Lincoln Could Bring Back Rear-Hinged Doors on The Continental, but is it Enough to Fend Off the Cadillac CT6 and Mercedes S-Class?
Is the once proud American luxury brand getting a little desperate?by Kirby, on
Lincoln is going back to its roots. The luxury American brand is planning to bring back suicide doors on an upcoming version of the Continental sedan, harkening back to a time — the 60’s — when the unconventional door design was a staple on the iconic nameplate. The automaker didn’t reveal when the suicide doors will return, but it is largely seen as a step in resuscitating some life back to the once proud model.
The report indicated that the automaker went as far as showing dealerships a photo of the current Continental with rear-hinged doors on it.
For those who don’t remember, Lincoln used suicide doors on the Continental throughout the 1960s. Outside of a number concept cars in the 2000s, Lincoln hasn’t used the non-standard door design since. Well, a dose of deja vu could be on the table because according to Automotive News, Lincoln is reportedly zeroing in on bringing back suicide doors on the Continental. The report indicated that the automaker went as far as showing dealerships a photo of the current Continental with rear-hinged doors on it. More importantly, the company also reportedly said that it plans to build that specific model. A company spokeswoman declined to confirm those plans, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the automaker decides to go that route with hopes of jolting some life back to the Continental nameplate.
It’s hard to argue against the decision. The Lincoln Continental is in desperate need of some attention. Sales of the model have fallen by 30 percent through the first two months of 2018 compared to their numbers last year. In those two months, Lincoln only moved 1,573 units of the model, significantly lower than the 2,246 units the company sold in the first two months of 2017. That example is a small sample size of how tough it’s been for the Continental to get any sales traction. In fact, Lincoln only sold 12,012 units last year after selling 5,261 units in the last four months of 2016.
Clearly, Lincoln needs to do something to spark new interest in the Continental
Clearly, Lincoln needs to do something to spark new interest in the Continental. I’m not quite sure that suicide doors are the answer to the model’s ills, but if you’re a company that’s looking for answers, it’s not a bad idea to dig into your history and see if there’s something that you can use in today’s time to help generate that much-needed buzz.
In reality, though, there’s probably more to it than just the suicide doors. Lincoln brought back the Continental nameplate in 2016 after a 14-year absence, and it’s taken barely two years for the new model to experience a sales drop. That’s not good for the Continental, let alone Lincoln, which probably thought that bringing back one of its most iconic models would help re-establish the brand as one of America’s most prominent luxury automakers.
It hasn’t worked out as well as the company thought, which is why it’s digging into its bag of tricks to see what comes out of it.
Read our full review on the 2017 Lincoln Continental.
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