The reincarnation of the Zephyr nameplate at Lincoln will be short lived.
The Zephyr sedan, introduced last fall for the 2006 model year, will be rechristened MKZ for the 2007 model year. Lincoln says the new name should be pronounced "Mark Z."
Other changes for the 2007 model include:
Lincoln sold 4,985 Zephyrs in 2005 and 2,692 units in January.
"The improvements are great, but to change the name on a vehicle that has just came out, I have a lot of concerns about that," Global Insight analyst Rebecca Lindland said, noting that it is rare to make so many changes so soon in a vehicle.
Ford plans to roll out the MKZ to dealers in the fall. The Zephyr's manufacturers suggested retail price is $28,995. The price for the 2007 MKZ will be announced later.
Ford in January announced plans to close 14 plants and cut up to 30,000 blue collar jobs to turn around its money-losing North American unit.
"It doesn't seem to me that now is the time to play around with product names," Lindland said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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