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 |  Aug 14 2011, 11:00 AM

We’ve heard about money being invested. We’ve heard about the division getting its own stand alone design operation, but will Ford stick to its guns and view Lincoln as a long-term investment?

Given the short-tenure focus of most US corporations these days, it’s difficult to say at this point, but as one of the oldest nameplates in the business, Ford’s luxury brand definitely deserves a chance.

By installing a core group of executives to run Lincoln, many with international experience and declaring that it’s willing to spend real money on the tooling needed to provide the brand’s vehicles with signature styling outside and in, Ford appears to be moving in the right direction.

Other ideas on the table include eliminating gear levers in all Lincoln vehicles in favor of push buttons, as well as cutting the number of dealers nationwide, down to around 325, which rivals the number of Mercedes-Benz stores in the US.

Additionally, Ford is talking about courting new customers with Lincoln, a sub-set of younger, more affluent buyers than its traditional client base; the result could be a proliferation in product offerings, possibly GT cars and even convertibles.

This so-called sub-set of buyers represents around 25 percent of the luxury market in the US and, currently, the fastest growing in the segment. As a result, the opportunity is there for Lincoln to achieve great things, provided Ford sticks to its plan of creating a ‘proper’ luxury brand.

Look for the first idea of what the “new Lincoln” is all about with the debut of the 2013 MKZ at the Detroit Auto Show in January. One hint that’s slipped out is the MyLincoln Select Drive system, that allows for adjustable suspension, steering and throttle settings.

[Source: Autoblog]