The tenth-generation of the Lincoln Continental — reintroduced in 2016 after 14 years gone — will die again, Ford said today. Production will be halted by the end of the year in the U.S., and eventually in China as well. It’s the newest victim of the obsessions with SUVs.
That’s because even though Lincoln sold 112,204 cars last year, an 8.3 per cent jump from 2018, it only sold 6,586 Continentals, and that number was off almost a quarter from the year before. The writing was probably on the wall when Lincoln’s parent Ford said it would kill off its cars over two years ago now.
Indeed, we suspected as soon as September 2018 that it might be on the chopping block, and now on the chopping block it is.
From The Detroit News:
“Lincoln is investing in growth segments and the brand will feature a full portfolio of SUVs, including a fully-electric vehicle in the future,” spokeswoman Angie Kozleski said in a statement. “Lincoln will continue to keep its newest SUVs fresh and we will have more news to share later this year; however, as the full-size premium sedan segment continues to decline in the U.S., we plan to end production of the Lincoln Continental at the end of this year.”
A 2021 model year Continental will be offered in Ford’s China market, before the model is discontinued there, as well: “The Continental has had a really rich past, but we’ll return the name to the vault after that,” Kozleski said.
The timing of the relaunched Continental probably could not have been worse, as 2016 was right in the middle of America’s truck and SUV mania taking off, to the point that last year, 70 per cent of the market was trucks or SUVs.
And while the suicide-doored Coach Door Edition was cool, it never felt like enough, especially to compete with the likes of Mercedes, BMW, or even Genesis. RIP Continental, at least until Ford decides to bring back the name again and go electric.