New Cadillac sponsorship
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Ford Motor Company unveiled its flagship 2003 Lincoln Town Car during a
November 26 reception for news media held at company founder Henry Ford's
historic Fairlane estate in Dearborn. William Clay Ford Jr., company chairman
and great-great-grandson of Ol' Henry, was host.
In a sense, it's a pull-ahead for both the car and the company's
100th Anniversary, although the new
Town Car is scheduled to go on sale next summer, fully a year before the
company's June 2003 birthday.
Lincoln has chosen the special Town Car Cartier L
model as the "halo car" for its newest version -- subject of the unveiling,
media photo release and presumably later advertising and promotional efforts.
This is curious because the long-wheelbase L has been virtually a stealth
vehicle since its quiet introduction two years ago at the North American
International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Town Car L nevertheless is the epitome of the
upper end of Lincoln's lineup. The six-inch longer L, with its impressively
greater rear-seat legroom, was introduced mid-year 2000 at the Detroit Auto Show
as a toe in the water to test the newly rediscovered livery and executive
limousine market. In MY 2000, a modest 1,200 units were programmed in the
half-year, mostly for livery markets like Carey Limo and Boston Coach. According
to Rick Brisson, Town Car/Continental brand manager for Lincoln, the Ls are
targeted for six to seven thousand units this year.
That may not sound like much, but it's significantly
larger than the 1,000 to 1,800 annual output of the Cadillac 75 limo back in the
Eighties when Caddy still rode on a rear-wheel-drive platform.