Lincoln fills Detroit display with vehicles and art
Photo credit: BRETT GERKEN
DETROIT -- In some years past, Lincoln's stand at the North American International Auto Show here was virtually invisible, dwarfed by displays of the Ford division and other luxury brands once owned by Ford Motor Co.
This year will be different. Lincoln wants the world to know it is serious about reinventing itself and luring a hip new breed of younger customer. The 17,752-square-foot display is double the size of last year's stand.
Lincoln is trying to set itself apart from other luxury brands, and the stand will be arranged like an art gallery, adorned with works by Detroit artists. The stand will feature two dangling Hoberman Spheres created by artist Chuck Hoberman, whose work was featured at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
There will be a lounge to introduce customers to new technologies including Lincoln Drive Control, an electronic system that manages the ride according to road conditions.
In another room, called the Artistry of Sound Gallery, Lincoln will feature a "customized soundscape" with 140 elements, created by THX II Certified Audio, which provides sound systems for Lincoln.
"This is the biggest statement Lincoln has ever made at an auto show," Max Wolff, Lincoln design director, said in a statement. "Our NAIAS display represents more than a vehicle debut. It represents the reinvention of Lincoln."
Photo credit: BRETT GERKEN
Ford is investing heavily to revive the flagship luxury brand that has seen U.S. sales drop 1 percent this year through November, to 77,240 units.
Featured on the stand will be an MKZ mid-sized sedan concept that will show off Lincoln's new design direction.
Lincoln plans to introduce seven new or significantly modified vehicles by 2014. The flagship MKS sedan and MKT crossover have been updated for the 2013 model year.
Also on display will be Edsel Ford's 1934 Model 40 Special Speedster to showcase the brand's design heritage.
"Every detail of the stand, from the art and design elements to the brand specialists, was carefully planned to reflect a holistic approach to luxury that characterizes our new approach," C.J. O'Donnell, Lincoln group marketing manager, said in a statement.
Photo credit: LINCOLN
One part of the stand will feature a demonstration vehicle to show customers Lincoln's ride-control technologies.
Staffing the stand will be about 50 Lincoln brand specialists. That staffing level is up to 70 percent larger than a year ago, according to Joe O'Connor, Lincoln brand auto show stand manager.
Lincoln officials say features of the Detroit display will be used at auto shows in other major markets with strong luxury vehicle sales, such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
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