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Ford To Remake Lincoln Brand

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On: Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 4:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford To Remake Lincoln Brand

Ford axed the Mercury brand in 2011 after realizing it was a forgotten brand too similar to Ford itself. Ford plans to prevent the same fate for its luxury brand Lincoln with a reinvention campaign to get started later this year.

Mercury had originally served as a betweener - a step up from Ford and a step below Lincoln. However, Mercury became too redundant with Ford, leading to its eventual discontinuation.

Getting rid of Mercury was supposed to better define Ford's branding, with Ford being the regular everyday brand and Lincoln being the luxury brand. However, when you compare Lincoln to luxury imports, it looks and feels more like it's filled in Mercury's near-luxury role than that of a legitimate luxury competitor. Recent reports that Lincoln plans to choose volume over top-end luxury aren't helping its below-full-luxury image and sales have been poor.

Ford hopes to prevent Lincoln from slipping into Mercury territory by reinventing the brand. With the new MKZ sedan and three future vehicles likely to include an entry level luxury crossover, Ford hopes to inject a little buzz into the brand and better differentiate it from Ford itself. We can expect new designs, technologies and personalized options, according to theDetroit News. Ford also plans to build Lincoln-only dealerships and may even replace the Lincoln name with something new. Past information suggests that Ford will target a younger customer base, trying to end Lincoln's reputation as an older person's car.

While Ford hopes to carve out a more defined luxury niche for Lincoln, it is (wisely) not aiming to become the luxury leader.

"Our ambitions are not to be No. 1," Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of marketing told Detroit News. "We'd rather have a few people love us, than everyone like us."

Indeed, it appears to have a nice start on that goal, although we can't help but think that it would get a lot more "love" if it would ever move past the horrible split grille.


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