This may be Lincoln's last shot at revival
December 4, 2012
Ford Motor Co.'s umpteenth rebranding of its hapless Lincoln division, poster child for an auto industry also-ran, is one of two things: a corporate conversion in Dearborn or the triumph of hope over experience.
But it can't be both.
The brand-meisters promise a new image and a smart website, a sufficient (if undefined) financial commitment and peerless product execution, a new customer experience and fancy gifts upon taking delivery from Lincoln Motor Co.'s suite of new Lincolns that will, really will, be different from their blue-collar Blue Oval parentage.
They promise. There will be four new vehicles over the next four years, starting with the Ford Fusion-derived MKZ. There will be fewer dealers theoretically selling more Lincolns across the United States. And come 2014, the brand will arrive in three of China's largest cities — Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, the first step in demi-globalization of a domestic brand.
How Lincoln can become a credible American alternative to BMW or Lexus or even Cadillac after decades of drift, badge engineering and half-hearted attempts at rebirth is a mystery, even more so because members of the German-controlled luxury club don't admit new members casually. If at all.
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