US: Ford to invest in Lincoln brand
Lincoln line is topped by giant Navigator SUV
Ford is investing US$1bn to relaunch its struggling luxury Lincoln brand.
According to the Wall Street Journal, citing dealers been briefed by the carmaker, the investment will result in seven new or significantly upgraded Lincoln models over the next four years.
A brand spokesman told the newspaper: “We are fully committed to making Lincoln a world class luxury brand with compelling vehicles and an exceptional consumer experience to match."
Lincoln was once one of America's top selling luxury car brands but, because Ford has offered mostly upgraded versions of the same models it sells under the Ford brand, it has seen a marked decline since the beginning of the century.
The WSJ noted that US sales fell to 85,000 in 2010 with the company forecasting volume of 78,000 vehicles this year but projecting a climb to 162,000 units in 2015.
Lincoln, acquired by Ford in 1922, has also suffered in recent years from an influx of foreign luxury offerings from Japan - Toyota's Lexus and Nissan's Infiniti - as well as Germany’s BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche.