Ford is reportedly developing new models for Lincoln “in fast-growing segments” as the U.S. automaker tries to turn around the luxury brand. According to a Reuters report, Ford held a presentation to investors on Thursday, with the carmaker showing a chart that said it expects the premium small-car and crossover segments to grow consistently by 2015.
Lincoln doesn’t have a small car in its offer, but the brand may be considering a compact sedan for 2016 or later, according to a previous report from the news agency that cited a person familiar with the brand's strategy.
As for the crossover, Lincoln has already shown a concept version of the MKC compact CUV that is expected to launch next year. Matt VanDyke, Lincoln’s global director, said at the conference that the compact sedan and crossover are vehicle markets "that we're not playing in today that we can enter that are high-volume segments and growing fast."
“The MKC concept is really representative of a direction of where we will go next, again, launching four new products in the next four years,” VanDyke added.
If the small sedan gets the green light, it will compete against the Cadillac ATS and Mercedes-Benz CLA and will likely be sold in China as well, as Ford plans to launch Lincoln in the world’s largest car market in the second half of 2014.
Lincoln’s overhaul started with the MKZ sedan, but it wasn’t a good start, as quality and supply issues slowed the MKZ’s deliveries. Even though dealers expected the sedan by the end of 2012, inventory reached normal levels only this spring.
By Dan Mihalascu