Lincoln Will Keep The MKT In Production Despite The Aviator’s Arrival

Lincoln is keen on keeping the MKT alive even after its successor, the all-new Aviator, arrives in 2019.

The 9-year-old SUV remains a favorite of livery services so it’s going to stick around for the foreseeable future for fleet buyers to use as a hotel cab or funeral hearse, according to Robert Parker, Lincoln’s marketing manager who spoke to Automotive News.

Lincoln is currently focusing core models like the Navigator and the Aviator on the more profitable retail market, as it doesn’t want to discount them on rental lots. That means that the MKT has still a role to play.

“MKT can fill that role profitably for the company and will for the time being,” Parker said. “We don’t think it negatively impacts the brand.”

The Lincoln MKT is the company’s lowest-volume seller by far, with 1,653 units sold in the U.S. through August, down 22 percent from the same period last year. It’s also Lincoln’s last model that features the old split-wing grille design.

Lincoln will likely not updated it either, with the brand’s executives being fine with the MKT still being available for sale to commercial fleet businesses.

“It has a place,” Parker said. “Just like a long snapper on a football team. Nobody knows their name, or cares, but if he screws up a snap, it’s a bad day.”

The MKT will be replaced by the Lincoln Aviator, which is based on a new rear-drive platform and will be offered with a twin-turbo petrol engine, both on its own and as part of an optional plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Parker added that their research showed that buyers are willing to pay for the range-topping Black Label trims of the Aviator, enabling Lincoln to focus more on retail sales. That means that the new Lincoln Aviator will not go into fleets at a discount, leaving that role to the MKT.

“If you see an Aviator in Denver at a rental-car location,” Parker said, “it’s because they paid us what you would have paid when you bought it.”

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  • charlotteharry57

    They keep saying that these are so popular with livery services. I still see a ton of older Town Cars doing that. I’ve only seen one of these on the road, ever, and that was in its first year.

    • Maximilian Norlande Rabbitt

      I’ve seen a maximum of eight over the years

    • Kash

      I’ve seen several but I only ever see them when I go to Costco and they’re always being loaded to the brim with stuff so I have to assume the owners only either drag them out for Costco runs because of their size (they’re also driven by older people), or they live so far outside civilization that’s why we never see these on the road.

    • Galaxium

      I saw a number of them, but not as many as Escalades/Tahoes/Suburbans/Yukons/Navigators in NYC.

  • performante

    I’ll never forget the first time I saw one of these. I about vomited out my car window.

    • :/ Yurr

      Lol I bet

  • Merc1

    “We don’t think it negatively impacts the brand.”

    Hard to negatively impact a brand that is pretty much in the toilet to begin with.

    M

    • Joe E

      Agree. This is one of the few cars that multiple friends of mine who know zero about cars have pointed out as being hideously ugly. If a model looks so bad that it registers as “ugly” to people who think something like a Civic or new Camry looks “good and modern,” you know it’s bad. And…damaging to the brand, since that’s probably the first time these folks have thought of Lincoln in perhaps decades.

  • Maximilian Norlande Rabbitt

    It ain’t pretty, by any means, but I’ve always thought these would be perfect hearses. It’s one of those “over my dead body” instances. Except the deceased weren’t able to choose before they passed.

  • Kash

    Every sale counts when we’re talking about Lincoln’s poor overall numbers.

  • Bruce K

    “…with 1,653 units sold in the U.S. through August” — how can it possibly be worth it to continue such a low-production model? If that is all they’ve sold, how can they say it’s popular w/ limo services, etc.???

  • TheBelltower

    Man this thing is vile. At the very least, update that dumb looking grille and tired looking back end. This is the kind of weaksauce that has earned Lincoln their reputation. Real premium car companies don’t have this kind of junk in their portfolio just because funeral homes and car services might want them.

    • OdysseyTag

      Perfectly worded.

  • Rocket

    Maybe a sign that somebody wised up and decided to keep the Flex around? Probably not — that would make too much sense.

    I don’t care about the MKT, but the Flex should be updated and kept around. More Flexes were sold in August than MKT’s YTD after all. With sufficient updates and the addition of a Platinum trim level, they wouldn’t even need the homely MKT. The debate about whether it harms the brand goes away entirely.

  • Galaxium

    I can’t believe I actually liked this model when it first came out.

    • :/ Yurr

      What did you like about particularly?

  • john1168

    I HATE these MKT’s. Built when Lincoln was saying they were making better cars but really weren’t. Such a lazy/cheap design. Nothing premium about it. But they do make a halfway decent limo.

  • Paul

    I hardly ever see these. It’s definitely the ugly duckling of the line up.

  • brn

    Crawled through one of these a few months ago. Questionable outside. Amazingly nice inside. An underrated vehicle.

  • Mr. EP9

    Kill this ugly thing already or update it.

  • MKT only need a restyle

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