According to an Automotive News report, future Lincoln vehicles will be heavily differentiated from their Ford counterparts, as the two brands will no longer share design cues and technology.
“The strategy isn't just new products, but full differentiation from the Ford brand in not only design, but in technology”, said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development, on the sidelines of the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
Mr. Kuzak also said that Ford would achieve this by modifying the existing platforms in order to create unique Lincoln products. That could be the case with Ford’s power steering or chassis electronic control, for example.
“Imagine adding suspension control to that and what would happen to the platform if you did that on Lincoln only”, he added.
Scott Tobin, Lincoln's director of product development, told Automotive News that future Lincoln products will have newly designed interiors, an extended V6 engine line-up and other features, such as paddle shifters and all-wheel drive systems, with no rear-wheel drive variants in the works.
Lincoln also plans to reorganize its dealer network by eliminating at least 200 franchises in the top 130 U.S. markets. Furthermore, remaining dealers must agree to thoroughly upgrade their facilities and implement other changes.
By Csaba Daradics