Ford Files Trademark For Zephyr Name
Could the Lincoln Zephyr be making a comeback?by Kirby Garlitos, on
Lincoln’s use of the Zephyr name dates all the way back to 1936. The Zephyr only lasted until 1940 and from there, it was periodically used by the automaker, most recently in 2006 when the Lincoln Zephyr was introduced as the company’s version of the Ford Fusion. The model was eventually renamed the MKZ and from there, the Zephyr name has been relegated to the shelves. That could soon change with reports that Ford Motor Company has officially applied to trademark the “Zephyr” name for the first time since 2013.
Granted, trademark filings like this could go in a number of different directions and Ford’s application for the name falls under “motor vehicles and parts and accessories thereof.” It’s an ambiguous description that could mean a new car or, well, parts and accessories. But given the history of the Zephyr name and the sheer absurdity of the naming a part or an accessory with that name, smart money is on the trademark being used for a future model.
The filing also ties into Ford’s recent push to bring what was once America’s most prominent luxury brand back to life. The arrival of the new Continental has been met with incredible interest and combined with the Navigator flagship SUV, Lincoln has its two important cornerstone models. Adding the Zephyr into the mix could at least help increase interest in the brand as Lincoln moves away from its "MK-" nomenclature and bring back the names of the models that brought it to prominence in the past.
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Why it matters
It’s important to remember here that just because Ford has filed a trademark for the Zephyr name, that doesn’t mean that the Blue Oval has any concrete plans to use it. SO don’t get too excited about the seeing the return of the Lincoln Zephyr because that hasn’t happened yet and until Ford says so, consider it as something in the vicinity of a possibility and nothing more.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in this news, isn’t it? I wasn’t old enough to have seen the original Zephyr, but the name has always struck to me as having an association with Lincoln. Maybe it’s because a lot of auto collectors and enthusiasts these days count the Zephyr as one of the crown jewels of their collections. Whatever it is, the Zephyr has, and will always be a Lincoln model.
The timing of the trademark filing is also curious considering how invested Ford is now at putting Lincoln in a position to have its own brand resurgence. The Navigator and the Continental are both taking the lead on this return to prominence but if Lincoln really wants to become a player in the luxury market once again, it’s going to need more than two models to get the job done, or at least make a dent in the segment. A third model that will be called the Zephyr fits into what Lincoln is trying to accomplish. There’s no confirmation on that yet, but anybody that can read between the lines will know that this trademark filing was done by Ford with Lincoln in its mind. Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess, but if I were to make a prediction, I think the return of the Lincoln Zephyr won’t be a question of “if” as it is “when.”