Lincoln Continental Production Ending in 2020
Lincoln Motor Company last week confirmed that the revival of the Continental has come to an end. Production on the Lincoln Continental will wrap up in the fourth quarter, ending the all-too-brief return of one of the luxury brand’s iconic names.
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“Continental has a rich history and has been a great vehicle for Lincoln and our clients since its introduction, but with the continued declines in the premium sedan segment, it is time to end production of the Continental,” said Lincoln’s director of Marketing, Sales, and Service for North America, Michael Sprague. “We are responding to the needs of our customers with a strong SUV portfolio, and we plan to add a fully electric vehicle in the future.”
With respect to the future, Lincoln also notes that the Continental name is being “returned to the vault for potential use in the future.” It will continue to live on for at least another year in China, returning for the 2021 model year.
The short and sweet return of the Lincoln Continental
In 2015, Lincoln brought out a handsome Continental Concept that teased both the return of an iconic nameplate and the new design language that defines its lineup today. The popularity of the concept spawned a proper return for the 2017 model year, which also helped push Lincoln away from MK vehicle names.
While the Continental was initially popular, it hit at a time where consumer tastes were leaning away from sedans and toward crossovers and SUVs. Lincoln has met that demand with a new lineup that now includes the Corsair, Nautilus, and Aviator, but the Continental has been something of a question mark as far back as 2018.
Lincoln briefly rekindled the excitement around that original concept with the launch of a new Coach Door Edition, which featured classic-style suicide doors. While this version of the Continental was an instant success, its limited availability didn’t make much of a dent in the overall fortunes of the sedan.
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Lincoln Q2 2020 sales show brand’s focus
Lincoln reported its sales for the second quarter of 2020 last week, and with the exception of the discontinued Lincoln MKT, the Continental is comfortably the brand’s lowest volume seller. With just 1,012 sedans delivered in Q2 and 2,575 sold in the first six months of the year, Continental sales are nearly a quarter that of the new Nautilus, which starts at a comparable price.
Though it has sold considerably better than the Continental in 2020, Lincoln is also discontinuing its MKZ, following parent company Ford’s lead and leaving it without a sedan in the lineup. Through June, Lincoln SUV sales totaled 37,800, more than four times its total sedan sales.