Here’s your pop quiz for the day: How many Lincoln models are built in Michigan?
The correct answer is zero, but if you wind back the clock nine years, all of Lincoln’s models were built in the car capitol of the world. Most vehicles were produced at the brand’s Wixom Assembly plant, but since then, Lincoln has outsourced its production to neighboring nations … and Kentucky.
Presently, the MKT and MKX crossovers are built in Canada, while the Fusion-based Lincoln MKZ is manufactured in Mexico. The new MKC and the Navigator SUV are both sourced from Louisville, Kentucky.
Now, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Lincoln will produce its upcoming luxury sedan flagship, the Continental, at Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan plant where both the Ford Fusion and Mustang are assembled.
The 2017 Continental was previewed by the Continental Concept at the New York Auto Show in April, with retro-inspired interior styling and a sleek new exterior design with ample amounts of chrome. The concept was based on a Ford Fusion platform that underpins the Chinese-market Ford Taurus and was powered by a new 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 sending power to all four wheels.
The production Continental will be an attempt by Lincoln to continue a style-forward image that was initiated by the attractive MKC crossover. The new flagship will replace the somewhat ho-hum MKS sedan that will be discontinued next year. Among the luxurious appointments of the Continental Concept was 30-way power front seats, blue velour seating fabric, and an outer side bolster that deflates to aid ingress and egress.
Ford plans to sell the Continental in the U.S. and China as a rival to the most premium sedans on the market, including the Bentley Mulsanne, Rolls Royce Phantom, and Mercedes-Benz S600 Maybach. We can expect its price to match the market positioning when it goes on sale sometime late next year.