DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. design chief J Mays says Lincoln is on its way to recovery. Lincoln revealed the 2007 MKX (Mark X) crossover and the MKS (Mark S) sedan concept on Monday at the Detroit auto show. Mays spoke with Staff Reporter Amy Wilson.
When you put Peter Horbury in charge of North American design two years ago, you made Lincoln his prioity. How do you feel about the Lincoln brand right now?
I'm feeling very good. The Zephyr's gotten off to a good start. The Mark X, I just really love. Although I can't talk about what Peter's working on a little further down the line, we've got a very good plan in place for Lincoln that's as strong as the strides we've made in Ford over the last year-and-a-half. When you look at the Ford stand, it's tightening up.
How long will it take to fulfill the vision for Lincoln?
A few years. The Mark S strongly alludes to the next-generation big sedan from Lincoln.
Lincoln Mercury dealers have wanted a sporty coupe.
They would love to have a next-generation Cougar. But we've got homework to do with that brand before we get to the recess. I look at a brand as you do your homework and then you have your payoff with something that's a little bit more indulgent. And coupes are very indulgent. We've got a lot of homework to do, and I want to get that out of the way first.
We hear you're exploring something off the Mustang platform for Lincoln.
Well, we're exploring multiple directions. But Peter knows that Mark (Fields)'s focus and my focus is on getting the homework done. A brand has to have a solid foundation on which to build. And a solid foundation is the slightly higher volume products with more longevity.