New Electric Crossover on the Horizon for Lincoln
2021 looks to be uncharted territory for Lincoln Motor Company. With production wrapped on the MKZ and wrapping up for the Continental, the luxury brand launches its latest model year without any cars in its lineup. Despite a lineup that now consists of just three crossovers and a full-size SUV, Lincoln doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to pad out its portfolio.
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Lincoln’s key lineup stays the course
In its Future Product Pipeline series, Automotive News suggests that Lincoln will instead focus on revamping its current offerings. The Lincoln Corsair, which just launched for 2020, is looking at a refresh in 2022 and an overhaul in 2024. The three-row Aviator will follow suit with a refresh in 2023.
The Navigator, currently the oldest member of the Lincoln family, will try to counter the launch of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade with a refresh next year and a new generation in 2023. Auto News suggests that the next-gen Navigator will finally introduce the long-gestured hybrid variant.
Future uncertain for Nautilus
Lincoln’s other current product, the Nautilus, could find its way out of the lineup after just one lifecycle. The fate of the Lincoln Nautilus was first revealed in June by AutoForecast Solutions Vice President Sam Fiorani. Fiorani reported that production on the Nautilus and its platform-mate, the Ford Edge, would end at the Oakville Assembly Complex in Canada by 2023.
Automotive News suggests that the planned Lincoln midsize electric crossover will replace the Nautilus in the lineup. Lincoln had been working on an electric vehicle, likely also a crossover, with Rivian as part of Ford’s $500 million investment. However, Lincoln canceled that project earlier this year and pledged to forge ahead on a clean sheet EV of its own.
Unifor negotiations could be key
Negotiations are underway between Ford of Canada and Unifor on a new deal, and the fate of Oakville Assmebly is one of the key points of focus. Unifor President Jerry Dias says that he expects the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus will both live on until the end of the next collective agreement in 2023, and that the current talks are focused more on “what comes beyond.”
That could, as Fiorani suggested last month, include a plan to retool Oakville Assembly to produce the midsize electric crossover that would replace it. He does acknowledge, however, that this would be a long shot given that Ford already has EV-ready manufacturing infrastructure in place elsewhere. Auto News speculates that Lincoln’s EV crossover would be built in Cuautitlan, Mexico, where the upcoming Ford Mustang Mach-E is produced.
If Lincoln indeed plans to eliminate the Nautilus and slot in an EV, it has its work cut out for it to compensate for sales. The Lincoln Nautilus was the brand’s best-selling vehicle in North America in 2019 and is on track to repeat that feat again this year.