From time to time, auto media and research firms rank cars based on quality and customer appeal. The latest of these is from AutoGuide. In its ratings of 10 luxury cars, the Lincoln MKT finished last. Lincoln also finished last in a new rating by SlashGear. (These are the least reliable new cars in America.)
The AutoGuide review was the more brutal of the two. It reported, “We truly pity the poor soul that strolls into a Lincoln dealer over the next year and spends their hard earned cash on one of these.” The review said the Lincoln MKT was overpriced, ugly and had poor technology.
In the second quarter of this year, Lincoln sold a mere 20,124 vehicles, down 15.2% from a year ago. If not for the success of the massive, expensive Navigator, the sales of which were up 20.1% to 4,688, the numbers would have been much worse. Lincoln, in the United States at least, cannot thrive on a $100,000 SUV used to chauffeur the very rich around.
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Lincoln’s primary problem is that Ford has given up on it, at least in America. Lincoln has a pathetically small number of models. This means people have little reason to visit its dealers. Additionally, its image sits well below those of Mercedes, Lexus, BMW and a small army of other luxury brands.
Ford keeps selling Lincolns in the United States because it can. Unit sales are not a goal, as far as experts can tell. Ford has to have a luxury brand, or at least that is the conventional wisdom. However, why wouldn’t an Explorer Platinum with a price tag of $60,000 fill that void, or a $90,000 Expedition Platinum? Ford, with Lincoln sales in tatters, should at least consider that.
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