Whatever happened to the Lincoln? After a peak of 221,660 vehicles sold in 1990, Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln was down to 82,847 sold in 2009. Even as the mid price Mercury is being discontinued and dealers are losing half their total sales, Lincoln dealers are being asked to make a big commitment to Lincoln even as they don’t sell enough to survive on.
Lincoln is trying to shed the Town Car image of a limousine and airport service vehicle. For 2011 the MKX is a mid size SUV which will hopefully attract younger buyers, plus a new small car will be among seven Lincoln models planned for 2014, even as Ford continues cutting models.
Stand alone Lincoln dealers may disappear as they are forced to combine with Ford or other brands. Lincoln has a long history as Ford’s luxury flagship doing battle with Cadillac and foreign luxury makes, and it gradually lost market share to them.
The early Lincoln Continental was a luxurious two door coupe that first appeared in the late thirties. They are highly prized collector cars which pioneered the spare tire mounted on the rear bumper within a decorative shell, which became known as the Continental kit.
The car reappeared after the war with a slight face lift, and were designated Mark One, starting a Mark series which continued to the Mark 4 in the late sixties as gigantic two door coupes, with the decorative spare tire replaced by a symbolic tire molding on the trunk lid.
In the early 50s it was the presidential limousine when Harry Truman was in the White House. In 1961 Lincoln offered a four door sedan and convertible with back doors hinged at the rear edge, which some called suicide doors, production ended in 1968. From 1975 to 1979 Lincoln built the largest car on the road powered by the largest engine, the last of the big rigs and the end of an era.
Sources: Personal knowledge