Apparently, the folks at Lincoln think they know “what’s in a name.” As TheCarConnection.com first reported earlier in the week, Ford’s luxury brand will abandon most of its traditional nameplates, with the Navigator a notable exception. Going forward, it will use the letters MK – pronounced “Mark” – as a prefix for new models. There’s the next-generation flagship sedan, the MKS, and the replacement for the Aviator, the MKX crossover. Even the recently-introduced Zephyr will be rechristened the MKZ in 2007, when it will also be given a newer, more powerful 250-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. The new nomenclature generated quite a bit of controversy among industry insiders and observers gathered in Chicago. But Ford officials insisted they were confident names like the MKZ would connect with consumers. “We’re not concerned” about the criticism,” asserted Ford Executive Vice President Anne Stevens. “We had a very strong nameplate in the Mark,” which adorned a number of past products in the Lincoln lineup, she noted. Ford officials stressed that the new naming policy is no experiment, and that they are firmly committed to it for the long run.
2006 Chicago Auto Show Coverage by TCC Team (2/6/2006)