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With a Super Bowl commercial slot and a $1 billion marketing campaign, Ford (NYSE:F) has put some financial muscle behind its effort to revive sales of its luxury Lincoln-brand vehicles.
In recent times, Ford’s Lincoln has failed to stand out from its rivals: Bayerische Motoren Werke’s BMW, Daimler’s (DDAIF.PK) Mercedes-Benz, Toyota’s (NYSE:TM) Lexus, and Volkswagen’s (VLKAY.PK) Audi. Since 1990, when the 90-year-old brand reached its peak in popularity, sales have declined by 63 percent. Now, as Bloomberg noted in a recent article, the brand’s iconic black Town Car is more often pictured as airport transportation for executives than as a luxury vehicle. Even Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields acknowledged that rebuilding the brand will be a “daunting task.”
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But manufacturing a popular luxury brand is important for the company. In October, at the opening of Lincoln’s new design studio in Dearborn, Michigan, Fields said that a luxury brand was essential for the company to be a “global and successful enterprise.”
Ford wants the Lincoln to appeal to younger, wealthier buyers instead of its traditional customers, who are on average 65 years old. According to the publication, “Rather than trying to dislodge BMW and Mercedes owners from their cars, Lincoln is seeking “curious” luxury buyers not beholden to brand names.”
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