By Drew Johnson
Monday, Apr 4th, 2011 @ 9:25 am
 
Ford's Lincoln brand was Americ's top-selling luxury brand two decades ago, but has since slipped into automotive obscurity. However, Ford says it is now committed to returning Lincoln to its past glory and has formed a skunk works team to fix the brand's problems.

In an attempt to return the Lincoln brand to top-tier status, Ford has established a crack team of 85 staffers. About half of those employees were hired from other luxury brands - including Cadillac and Audi - while the rest were transferred from within Ford. The new team has a "laser focus" on fixing the Lincoln brand.

"We know the needs of Lincoln are different from nonluxury," said Lincoln spokesman Christian Bokich. "We had to put this team together to make sure that Lincoln gets its due." Prior to the creation of the Lincoln-specific team, Ford had staffers working jointly on Ford, Lincoln and the now defunct Mercury brands.

Ford previously stated it was not prepared to share its future product plans with Lincoln dealers, but has since changed its tune. At the upcoming meeting with the Lincoln National Dealer Council Ford is expected to share its redesigned 2013 MKZ sedan. The current MKZ has been much maligned for its bland styling and close ties to its Ford Fusion platform mate.

Lincoln sold 85,828 vehicles last year, well behind rivals Cadillac (146,925) and Lexus (229,329).

References
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