By Nat Shirley
Thursday, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 4:42 pm
 

A new report has revealed Ford's internal 2013 sales target for its flagging Lincoln division, which is currently in the midst of a $1 billion turnaround effort.

While Ford has yet to officially comment on its volume goals for Lincoln, the Blue Oval told its dealers at a recent meeting that an 18 percent sales increase would represent a "good year" for the luxury brand, a company source revealed to The Detroit News.

Such a performance would be a marked improvement compared to Lincoln's sales this year, which are down 3 percent to 74,766 units through November. Still, some analysts believe that Ford needs to set the bar higher.

"An 18 percent increase from this point will probably be a modest increase," said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry analysis at TrueCar.com. "For them to show any kind of momentum, they need to have a 25 percent-plus year."

Lincoln - recently rebranded as "Lincoln Motor Company" - hopes to begin its product and sales renaissance with the redesigned 2013 MKZ sedan, which rides on a Ford Fusion platform but features unique styling inside and out in addition to exclusive engine options. The automaker is also planning on increasing showroom traffic by introducing four more new models by 2015. The first, the Ford Escape-based MKC luxury crossover, is set to debut in concept form in January at the Detroit show.