Lincoln to explore 'mass customization'
DETROIT -- Lincoln wants to let shoppers custom-order vehicles with an array of special touches.
Jim Farley, Lincoln's senior global leader, calls it "mass customization."
"This is something we did at Scion," Farley said during an interview at the Detroit auto show, 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."
A possible example: The interior of the Lincoln MKC Concept features Lincoln's redesigned logo, known as a star lattice, embossed into the leather upholstery.
Although Farley won't say whether the embossed logos will be offered on the production model, they could be offered as a custom option.
Farley said Lincoln could do in its segment what Mini has done: Letting buyers choose custom options, such as the British Union Jack 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," which Lincoln will study carefully in the next couple of years, he said.
"It's the modern equivalent of having your initials engraved on the driver's side door," Farley said. "We have a chance to explore it because our scale is smaller."
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