Ford has announced it will attempt to resuscitate its long-neglected Lincoln division by investing more than $5 billion into it over the next couple of years.
A sizable chunk of the investment will go towards developing a brand new platform that is called D6 internally. The platform will be modular in order to underpin sedans, crossovers and possibly even sports cars. The modular technology will also enable Lincoln to offer a diverse lineup that will include front-, rear- and all-wheel drive cars.
Lincoln executives declined to detail what models will make up Lincoln’s upcoming lineup, saying only that the first D6-based car is scheduled to debut in 2019. They also quietly confirmed that a handful of Ford models will be built on the D6 platform in order to benefit from economies of scale.
Part of Lincoln’s turnaround plan involves entering lucrative new markets such as China. The MKX Concept (pictured) that was presented earlier this year at the Beijing Motor Show accurately previews an upcoming Ford Edge-based mid-size crossover that could become the first Lincoln built entirely in China. However, Lincoln has previously confirmed it will not follow rival Cadillac’s lead and attempt to get a slice of the European market.
Ford CEO Mark Fields firmly believes that investing heavily into Lincoln will eventually turn the brand into a world-class luxury division capable of fighting head-to-head against well-established German rivals like Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
“It’s really important for us to have a relevant and vibrant luxury brand. You need to make the investment and build this brand over time,” explained Fields in an interview with Reuters.
Lincoln is on track to sell approximately 100,000 cars in 2014. If Field’s ambitious plan is successful, the company will sell at least 300,000 cars annually by the year 2020.