Lincoln's $5B revival bid hinges upon new D6 chassisMon, 27 Oct 2014
It's no secret that Lincoln has received short shrift from the Ford Motor Company for years, and former CEO Alan Mullay even wanted to kill the whole thing off when he ran things. Today, things appear to be trending in a different direction. Fresh investment has helped enable a sizable marketing push for its well-regarded MKC compact crossover, a couple of awards for the company and plant the seeds for a major expansion into China. While the situation is still in the early going, it looks like Lincoln is on a tentative (if long) path towards a turnaround. If new reports are accurate, the brand is poised to build on that momentum with its largest investment in new products in years thanks in large measure to a new modular platform codenamed D6.
According to four unnamed insiders speaking to Reuters, FoMoCo is investing over $5 billion over the next five years, partially to create a new modular platform to underpin multiple Lincoln vehicles – and possibly some Ford products, too. Development is reportedly being overseen by the division's new boss, Kumar Galhotra. At the moment, specific details about the D6 chassis aren't yet known, but it's rumored to have the flexibility to support front-, rear- and all-wheel drive vehicles. According to Reuters, the first model using the framework could be an MKZ replacement and seven-passenger MKT successor in 2019.
Until the D6-based models hit, expect to see continued expansion from Lincoln. Ford management isn't trying to turn around the division overnight and is planning "in terms of generations of products," according to current CEO Mark Fields. The strategy unsurprisingly includes a production version of Lincoln's recent MKX Concept, as well as an all-new Navigator using aluminum-intensive architecture. Reuters also claims the MKS is due for renewal in the meantime, including with a longer-wheelbase version to appeal to the brand's new Chinese buyers.
By Chris Bruce
See also: SNL, Jim Carrey late to the Lincoln MKC ad spoof party, Ford Q3 pretax profits drop to $1.18B, 2015 Ford F-150 named Truck of Texas, Lincoln and Jeep also awarded at Truck Rodeo.