DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., a laggard in the U.S. luxury-auto market, said its Lincoln brand sales rose about 30 percent this month as it introduced new advertising for the revamped MKZ sedan ahead of rivals' holiday promotions.
MKZ led the brand's gains, surging about 70 percent from a year earlier, when Ford was selling down inventory of the previous model, Kevin Cour, Lincoln's sales and service operations manager, said today in a telephone interview. Ford introduced the Luxury Uncovered campaign for MKZ on Oct. 9.
"We are very happy that we got engaged in October versus waiting for Wish List," Lincoln's annual holiday sales event, Cour said. "The campaign is now seeded in the market, and as people begin their purchase consideration, Lincoln can be a bigger part of the conversation."
Lincoln has been a vexing challenge for CEO Alan Mulally, with Ford's namesake brand accounting for almost all of the automaker's sales.
The MKZ debuted early this year as the first of four new Lincoln models to be introduced in four years to try to resurrect the line, which trails General Motors Co.'s Cadillac and luxury leaders such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes's U.S. luxury sales lead over BMW this year expanded in September to 2,491 vehicles, 215,056 to 212,565. Lincoln deliveries fell 6.3 percent to 59,852 for the period.
BMW has sold the most luxury vehicles in the U.S. the past two years. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus led the previous 11 years.