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Ford Reveals $1 Bil Investment for Lincoln

Maker promises dealers it will make luxury brand competitive.

by on Jun.21, 2011

The Lincoln Concept C small luxury car offers a hint of what's to come from the Ford brand.

Ford Motor Co. has promised its frustrated dealers that it will invest $1 billion in a bid to make the struggling Lincoln brand competitive, with an assortment of new products coming to market by 2014.

Once locked in a bitter, ongoing battle with Cadillac for dominance in the American luxury market, Lincoln has become little more than an afterthought in recent years. It currently holds less than 1% of the overall U.S. market, despite the addition of new and updated models like the MKS sedan, and MKX and MKT crossovers.  At the current sales pace of barely 7,000 vehicles a month, Lincoln could end the year with volumes of less than a third of luxury market leaders BMW and Lexus.

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The “question is whether Lincoln will be viable,” IHS analyst Rebecca Lindland told the Detroit News, which revealed the new management commitment to Lincoln.

That was a relatively charitable way of putting things.  Earlier this month, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson suggested Lincoln is “over,” and that Ford might as well “sprinkle holy water over it.”