Ford has shifted into overdrive on its journey to reinvent its luxury division, Lincoln. In 2010 Ford Motor Company retired the Mercury brand and announced new investments in Lincoln. The Blue Oval wanted to put the days of badge engineering behind it. Ford partnered with ad agency WPP, led by Cameron McNaughton, and charged it with redefining the luxury brand for the 21st century. The first step: a new old name – Lincoln Motor Company.
To celebrate the new name, Lincoln Motor Company launched a collection of new creative spots online. The brand has finalized its media talking points, which someone was nice enough to ‘cam’ a media event here. When I asked him, Mr. Jim Farley, Ford’s Chief Marketing Officer and now Head of Lincoln Global, to describe in three-words the future of Lincoln, he replied “provocative.”
Most importantly, the Lincoln MKZ is launching. The first ‘new’ product since Ford declared war on badge engineering. The new MKZ is a good looking vehicle, but is it enough to sway buyers from the smoking hot (pun intended) 2013 Ford Fusion? Did Lincoln design go far enough?
Last December I was introduced to Mr. John Manoogian II. Mr. Manoogian has held design positions throughout the automotive industry and is now a design consultant and visiting professor at the College of Creative Studies (CSS) in Detroit, Michigan. Last year he gave his senior class an interesting project – design a Lincoln for the year 2025.
Mr. Manoogian was kind enough to send me photos of their work, with students’ permission of course. Click the jump link to see a full gallery of what they came up with. This is what tomorrow’s designers envision for a brand being restored today.