Lincoln dropping trucks
Perhaps you didn’t know it. Lincoln actually makes a pick-up truck. It’s called the “Mark LT.” For now.
2008 will be the last year for the Lincoln Mark LT pick-up, according to suppliers interviewed by Automotive News. The original plans for the next generation F-150 Ford pick-up included a companion Lincoln model, but Ford has decided not to pursue the Lincoln version in light of its disappointing sales. Introduced in 2006, it was expected to sell 20,000 per year. Instead, it has sold only 28,117 for all years.
Ford has concluded that the production capacity devoted to the Lincoln will go, instead, to producing F-150s and will build a top-line version designed to fill the luxury market slot which had been the market for which the LT was designed.
This isn’t good news for Lincoln dealers, but it’s not bad news, either. In theory, it leaves them without a vehicle to compete against the Cadillac truck line. But, in reality, at the low level of sales for the Lincoln LT, it wasn’t really competitive.
Still, Lincoln dealers could be forgiven for wondering how Ford has so completely dropped the ball. The Lincoln Navigator was the first luxury SUV and dominated the market. Even so, the Cadillac Escalade took over that market. Lincoln’s first pick-up effort, the Blackwood, sold almost no vehicles and was discontinued after only one year of production. Now, the Lincoln LT is added to the list of failures.
Ford made no significant effort to promote the Lincoln LT, which goes a long way toward explaining why it didn’t sell. Also, the LT was a version of the F-150 which was already an old design when the LT was introduced. The first year Escalade didn’t sell well, either. It, too, was based on an existing old design, the Chevy Tahoe of the time. But the second year of it’s life, the Escalade was based on an entirely new Tahoe, and the Escalade found its market and prospered. One wonders if the Lincoln LT based on the next-generation F-150 might similarly have done well, assuming it was properly promoted.
Perhaps Lincoln dealers are wondering the same.