Lincoln Motor Co. enters a new decade with a relatively new product lineup and a new sales streak.
The luxury brand sold 112,204 vehicles in the U.S. last year — the highest mark since 2007 — thanks in large part to a revamped lineup of crossovers. It has added nameplates, such as the Aviator midsize crossover, and shifted away from the confusing MK names of the past.
Now, the brand is attempting to tackle its next set of challenges: maintaining sales growth while electrifying its lineup.
Tom Lynch, chairman of the Lincoln National Dealer Council, said Lincoln is poised for success with plug-in hybrid models of the Aviator and Corsair crossovers that could woo new luxury buyers and prepare them for when the brand inevitably launches a full-electric vehicle.
Lynch, 52, general manager of North Florida Lincoln, in Jacksonville, spoke with Staff Reporter Michael Martinez. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: How how was 2019 for Lincoln dealers?
A: It was a fantastic year for Lincoln, and it really is a fantastic story that I don't think is getting enough press. We're seeing the resurgence of an iconic American luxury brand. Lincoln sales were up 8 percent in 2019. That was led by a 20 percent increase in the fourth quarter. While for 2019, the rest of the premium industry was up by about 3 percent. So Lincoln outpaced, for the most part, the rest of the premium industry.
For Lincoln, it was a record CPO year. It was a record Black Label sales year. And then really all of that goes toward dealer profits that were up considerably for the Lincoln dealer body, which council spends a lot of time on.
In 2019, we saw the launch of the Aviator and the Corsair, two great products for the brand. And we also saw the launch of Lincoln Access Rewards, which the dealers are really excited about. And we also saw the continued growth of pickup and delivery, and our dealers really embrace that, and our clients really love that as well. They love how that's saving them time.
A lot happened in 2019. I thought it was a great year.