Following the lead of its parent company Ford, it looks like Lincoln will be ending production of its sedans. The Detroit automaker previously stated the MKZ was on its way out at the end of this year, and today it announced the demise of its flagship Lincoln Continental after just four years of production, reports Automotive News.
It's no surprise that Lincoln is following Ford's lead as the sales of SUVs and crossovers have been increasing rapidly over the past decade. But Americans aren't buying these new high-bodied vehicles as a compliment to their every-day sedan. SUVs and crossovers are completely replacing more low-slung vehicles on American roads; consumers continue to see them as safer, more capable and more spacious alternatives to sedans. A decade-plus of engineering work has dialed in the driving experience people want—mostly numb—and relatively cheap gas makes switching a no-brainer.
Lincoln has already adjusted to this trend with a slew of new SUV offerings, but now it's taking it further by killing the car that brought it international prestige in the 1960s and was intended to spearhead its revival this century.
"Lincoln will continue to keep its newest SUVs fresh and we will have more news to share later this year," its statement to Automotive News reads. "However, as the full-size premium sedan segment continues to decline in the U.S., we plan to end production of the Lincoln Continental at the end of this year."
The Continental was re-introduced just four years ago after a 15-year hiatus, and the full-sized sedan has done a tremendous amount of the legwork involved in rescuing Lincoln's luxury image from the depths of badge engineering. Features such as 30-way seats and coach doors for the rear passengers made it clear that they weren't just dressing up Crown Victorias anymore. And 400 horsepower from a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 was plenty for its needs, though the FWD platform and lack of a V8 were both questioned by critics.
All the Matthew McConaughey ads in the world haven't been enough to sway the car-buying public on the car, it seems. Lincoln's customers would rather have these features in something that rides a bit higher and has more space. Plus, Lincoln needs the money from its lucrative SUV offerings to fund its new EV and AV offerings.
And don't think because Lincoln is dropping a few models means they're going down the drain. "We build to customer demand and customer demands are changing...Lincoln is important to Ford Motor Company and we know it has a bright future," Ford Vice President John Savona said.
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