Could there be a renaissance for the company’s iconic flagship sedan?

It’s not quite the numbers the Tesla Model 3 has been receiving in recent days, but the public interest surrounding the 2017 Lincoln Continental is real. According to Automotive News, close to 40,000 people have come up to the American automaker and expressed their interest in the company’s iconic flagship sedan. While the number only portrays a list of people that provided their name and contact information for follow-ups when more details about the Continental become available, it does point to a renewed interest in the model and the brand, something Lincoln hasn’t seen in recent years.

Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln, told Automotive News that this so-called “hand raiser” list for the new Continental has seen twice as many people compared to that of the MKX crossover that the automaker introduced in 2015. The surprisingly positive reception of the Continental has reached Lincoln and according to VanDyke, here are already measures that are being put in place, including extensive pre-launch activities, to keep the buzz and interest surrounding the Continental clicking on all cylinders.

Granted, none of this paints a clear picture on what kind of sales run the Continental will have when it goes on sale in the fall of 2016 as a 2017 model. But for a company that has only begun to regain its competitive footing after years of languishing in mediocrity, this is the kind of validation that empowers Lincoln to press forward with renewed vigor and determination to keep this positive momentum rolling. When the time comes that the new Continental hits dealerships, there will be expectations now that weren’t there before. It’s a position that Lincoln hasn’t been in for quite some time, yet, I presume, it will gladly embrace instead of languishing in mediocrity.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

Lincoln getting this kind of attention is huge, especially when you take into account the fact that Lincoln, once considered the preeminent American luxury brand, has nowhere been in that discussion in recent years. Part of is the company’s fault and part of it is due to circumstances beyond its control. I’m not going to spend time detailing that, but for quite some time, Lincoln wasn’t thought of the way it used to be. It’s that simple.

But the company has been, if nothing else, resilient. It’s taken its lumps and yet, it has soldiered on to the point that the brand’s popularity is starting to grow once again. Last year’s sales numbers is proof of that as Lincoln exceeded 100,000 sold units in 2015 for the first time since 2008. That’s a trend in the right direction and the fact that the MKX contributed to a lot of that sales total shows that Lincoln jut might have the right recipe to compete in the U.S. luxury market. The arrivals of the new Continental – the flagship sedan – and the Navigator – the moneymaker SUV – should further boost the brand’s stock to heights it hasn’t seen in recent memory.

Personally, I’m excited to see what Lincoln can do to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity it has right in front of it. The MKX is selling well and the Navigator will undoubtedly do the same. But the interest in the Continental is the real key here because it belongs in a market that might be as competitive as the SUV segment in the country. It’s going to go up against a lot of segment heavyweights, both locally and abroad, and that’s a fight that’s not going to be won without having some casualties along the way. It’s too early to tell how Lincoln will fare with the new Continental, but judging by the massive interest people have on the luxury sedan, the early returns are incredibly promising. Here’s to hoping that Lincoln can use this momentum to its favor.

2017 Lincoln Continental

2017 Lincoln Continental High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Lincoln Continental here.

Source: Automotive News

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