Company has not announced details regarding potential job creation at LAP
As part of what it calls a major step forward in the Lincoln Motor Company’s reinvention, Ford today unveiled the new 2015 Lincoln MKC small premium utility vehicle, which will be due in showrooms next summer.
The company has not announced details regarding potential job creation at LAP, which went through a total rebuild at a cost of $600 million a few years ago and went from one to three shifts to produce the Ford Escape compact SUV. That 48-year-old plant currently employs 4,500.
Lincoln MKC was introduced as a concept vehicle at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A Ford news release today calls the vehicle a critical milestone in Lincoln’s plan to expand its lineup.
MKC becomes the second new vehicle in the brand’s plans to introduce four new luxury vehicles by 2016 and comes on the heels of the new and successful 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedan.
The small premium utility vehicle segment is the fastest-growing part of the luxury market, Ford said. The segment has grown by 25 percent since 2012 and by more than 200 percent since 2009. The segment growth is being driven by new luxury buyers who are coming into affluence, as well as by current luxury owners who are moving from larger vehicles to smaller ones as their life desires change.
With MKC, Lincoln continues its move toward targeting a younger, more diverse customer. The vehicle also positions Lincoln to resonate with drivers in desirable markets on the East and West coasts.
According to Ford,the Lincoln MKC has been created from the ground up with an assortment of first-in-class features, including a new 240 horsepower 2.0-liter or 275 horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine and a wraparound liftgate for customer convenience.
“Lincoln MKC is a perfect blend of inspired automotive design and dynamic driving performance in a segment that has grown in popularity in recent years,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. “As a challenger luxury brand, entering this segment is a natural next step for us. MKC will do more than just compete – it will change the way people think about Lincoln.”
Designed to inspire inside and out
“Our design team worked tirelessly to create a vehicle that attracts new customers to the brand while meeting the expectations of longtime Lincoln drivers,” said Max Wolff, director, Lincoln Design. “The execution of the new liftgate is a prime example of how a premium design element can create a better customer experience.”
MKC has a sleek, sculpted body with a high beltline and low shoulders to create an athletic presence, while features such as soft exterior lighting, pedestal side-view mirrors and an available panoramic, all-glass Vista Roof® give the vehicle a luxurious, sophisticated personality, according to Ford.
An enhanced THX® II Certified Audio System, an industry-first featuring THX-distributed bass technology and 14 right-, center- and left-slot speaker assemblies, is available. SYNC® with MyLincoln Touch™ enables drivers to personalize MKC using voice-activated commands or touch controls on an 8-inch touch screen. The vehicle will greet owners with exclusive Approach Detection, which senses when an owner is near and responds by illuminating “welcome mats” on the ground next to both front doors. Simultaneously, headlamps, taillamps and door handles glow with soft lighting tuned to complement the vehicle’s exterior color.
MKC will be the first Lincoln to have always-on built-in connectivity, allowing owners to utilize a smartphone app to control the vehicle. With the MyLincoln Mobile™ app, MKC owners can start, lock, unlock and locate the vehicle, as well as set interior temperature gauges.
Drivers also can use the app to place a call for roadside assistance, monitor the vehicle’s fuel level, check tire pressure and battery status, and program engine start times to allow the vehicle to heat or cool to comfortable levels.