Lincoln has revealed the concept version of its second all-new model as part of the re-invention of the brand at the Detroit motor show today. The the MKC luxury SUV arrives just as the all-new MKZ saloon is just reaching Lincoln showrooms in the US. The brand is promising four new cars over the next four years, though there’s no news on the form of the other two.
Although Lincoln isn’t giving much away about the MKC, it is 4.55m long with a 2.7m-long wheelbase, and is loosely based on the Ford Escape/Kuga. The lavish styling has been created by Lincoln’s dedicated design team. The brand also gets its own dedicated engineering team.
After the US home market, Lincoln will be launched into China in late 2014. It’s highly unlikely that Lincoln will be launched in Europe, but a big Mondeo-based SUV looks possible.
Technical detail was kept to a minimum, because Ford is really interested in the MKC’s role in helping re-positioning the Lincoln brand. Marketing boss Jim Farley asked the assembled hacks ‘whether the world needs another luxury car brand’ but claims there is is developing market for "progressive luxury" buyers. Apparently these people are "discrete, not showy" and more interested in a good buying experience than "what a brand says about them".
To that end, Lincoln will concentrate on dealer service and is about to introduce a ‘24/7 internet-based shopping concierge’ for Lincoln owners. The MKC unveiling was hosted by Ford’s most senior people, including Bill Ford who made much of the brand’s heritage. Ford said his grandfather "was at the table" when Lincoln became part of Ford in 1922.
Bill Ford also rejected the suggestion that Ford must now be regretting selling its premium brands (including Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo) now that premium badges are one of the few parts of the global car market that is booming. Ford said "the Blue Oval had to fixed and polished first, before we could do anything else. If that wasn’t right, nothing else mattered."