Lincoln ‘Not True Luxury’ Ford Design Chief Says

Lincoln ‘Not True Luxury’ Ford Design Chief Says

Lincoln is probably still a decade away from regaining status as a true luxury brand according to a high-level Ford executive.

“No, we’re not true luxury,” Ford design chief J Mays told the Detroit News yesterday. “We’re in an investment stage with Lincoln.”

That investment will come in the form of new products aimed at moving the brand away from its less than lavish reputation. The recently released MKZ is the first of four new vehicles meant to do that. But a bungled launch that lead to months of delays for customers who placed pre-orders got the brand off to a rocky start.

How Lincoln will distinguish itself is probably the toughest question the company currently faces. Features that might have been associated with luxury cars several years ago are now available in mass market vehicles. Less expensive brands offer heated steering wheels, touch screen infotainment systems and cooled seats. It means standing out is more difficult.

Mays said part of the brand’s strategy will build on the more premium MKZ interior and push-button shift system. For example, taking the MKZ from park to drive involved pressing a “P” button rather than moving a gear selection stick.

[Source: the Detroit News]

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