Is 'enhance' a good enough strategy for Lincoln?

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News
Now that Mercury is out of the way, Ford can concentrate on Lincoln, a brand that is struggling to keep its head above water.

What caught my eye was a Ford announcement in June.

The press release said the automaker “will expand and enhance its Lincoln brand lineup with seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles in the next four years.”

Lincoln currently offers six vehicles -- the MKS, MKZ and Town Car sedans, the MKT and MKX crossovers, and the Navigator SUV. The Town Car is sold only to the livery business and will cease to exist sometime next year. Ford says a compact Lincoln is one of the upcoming new vehicles. As for the other vehicle, Lincoln won't say.

The news release went on to say that this is “part of an aggressive growth plan focused on standout product design, class-leading technology and new powertrains -- all aimed at competing with Cadillac and Lexus in North America.”

The words “enhance” and “significantly refreshed” stood out in this news release. Enhancing and refreshing may not be enough, though.

Look at January through July sales -- the brand failed to top 50,000. And that number includes nearly 7,000 Town Cars.

Lincoln's design strategy isn't drawing customers.

Maybe the words “reinvention” or “redesign” should be Lincoln's strategy.

What do you think?