One look at the sales numbers and you’ll understand why.
We've heard rumors that the Lincoln Continental, a nameplate revived only a couple years ago, is already living on borrowed time. Like many other sedans, both big and small, the full-size Continental is a great car for the wrong era. According to Jalopnik, inside sources at Ford claim the Continental's expiration date will be happening sooner than originally thought. It's now slated to end production in 2020. In fact, based on some accurate conclusions by Blue Oval Forum users, shift changes at the Flat Rock Assembly plant in Michigan where the Continental is built are about to happen. Suppliers have also yet to be contracted beyond 2020.
These are just a couple of indicators that Continental production could cease entirely by this time next year, if not earlier. Jalopnik was also able to confirm Ford has approved Continental production for the 2019 and 2020 model years, but nothing beyond that. Apparently, there was an earlier plan for the likely now canceled 2021-2022 Continental to switch to a new rear-wheel-drive platform, the very same architecture that'll underpin the upcoming Lincoln Aviator, redesigned Ford Explorer, and even the next-gen Mustang.
The current Continental's sales numbers represent a clear indicator as to why its time is limited.
A GoodCarBadCar report states that only 7,993 Continentals were sold in the US in the first eight months of 2017. That number dipped to 5,677 units during the same time this year. A grand total of 626 Continentals were sold last month. However, Continental sales in China have been doing a bit better, so there's a chance production could shift to that country where it'll remain on sale for the time being. Whether it'd be imported to the US is another thing entirely.
Another vital factor indicating the Continental's cancellation is that the Flat Rock facility needs to free up space for Ford's upcoming commercial autonomous vehicle, which is scheduled to begin production in 2020. Taking everything into account, it doesn't look good for the Lincoln Continental. We were never its biggest fans but we would have loved to see it receive those rumored optional suicide doors before it drove off into the sunset.