The name and styling updates are aimed at helping Lincoln stand apart in the hotly contested U.S. midsize utility segment. The MKX has been the brand's top-selling U.S. nameplate in 2016 and 2017 and brings in customers from rival brands with a 40 percent conquest rate, executives say. U.S. sales of the MKX have risen 2.2 percent this year, to 28,055 vehicles through November.
The vehicle also is vital in China, the world's largest auto market, where Lincoln expects utility vehicles to account for 70 percent of sales by 2024.
"SUVs are having a banner year for us both here and in China," Galhotra told reporters. "It's a very vibrant market."