Farley: Lincoln to explore Mini-style customization
Farley: "It will be expensive, but we've seen customers are willing to pay a special premium for customized vehicles."
Photo credit: BLOOMBERG
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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story inaccurately described Farley's responsibilities at Lincoln.
DETROIT -- The interior of the Lincoln MKC Concept features the Lincoln logo, known as a star lattice, embossed into the leather upholstery.
Jim Farley, executive vice president of Lincoln, won't say whether the embossed logos will be offered on the production model. But he says Lincoln wants to give customers the chance to custom-order their Lincolns with an infinite variety of such special touches.
"Mass customization," Farley called it during an interview at the Detroit auto show. "This is something we did at Scion," he said, referring to his years launching Toyota's youth brand. He said Lincoln is considering "not just a light or a doorsill but something more fundamental."
Farley said Lincoln could do in its segment what Mini has done: giving customers myriad choices to personalize their vehicles.
Mini has become known for letting buyers choose custom options, such as the British Union Jack flag painted on the roof.
"It will be expensive, but we've seen customers are willing to pay a special premium for customized vehicles," Farley said. "It raises a lot of questions about distribution and ordering," issues that he said Lincoln will study carefully in the next couple of years.
"It's the modern equivalent of having your initials engraved on the driver's side door," he said. "We have a chance to explore it because our scale is smaller."
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