Taking Lincoln out of Premier Automotive Group was a good first step for the new marketing team at Ford Motor Co. The brand was not getting the proper share of mind from Premier's London headquarters.
Now, Ford Motor should hurry to get both Lincoln and Mercury back on track. With the Navigator, Lincoln had a head start over Cadillac on trucks. But once-dormant Cadillac has regained the momentum with the hip Escalade. Meanwhile, Mercury is dead in the water; all the hand-wringing over finding a new identity hasn't helped.
Design is an urgent priority. The first products penned by Lincoln's Gerry McGovern, hired in 1999, are in the works. Mercury finally has its own design chief, Darrell Behmer, who was hired this year. Lincoln and Mercury need distinctive design signatures if they are to fly.