The Lincoln MKZ concept has been unveiled at the Detroit motor show – and its significance goes well beyond the launch of a new product, as it also marks the first step in Ford’s quest to reinvigorate its struggling luxury brand.
"We are not introducing a new car, we are essentially introducing a new brand," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development. "The MKZ concept is the next step in the reinvention of Lincoln, something we have been quietly but aggressively pursuing."
Ford has long pondered what to do with Lincoln, but is now committed to growing it; company bosses have set up a dedicated team of engineers and designers to work on Lincoln products only, and have also pledged to launch seven new or significantly revised Lincolns by 2014, two others of which are the flagship and MKT crossover, which are both also at the show.
Mark Fields, president of Ford America, said: “Lincoln is an important part of our business. The luxury industry is significant. In any given year in the US, the luxury segment is 11-13 per cent of overall sales, and it’s important for us to win customers with strong new vehicles.”