Lincoln to Become the Next ‘Electrified’ Premium Brand: Report

It’s getting to the point that if you’re not a premium automaker promising some sort of brand-wide electric propulsion revolution, you’re not a premium automaker. Volvo has announced it’s going all-electrified (not necessarily electric) in short order. Maserati and Aston Martin are headed in a similar direction.

Is Lincoln the next luxury brand to ditch gas-only powertrains?

Not quite, but Ford’s luxury arm is planning on endowing every model in its lineup with an available hybrid powertrain, according to three sources who spoke to Reuters. It’s a plan very similar to the one Jaguar Land Rover announced just yesterday. While the completion date for Lincoln’s lineup electrification is 2022, the brand might not stop at just hybrids and plug-ins.

According to the sources, Lincoln’s product strategy predates the arrival of Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett, who could spill details during an October 3rd investor update.

We already knew some of the $4.5 billion Ford set aside for electrified powertrains would find its way into the Lincoln brand. A hybrid version of the redesigned-for-2018 Navigator should appear for 2019. The small MKC crossover will see a plug-in hybrid variant the same year, as will the looming Aviator large crossover (which replaces the MKT).

Still, Lincoln wants to go further. A redesigned MKX and Continental will bow in 2022 with plug-in variants, the sources claim, completing a hybrid lineup that began with the 2011 MKZ midsize sedan. Still unknown is whether the brand will offer one or more fully electric vehicles. That’s the question executives in Dearborn are mulling, the sources say.

Bringing a battery electric model to market isn’t a cheap proposition, but it could pay off — in China, not here. That country is a proven growth engine for American luxury brands, and regulations aimed at spurring EV sales means brands like Lincoln and Cadillac could find themselves shut out of a growing segment if they don’t get their act together. It isn’t known what bodystyles Ford is considering.

Lincoln sold 32,558 vehicles in China in 2016, triple the previous year’s tally, and this year’s monthly sales are roughly double that of 2016. In August, Lincoln sales rose 105 percent, year-over-year.

Ford isn’t in the habit of speaking about future products, meaning any confirmation of the band’s direction will likely come from Hackett.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]


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