DETROIT — Lincoln Motor Co. plans to expand its lineup in the U.S. and introduce four new battery-electric products by 2030 as it transitions to an electrified portfolio to match its luxury rivals.
Executives at Ford Motor Co.’s premium brand said Wednesday they expect that by 2026, half of all sales globally will be of zero-emission vehicles. By the end of the decade, each nameplate Lincoln offers globally will come with an electrified variant, although the brand expects to still sell at least some gasoline-powered models then.
In that future lineup, Lincoln will offer four battery-electric vehicles on Ford’s new rear-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive EV architecture in both North America and China, with the first set to debut next year. Lincoln President Joy Falotico said that EV would be a new nameplate and an addition to the brand’s North America lineup, although she declined to say how much further Lincoln planned to grow beyond the four nameplates it offers now in North America.
“As we accelerate Lincoln’s transformation in North America and China, there is no better time to propel the Lincoln brand forward with electrification,” Falotico said in a statement. “Electrification will take ‘Quiet Flight’ to a new level with the smooth, exhilarating takeoff feel and serene quietness our clients expect from a Lincoln.”
The move comes as Ford expects 40 percent of its global volume will be all-electric by 2030 and as some of Lincoln’s chief rivals, such as Cadillac, go all-electric.
Officials declined to say which current nameplates would go fully electric, though Ford CEO Jim Farley mentioned an EV Aviator crossover at last month’s capital markets day presentation. Automotive News has previously reported that Lincoln is planning a Nautilus-sized EV crossover for the 2023 model year as well as an EV version of the Corsair.
Lincoln said it plans to tweak the design of its vehicles moving forward, playing off interior and exterior themes that have won wide praise in recent years.
“Our approach is to build on what we already know and refine our strengths even further,” said Kemal Curic, Lincoln’s global design director.
That starts with the exterior of the vehicles, which will include a horizontal light bar running from the headlights to the Lincoln star logo in the middle of the mesh grille.
Curic said the new rwd/awd EV architecture will allow the brand to create a more spacious interior featuring larger panoramic roofs and “coast-to-coast” display screens.
The brand also plans to offer its version of Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free driver-assist system, which it is calling “Lincoln ActiveGlide,” although the company declined to give a launch time frame. Its new models also will be capable of over-the-air updates, which it’s calling “Lincoln Enhance,” starting this summer on the Nautilus.
The company also is experimenting with something it calls “rejuvenation mode” which will let owners “create their own sensory environment through various display, lighting, climate, seat, massage, scent and audio settings.” That includes what Lincoln calls “digital scenting techniques” that can help relax the person using it, which Falotico said would likely come in situations where the vehicle isn’t moving.
She declined to say when exactly the feature would debut.
“Think of it as something that’s going to happen,” she told Automotive News.
Lincoln is continuing to encourage its dealers to build standalone “vitrine” showrooms as part of a facility upgrade program it started in 2018. The program was later paused and restarted after feedback from dealers, who asked for flexibility in the size of the new stores.
Falotico said 28 Lincoln dealers have built vitrine stores and 50 more are in the works.
The company, which noted that about one-third of sales come online, plans to roll out a new digital retail tool soon. It won’t be mandatory, although Lincoln officials say dealers will be strongly encouraged to use it.
Falotico noted the brand’s retail network would be vital as it transitions to selling more electric vehicles.
“We know there’s going to be change and we’ve been very transparent about that,” Falotico said. “Customer expectations are evolving … but we’ll do that in partnership with our dealers. What I’m looking at is, where do we create a competitive advantage with the dealer body? Where there are pain points today, how do we address them? And how do we modernize our dealer body to be competitive with the new BEV competitors? That’s what we’re going to do.”
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