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Lincoln rides the MKC to sales revival

Dealers, executives see small crossover's success as just a start

February 8, 2015 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT -- The fastest-growing luxury brand in the U.S. last year was not BMW, Lexus or Audi.

It was -- believe it or not -- Lincoln, a marque synonymous with big, barge-like sedans that's now staking its comeback hopes mostly on utility vehicles.

In its first eight months on the market, the MKC crossover singlehandedly propelled Lincoln sales 16 percent higher in 2014. That's more than double the average increase for luxury makers, though Lincoln ranked as just the eighth largest of those brands, for a fifth consecutive year.

Lincoln aims to build on its momentum this fall with a redesigned MKX, which it unveiled at last month's Detroit auto show.

After its U.S. sales fell to a 32-year low in 2013, Lincoln's one-two punch in a hot corner of the industry has given long-suffering dealers reason to feel optimistic again.

"Things are so much better," said Ed Witt, owner of Witt Lincoln in San Diego. "This brand was starved and neglected. Thank goodness that chapter is over. It still requires patience, it still requires a lot of hard work, but I think they've done amazing things."

More at: http://www.autonews.com/article/20150208/OEM/302099986/lincoln-rides-the-mkc-to-sales-revival
 

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Thanks for this post Jose! :thumb: While I'm pleased that the MKC and the redesigned 2015 Navigator are adding fire to Lincoln's sales, I believe it's vital that Lincoln design memorable and classically designed automobiles that people dream of owning. On Facebook, a couple of days ago, around February 6, at 6:55am, the Lincoln Motor Company posted a picture of an elegant white 1962 Lincoln Continental convertible. The over 120 comments posted by potential future customers were very positive and encouraged Lincoln to return to delivering the type of automobiles customers truly desire to own. :angel
 

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I didn't realize on how important the MKC was to Lincoln's sales results until this month.70% of sales in China. Wow!

Cuv's are really big now, worlwide. I hope that 'white space' vehicle is another cuv.
 

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I didn't realize on how important the MKC was to Lincoln's sales results until this month.70% of sales in China. Wow!

Cuv's are really big now, worlwide. I hope that 'white space' vehicle is another cuv.
Could be, I just hope it is not the new Aviator.....the next MKT is the Aviator so that shouldn't be a white space vehicle!.
70% of Lincoln sales in china?? where did you get the numbers iculookn?
 

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Could be, I just hope it is not the new Aviator.....the next MKT is the Aviator so that shouldn't be a white space vehicle!.
70% of Lincoln sales in china?? where did you get the numbers iculookn?

I think you are mis-understanding. Right in the article it says 70% of Lincoln's sales in China were the MKC.

In China, where dealers sell only the MKC and MKZ sedan, the MKC has been 70 percent of sales.
 

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I really want to see Lincoln succeed. I like both the MKC & MKZ with the exception of the rear end designs I don't care for either of them. The new MKX looks to be the best of the bunch to me. I don't really know what's going to become of the MKS & MKT both seem to be great cars but neither has ever caught on with anyone. What I really want to see from Lincoln is a new RWD preferably V8 powered large sedan hopefully named Continental.
 

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Does anyone have any info on the new MKS? Will we see an intro at the New York Auto Show, or will it get Shanghaied? Is the RWD platform ready? is the HUD ready?
 

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Lincoln is still not doing nearly as well as I had expected with MKC and MKZ, but I guess we need allot more time and the initial excitement of new products is not as important as what happens in aggregate.
 

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The launch of the New 2016 MKX should really kick up dealership traffic globally. The Big 2015 Navigator should be imported to China this year also, with it's updated 'classic' design it should do quite well. Along with being able to sell next to the next gen model when it's launched in a few years. The current Navigator for Lincoln is like the Land Cruiser is for Toyota.
 

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I don't think MKX is launching globally in 2015 however and the hiatus will certainly hurt sales for the year in the US, although launching Lincoln in China will help their growth from a global sales perspective. I'm prepared for a flat or negative sales year in the US until the end of the year. It takes Lincoln a good 6-months to fully launch a new product so the MKX hiatus will be most of the year to most customers.
 

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Did borg just predict flat sales all year?
I disagree. MKX will stay same or slowly increase in the next few months due to managed incentives, just as they roll out new one in June. MKX is an established vehicle, not new space like MKC, and sales will back fill right away. And it is a fine new product as well. I expect steady increases all year long, realistically, and not a surge any time in the near term. But there is product here now to help maintain that momentum. And if they wanted to boost a slow month, they can always help it along with incentives and fleet increases. Slow and steady is how Lincoln is building it for the long haul, and in 20 years, their speed today will be all but forgotten.
 

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MKX is at it's lowest sales in years, it's already collapsing. I think you're wrong buddy. And the MKX is a fall launch, June is not fall.

I agree that a poor sales year now means little in the longterm.

The MKX is an established product, but like all new Lincolns they are moving up. It's a little like the old CTS vs the new CTS, they are better but also more expensive products and it will take awhile to get new customers while they shed the old ones (MKC could soften that blow as ATS softened the Caddy transition). You have to keep in mind that there will be almost no MKX inventory on the lot by the time new MKX is out, that's a big hole for them unless MKC and MKZ start selling 3K a month each.

I think it's worth celebrating the fact that the MKC had a relatively smooth launch so I'm optimistic that MKX will have minimal problems at launch, especially with such a long lead time to sort it out while Edge is full-swing.
 

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.....but, but, but.



You know it's coming. Wonder who will be the first Hater.
Challenge accepted!

BMW, the top selling premium brand in the US grew by only 9.8% with total sales of 339,738 vehicles. That means BMW sold 34,600+ more vehicles in 2014 than 2013.

Lincoln on the other hand grew by a chart leading 16% with sales growth of 12,780 additional vehicles sold versus 2013.

So in the end the fastest growing premium brand, Lincoln, grew by barely a third of the total new sales of the leading premium brand. Somehow the peak of the mountain Lincoln is trying to climb grew more distant, not ever closer. Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
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Bigger picture 2014 was a mixed bag for Lincoln, the MKC showed their focus on CUVs should pay off in greater sales and profits as they fill out the line with a new competitive MKX and hopefully replace the moribund MKT with a proper three row CUV rather than tall wagon at some point in the near future. The flip side is the MKZ peaking relatively low and already falling. If they can get a solid half year of new MKX sales in 2015 they should continue to see very good percentage growth, which in the near term with a limited lineup is all they could ask for.
 

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borg,
everything I have heard is summer launch. But I could be wrong. But I disagree about flat sales. Flat sales is what Cadillac experienced all last year and will experience this year. Lincoln will move up all year, with maybe a couple of low months.

And CTS old vs new is nothing like MKX, which mostly retains it's price, where CTS moved up significantly in price.
And a very mild increase in size will not change it's segment, and will only be appreciated, potentially bringing in more sales.
 

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borg,
everything I have heard is summer launch. But I could be wrong. But I disagree about flat sales. Flat sales is what Cadillac experienced all last year and will experience this year. Lincoln will move up all year, with maybe a couple of low months.

And CTS old vs new is nothing like MKX, which mostly retains it's price, where CTS moved up significantly in price.
And a very mild increase in size will not change it's segment, and will only be appreciated, potentially bringing in more sales.
Production begins in May so we could start being cars by August, but Lincoln production ramps up very slowly which is why I think they are calling this an Autumn debut (it's on their site, it's in their press conference, etc.)

Lincoln usually responds to gaps in inventory by offering bigger incentives to keep returning customers which may boost MKC and MKZ sales.
 

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Is Lincoln even making the MKT for 2015? Every time I go to Lincoln's website it shows the MKT as a 2014 model.
 
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