Focusing on its fuel-efficient leaders seems to be Lincoln’s strategy—made all the more evident by its latest announcement to drop the price on the upper-level trim of the 2012 MKT luxury family crossover and simplifying ordering by dropping two-thirds of the combinations.
It’s no secret that the 2011 Lincoln MKT, the upscale sibling to the Ford Flex, hasn’t been a stellar sales success—it’s the dog in the Lincoln lineup, sales wise. Through June, the 2,507 sales of the MKT are off 36 percent from year-ago levels and it’s the slowest seller in the Lincoln stable. The Flex, on the other hand, has sold 18,803 through June, though it is also off 30.3 percent from the same period last year. Rumors of a redesign for 2013 will likely help both models, but for now, Lincoln’s move to cut price and make it easier to order the MKT could help boost sales.
The starting price for the base model MKT stays the same at $44,300 and the model still is powered by the 3.7-liter V-6 engine. The only option consumers get to choose is Tri-Color Paint.
But the real savings comes when buyers choose the up-level MKT with all-wheel drive (AWD) and the 355-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine. In 2011, this set-up carried a starting price of $49,300. For 2012, it’s $46,295 – a huge $3,005 price savings. It’s interesting to note that this $46,295 was the same price for last-year’s 3.7-liter V-6 MKT with AWD, which is now discontinued.
The luxury family crossover has a lot going for it: seating for up to seven, depending on configuration, all the latest available safety technology—although adding every goody in the options list on the top-of-the-line model MKT can set buyers back more than $59,000--Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and more.
Maybe Lincoln’s new pricing will turn fortunes around for the 2012 MKT. It certainly worked with the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sedan, which the automaker smartly priced the same as its front-wheel drive 3.5-liter V-6 counterpart. Only time will tell. The 2012 Lincoln MKT goes on sale in late summer.