Ford Motor Co. (F), selling a redesigned Lincoln MKZ sedan to revive its luxury line, said the model will set a May U.S. sales record that will position the brand to match or narrowly miss its deliveries of a year earlier.
Ford will report about 3,300 MKZ sales for the month, topping its previous best May of 3,092 in 2007, Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing and sales and Lincoln, told reporters today on a conference call. Total deliveries for the brand probably will be unchanged or down slightly as the MKZ takes sales from the larger MKS, said Matt VanDyke, Lincoln brand director.
“We’re encouraged by our MKZ sales in May, but we have a long, long road to rebuild this brand,” said Farley, 50.
Ford is counting on the MKZ, which features push-button shifting and an optional retractable glass roof, to revive Lincoln into a brand that can contend with Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)’s BMW and Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz. Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford’s luxury line posted a 24 percent plunge in first-quarter U.S. deliveries, the most of any brand with at least 100 sales.
Automakers including Ford report U.S. vehicle sales for May on June 3. Ford may have led U.S. automakers with an 11 percent increase for the month, the average estimate of 13 analysts in a survey by Bloomberg News.
The MKZ, which starts at $35,925, is the first of four new models Lincoln has coming over four years.
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