world is was, MKX and MKZ, CT5 or XT5? You may notice Lincoln commercials are about Lincoln, not a model mentioned. It’s why Ford decided to go with the Mustang with the EV. Immediate name recognition, for one the vehicle and two every knows it’s a Ford.

    • Agreed. I bought a Cutlass, Camaro Bonneville, Impala. Names you grew up on. Names of cars your family and friends owned. Cars with names that songs were made.

  5. I bought a 2021 avaitor love it the problem is the service experience is not like Lexus which has the best service bar none. My avaitor is a great vehicle but when I got it there was alot places on the car that could have been cleaned better which doesn’t happen at Lexus, attention to detail !!!

  6. I presently drive a 2015 MKS and have been looking at purchasing a Nautilus until I discovered you can’t get a six cylinder and all the engines available all require premium fuel. Who wants to pay 40 to 50 cents more per gallon. I also like the front grills on the the MKX but that doesn’t bug me as much as paying for high test fuel.

      • No premium fuel required and there is a twin turbo V6 optional on the Nautilus in both 2020 and 2021 versions from my research.

        My MKX @ 100,000 miles has been the best vehicle I have ever owned in terms of comfort and cost of ownership and I’ve driven European, Japanese and several domestic brands. I think one advantage this platform retains is that FMC has been building it for more than a dozen years; mostly refreshing it even now as the Nautilus. I expect reliability with the “new” 2021 will be much better than the recent rollout of the Aviator which seems to have had several “new model” hiccups.

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