Lincoln already has a list of 40,000 people who have expressed interest in buying the upcoming Continental, and brand executives on Saturday said they plan to start working with dealers soon to help turn those leads into reservations ahead of the sedan’s arrival this fall.
“We’ll have extensive prelaunch activities,” Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln, told Automotive News after today's make meeting at the NADA convention.
The Continental “hand raiser” list, comprising consumers who’ve provided their name and contact information for follow-up when more information is available, is double that of the MKX crossover before its introduction last year, VanDyke said.
Since the previous NADA convention, Lincoln has unveiled the Continental in both concept and production form, and a Lincoln Navigator concept at last month’s New York auto show. U.S. sales topped 100,000 units for the first time since 2008 last year.
Lincoln sales grew 16 percent to 24,905 vehicles during the first quarter, led by the MKX with 7,198 vehicles delivered.
Many dealers have said the excitement surrounding the Continental exceeds anything Lincoln has experienced in many years.
“People are asking a lot of questions about the car,” said Dan Marks, chairman of the Lincoln National Dealer Council. “This is the most buzz I’ve seen in a long, long time.”