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http://www.autonews.com/article/20140615/OEM03/306169985/lincolns-big-choice-yielded-small-crossover



SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Several years ago, Lincoln planners were at a crossroads. They had chosen the redesigned 2013 MKZ mid-sized sedan as the first vehicle in their campaign to revive the brand. But what should be next?

They could take Lincoln's traditional path with a large luxury sedan or strike out in a different direction with an entry in a segment new to the brand.

The latter course prevailed.

"There was a lot of debate about whether we should go for a full-sized sedan, but I'm so excited this was the car we decided to do," said Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln, standing in front of the 2015 MKC compact crossover at the media launch here. "This gives us a completely new nameplate."

Key factors that tipped the debate in the MKC's favor: youth, demographics and China.

Before Lincoln began its reinvention, its average customer was age 64, among the oldest of any marque. Many of its traditional buyers clamored for a replacement for the Town Car, a full-sized sedan that was discontinued in 2012.

To survive, Lincoln needed to get younger people into its showrooms. When the MKZ debuted, the brand began wooing customers with promotions such as "Date Night," in which Lincoln bought shoppers dinner if they took a test drive.

The MKZ began attracting a younger crowd. Andrew Frick, general marketing manager, said most MKZ buyers are ages 45 to 60.

But Frick says Lincoln market research shows the MKC will lure even younger buyers, those ages 35 to 49. That's in keeping with data on the compact luxury crossover segment, one of the fastest growing in the industry.

"This gives us more of an entry point for the luxury buyer," Frick says.

Lincoln also expects the MKC to draw more female consumers, Frick says. About 60 percent of MKZ customers are men, but Frick projects the MKC mix will split evenly between men and women.

Then there is China. Luxury crossovers are just as hot in China as in the United States.

In April at the Beijing auto show, Lincoln showed a concept version of the MKX, the MKC's big brother. A production version is likely next year, the third of the four new vehicles Lincoln has promised in four years.

Which brings Lincoln back to the full-sized sedan question. Chinese customers, many of whom are chauffeured, also love roomy back seats with high-tech amenities.

"We also mentioned in China that the fourth product will be a full-sized sedan," VanDyke said. After the MKX mid-sized crossover, which should arrive next year, the redesigned MKS is likely to follow in 2016.

For Lincoln the challenge will be to make a big sedan that appeals to traditional customers and modern consumers alike, and that sells in sufficient numbers to justify the investment.
 

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Well...it has worked! I am in the demographic they are targeting! Never thought I'd even consider a Lincoln until I saw the MKC. Hopefully I can take advantage of my local dealers date night promotion. It may seal the deal as far as the decision on which car to buy in October. I have not totally eliminated the Audi q5 :confused:
 

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I can definitely see the MKC appealing to both men and women, young and old. In that regard Lincoln did a great job with the MKC. It should be a great volume seller for them.
 

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thats exactly what the need VOLUME, and tons of it! Look at what porsche did, obviously Lincoln is no porsche but I think you get the analogy ;)
 

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the more volume the better, if they do that then they can at least justify doing bigger and better things for the brand.
 

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Well...it has worked! I am in the demographic they are targeting! Never thought I'd even consider a Lincoln until I saw the MKC. Hopefully I can take advantage of my local dealers date night promotion. It may seal the deal as far as the decision on which car to buy in October. I have not totally eliminated the Audi q5 :confused:
We're in the Town Car demographic, but we're replacing an RX400h. Our Lincoln dealer signed us up for date night and today we sadly have to return the reserve-trim MKC we drove to dinner. And now (whimper) it's going to take weeks to get the one we'll be ordering this afternoon.

Be sure you ask for a Reserve-trim MKC for your test drive. Those air conditioned seats quickly cooled down although the car had been sitting in the sun for hours.

The Q5 is nice, but it can't be as well-equipped as the MKC.
 

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While I want to see FORD/LINCOLN do well, let them do it with a different model. I want some exclusivity with my sweet little Lincoln, not the Beetle of SUV'S.
 

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Lincoln needs a few years of reputation and volume building before they can start targeting exclusivity (although, Black Label, if it ever happens, will have some).

Meanwhile, be grateful Lincoln didn't go there. If you'd like exclusivity today, go pick up a Cadillac ELR <snicker>.
 

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With the price point difference between base model & options, it certainly has the potential for volume growth.
 

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We're in the Town Car demographic, but we're replacing an RX400h. Our Lincoln dealer signed us up for date night and today we sadly have to return the reserve-trim MKC we drove to dinner. And now (whimper) it's going to take weeks to get the one we'll be ordering this afternoon.

Be sure you ask for a Reserve-trim MKC for your test drive. Those air conditioned seats quickly cooled down although the car had been sitting in the sun for hours.

The Q5 is nice, but it can't be as well-equipped as the MKC.


Thanks for the info...will definitely ask for the reserve because that is the one I hope to buy. Glad you enjoyed the date night. It will be 3 weeks before we get that opportunity!
 
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