We are at this time of our calendar year in between two model years. Back in the day, it probably made sense to examine sales reports per model year, as line-ups were clearly differentiated from one year to the next, and manufacturers usually stuck to the schedule to avoid overlapping! But nowadays, it is possible for brands to release “early” models of the next.. model year in order to take advantage of the auto show circuit, social media buzz and the like.
So, in order to examine Lincoln’s sales, we’ll take a look at the calendar year 2014. It was an interesting year, as the brand put month after month lots of efforts into its marketing (with Matthew McConaughey’s campaigns ramping up) and product (with the MKC, new Navigator, and teasers of the MKX). And, as numbers show in our homemade sales chart, these efforts paid off.
Admittedly, Lincoln started on an upswing as the brand had began its turnaround earlier. Still, for the 2014 calendar year, Lincoln shipped 94,474 vehicles, which represents an increase of 15,64% overall. Good performance!
In terms of pure volume, Lincoln is still behind its closest competitors – but while Lexus (311,000 units) and Buick (228,000 units) lead the premium/entry-level luxury segment with two very different approaches, Lincoln is catching up to the rest of the pack, the next target being Infiniti at around 115,000 units for the year. After that, Cadillac, Acura and even Audi are all within range. Let’s remember that FoMoCo has set a worldwide sales goal of 300,000 units by 2020 – of those, at least 100,000 will come from China according to Chinese insiders.
Volume aside, it is interesting to compare relative growth of each of those luxury makes. Lincoln’s total sales increase propelled it in 6th place overall – in front of most brands, including German imports! This, in a market that hit a post-recession high, and in which analysts expected luxury brands to stand out as buyers grew tired of decontented specials and felt more comfortable spending. Lexus, which debuted a lot of models recently, only registered a 13.71% increase ; Buick settled with 11.41% growth ; Acura and Infiniti stalled with increases of respectively 1.45% and 0.75%. And, most importantly, archnemesis Cadillac saw its sales drop by 6.46% overall despite the release of the ATS and CTS.
All in all, it validates FoMoCo’s efforts on Lincoln’s product portfolio and strategy, and it shows good customer response at the end of the line. Given the ongoing success of Matthew McConaughey’s campaign, and the increased buzz created by the new MKX and most of all by the Continental Concept, 2015 should once again be a good year overall for Lincoln.
2014: Forgetting the ghosts of recessions past, at Autoblog.com