To the Editor:
This is in response to the June 17 stories discussing future product strategies at Lincoln and Buick ("Lincoln targets fastest-growing segments" and "Opel-Buick link to grow stronger").
In spite of their intensifying focus on compact premium sedans and crossovers, both brands are the industry's most obvious candidates for adding larger, more spacious automobiles to their portfolios as well.
I don't care if such cars are front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive, as long as their body designs have big door openings that don't force a 6-foot, 300-pound passenger to fold himself in half for access to the back seat; big, tall windows one can see out of; and a big trunk opening with enough luggage space underneath to take on a two-week road trip, a full-sized spare tire and a well-hidden interior release button that can be locked -- with a key! -- to secure out-of-sight valuables.
As my 1997 Lincoln Town Car manages almost 25 mpg on highway trips when most similarly sized SUVs can barely average 17, I'm confident current technology could boost the fuel economy of a big car to whatever level might be government-mandated in the coming years.
There's no doubt the chauffeur-dominated Chinese market would love the larger offerings, too.
GREGG D. MERKSAMER
The writer is a freelance automotive journalist and historian.