2010 Ford Escape Hybrid
Earlier this summer, Lincoln execs told High Gear Media about their plans to introduce seven new vehicles in the next four years. With existing products firmly in place--MKX, MKT, MKZ, MKS and Navigator--the brand's focus appears to be turning to the small-car segment.
A report from Louisville's Courier-Journal confirms that Ford will spin off a new version of the next Ford Escape, and will sell the companion model as a Lincoln.
Ford executives told the daily paper that the new crossover would be better equipped to sell against the likes of the Lexus RX, and would go into production when renovations and retooling at the Louisville factory are completed next year.
It also reports Ford will make an official announcement early in December regarding the plant's new vehicles, shortly before the factory assembles its last Ford Explorer on December 13. The timing would presage a likely concept vehicle, to be displayed at the 2011 Detroit auto show.
Ford had been expected to build a version of the Escape for Europe in Kentucky as well, but that Ford Kuga production plan has since been put into turnaround. Ford does confirm that the new Escape will share design themes with the next Kuga, even if they don't share a production facility.
Lincoln is also expected to add a compact sedan to its lineup, based on the upcoming Focus sedan and inspired by its Concept C from the 2009 Detroit auto show.
The Escape and Lincoln crossover will be part of the broad family of C-segment vehicles that include mechanically related vehicles from the 2012 Ford C-Max to the 2012 Ford Focus.