It's make or break time for Ford's struggling premium division.
There are many Lincoln dealerships suffering at the moment, and it's not only because they've all lost their Mercury franchise. The bottom line issue here is that Lincoln itself hasn't produced enough competitive models for those dealers to offer as solid alternatives to the likes of Buick, and even the Toyota Avalon. The MKZ was very much a step in the right direction, but sedans are not the market hot spot these days. Crossovers take that category.
And when the MKC arrives in Lincoln showrooms this summer, many predict it'll quickly become the brand's best-selling model. Last year, for example, the MKZ was the top-seller, with 32,361 units sold. Certainly not a bad number, considering it's really just a heavily rebadged and more expensive Ford Fusion. Even though the MKC itself is really just a fancier Ford Escape, Lincoln designers went the extra mile to differentiate the two as much as possible. So much so, in fact, it was benchmarked against the Audi Q5. Within its segment last year, 40,355 Q5s were sold; and that's the very number Lincoln is gunning for here.
If the MKC sells as expected, then Lincoln's future may be secured. Heck, it could turn out to be the surprise hit for the upcoming year. Anything's possible. If not, well, let's not consider the potential consequences right now.