The future of Lincoln lies in smaller cars and crossover vehicles, according to a report today in Automotive News.
The industry weekly says the brand will develop a new range of smaller vehicles that could eventually replace the traditional top sellers at the luxury brand. In the past the franchise has been carried by cars like the Lincoln Town Car and the Lincoln Navigator.
With new fuel-economy regulations on the way in the next decade, vehicles of that size and image are on the way out. The Town Car is available for fleet customers only in 2010; the Navigator's still on the production charts but its future beyond 2011 is in doubt.
Instead, the News reports Ford will give Lincoln a new small car in the next couple of years. It's fairly sure the new car will be based on the global platform that will spawn the new Ford Focus next year; in fact, Lincoln previewed a future small car at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show as the Concept C (shown here).
Even more certain is a smaller crossover vehicle headed to Lincoln showrooms. The brand just added the 2010 Lincoln MKT seven-seater to its lineup; a mid-size crossover sharing the running gear of the 2010 Ford Taurus and the coming 2011 Ford Explorer seems the best fit for the company, as sister division Mercury already sells the Mariner compact ute and hybrid SUV.
The News says Lincoln also will redesign the MKZ sedan in 2012 or 2013, moving it to a new global platform Ford will use for the next Fusion. The MKS sedan, meanwhile, gets refreshed in the 2012 model year and replaced in 2014 or 2015.
[Automotive News via MotorAuthority]