Ford Chicago Plant Dropping Lincoln for More Explorers
MKS Successor Continental to be Built Elsewhere
It’s not the first time we’ve seen this happen. Ford has announced the slow-selling Lincoln MKS fullsize sedan will be dropped from the production mix at its Chicago Assembly Plant to make room to build more of the popular Explorer midsize SUV. Taking a look at the numbers, it’s easy to see why: Only 8,324 units of the MKS were built at Chicago last year, compared to a whopping 284,993 Explorers, Automotive News reports.
Part of the move may have something to do with manufacturing logistics. Whereas the MKS is built on the Ford D3 platform, which also underpins the Explorer and Taurus, the Continental, which will replace the MKS in Lincoln’s lineup, will be built on an enlarged version of the Fusion’s platform. In addition to the main plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, the Fusion is also built in Flat Rock, Michigan. Flat Rock is reportedly the leading candidate to get the Continental, although Ford has not yet officially said where the Continental will be built.
The scenario is somewhat similar to what General Motors did in 1996 with its Arlington, Texas, assembly plant, when it dropped the Chevrolet Caprice, Cadillac Fleetwood, and Buick Roadmaster fullsize sedans in favor of fullsize pickups and SUVs.
Source: Automotive News