Looking through the history of the Lincoln brand, you wouldn’t expect that they had difficulties, especially after nearly 100 years of production. But having lasted through decades of time, passed from one brand to the next, Lincoln has continued to show their resilience as a brand with their sleek styles of luxury vehicles.
Founded by Henry M. Leland, he named the brand after President Abraham Lincoln, after he voted for him back in 1864. Lincoln began as their own brand of luxury vehicles in 1917 when they built the first Lincoln Model L. In addition to their vehicle production, they also co-assembled Liberty V12 aircraft engines using Ford Motor Company as their cylinder suppliers. Because the brand was founded during the WWI period, Lincoln found that most of their clientele was military.
While everything seemed promising in the beginning, the company faced severe financial difficulties after the creation of the Model L as well as the loss of revenue around the production of Liberty engines.
After just five years of production, Lincoln went bankrupt after selling only 150 cars total in the year 1922. That same year, Lincoln sold to Ford Motor Company for $8 million. Even though Lincoln sold to Ford, they still struggled to keep a stable brand of loveable cars. Regardless, that didn’t stop them from working to invent their models throughout the years.
Between the 1920s and the 1950s, designers experimented greatly with the models creating some of Lincoln’s most notable styles, although many didn’t last very long. In 1924, a line of touring sedans, known as Police Flyers, were built and used primarily for the Police Department. After the production of the Lincoln-Zephyr in 1932, designer, Eugene T. “Bob” Georgie, worked to create a smaller version of the Zephyr and stumbled upon a design for the soon to come, Lincoln Continental.
In April 1940, to better compete with other brands like Chrysler, Packard, and GM (Cadillac), Lincoln changed to the Lincoln Division of Ford Motor Company, bringing Lincoln further under the Ford brand. That same year, the Lincoln Contentinental was created by Edsel Ford, who tired of the original boxy vehicle and wanted a luxury vehicle to drive while on holiday. From this point on, the Continental went back and forth between being the go-to car of the brand and the car they cut out when trying something new.
A few years down the road, the Lincoln-H series was offered in coupe, sedan, and limousine design and equipped with the Lincoln V12. In 1945, Lincoln merged with Mercury, and four years later, the Continental was discontinued to make room for a new EL-Series which matched a similar styling to the Mercury Eight.
Thirty years later, in 1980, Lincoln downsized and a year later, Continental was yet again placed on hiatus to make room for another experiment, the Town Coupe. Apparently, it didn’t turn out too well because the Town Coupe came off the market a year later and the Continental was added back to help compete with Cadillac.
At the turn of the 90s, Lincoln fell behind in sales after having to compete with other motor companies in Japan, South Korea, and America. Then, in 1998, Lincoln caught a break when they were added to Premier Automotive Group (PAG) a division that allowed Lincoln to start selling their brand alongside imported vehicles like Jaguar, Volvo, Aston Martin, and Land Rover. Around this same time, Lincoln made great changes to the style of the models, adding a little of the European influence to make them seem more like a luxury vehicle.
By 2014, Lincoln was still holding strong and was able to introduce their brand to China. In addition, their sales increased by 16% and 7% in 2015.
While many of the original, classic models of Lincoln have been discontinued and long forgotten, the brand still lives, prospering greatly in the current days. Today, the brand continues to celebrate it’s most successful models with a new 2017 Lincoln Continental and the slightly less recent 2016 Lincoln MKC. Luxury sedans aren’t all they are known for anymore. Lincoln has successfully created a line of sleek crossovers like the 2016 Lincoln MKX Crossover.
Lincoln now sells their vehicles to select countries around the world including, North America, China, the Middle East, and South Korea.
To see the new brand of stunning Lincoln brands, check out Bowen Scarff Lincoln’s inventory.
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