JAMIE LaREAU

The curious case of Lincoln's future product lineup

Jamie LaReau covers Ford Motor Co. for Automotive NewsJamie LaReau covers Ford Motor Co. for Automotive News
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I sometimes consider myself a detective of sorts, piecing together clues to a puzzle. My current unsolved mystery is the case of Lincoln's future product lineup.

Here is the latest clue: Lincoln designers supposedly are hard at work on a concept vehicle.

Of course, Ford Motor Co. won't comment on future product speculation. But I got that tidbit from a source familiar with the brand.

Then there's clue No. 2. Another source told me Ford will show a new or improved Lincoln product, likely at the Los Angeles auto show in November.

Ford has said publicly that it will deliver a new vehicle to its luxury brand off its global compact car platform within three years.

We know Mercedes-Benz plans to offer a range of small cars in about three years. Mercedes showed the Concept A small coupe last week at the Shanghai and New York auto shows.

Likewise, General Motors Co. is thinking luxury small car with the Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept, which would seat four. It's shorter and wider than the Mini Cooper.

Lincoln won't want to be late to the luxury small car party -- especially with gasoline prices climbing. Thus, it's likely Ford is working on a concept vehicle pinned on the global compact platform that it promised Lincoln.

And what better venue to showcase a new U.S. luxury small car concept than in a luxury market such as Los Angeles?

Forget Col. Mustard, in the conservatory with a candlestick. The clues indicate it's Lincoln, in the L.A. auto show, with a concept small vehicle.

Then again, most detective work is largely circumstantial.

You can reach Jamie LaReau at jlareau@crain.com. -- Follow Jamie on Twitter

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