It may sound surprising, but Lincoln was the fastest-growing luxury brand in the United States last year. Sales of Ford’s subsidiary rose 16 percent in 2014 due to strong demand for the MKC crossover, more than double the average increase for luxury makers.
However, in absolute terms, Lincoln ranked as the eighth largest luxury brand in the United States for the fifth consecutive year. The company’s growth engine is the MKC, for which sales rose 102 percent of Lincoln’s total sales increase for the year – 13,077 MKCs were sold while the Lincoln brand’s overall sales rose 12,780 vehicles.
The automaker expects growth to continue as it prepares to launch the larger redesigned MKX crossover this fall. However, Lincoln has a long way to go before returning to its former glory. For instance, the brand’s total 2014 sales were smaller than Lincoln Town Car sales in 1998.
Lincoln’s growth continued in January this year, when it sold 648 more vehicles than in January 2014 (+11 percent). The company sold 1,602 MKCs last month compared with none in January 2014.
Ford is determined to make Lincoln relevant again in the luxury car market, with the automaker recently announcing investments of more than $2.5 billion into Lincoln as it introduces the brand in China and targets triple global sales by 2020.
A lot of the brand’s growth depends on its SUVs, including the refreshed Navigator SUV. The MKC, MKX and Navigator accounted for 59 percent of U.S. Lincoln sales in the second half of 2014. In China, where only the MKC and MKZ are currently on sale, the MKC made up 70 percent of sales.
Story references: AutoNews