Lincoln and Mercury will be shedding weight as they are repositioned to offer smaller vehicle lineups that are more fuel-conscious and appealing to today's consumer. Lincoln, Ford's luxury marque, is looking to revitalize its brand with new and restyled premium offerings that include the MKS, MKT, MKX, and MKZ. The Navigator, long an American status symbol, may be doomed to the same fate as the Town Car and be discontinued by the end of 2011 due to lagging sales.
The buzz surrounding Lincoln is the upcoming emergence of a compact crossover that is expected in 2011 as a 2012 model. The compact premium crossover will share the underpinnings of the next-generation Ford Kuga, which will also be shared with the redesigned Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner compact SUVs. The compact CUV could be manufactured at Ford's Louisville, Kentucky facility, which is currently being retooled for small car production. A compact car based on the next-generation global Ford Focus platform may also find its way into the base of the Lincoln lineup.
While Lincoln may be slimming down to six offerings, Mercury will be going anorexic as the brand will feature just three vehicles. With the Grand Marquis and the Mountaineer at the end of their ropes, the Mariner and Milan will be joined in 2011 by a compact car that will also be based off the next-generation Ford Focus. The Mercury variation will be a four-door sedan, is code-named C557, and may be built in Wayne, Michigan.
Sources: Automotive News, Automotive News (subscription required)