Automaker records 73% drop in sales on MKZs in January and is expected to hasten moves to push production of its redesign.
This year has begun with slow production at Lincoln on the 2013 MKZ and MKZ Hybrid. As a result, the automaker is redoubling efforts to get the redesigned models off the ground.
Lincoln’s problems with the MKZ started with the late start of sales near the end of last year. Dealers sold a total of 453 MKZs last month, a whopping 73% drop in sales for the same period last year. This slump is the lowest sales month Lincoln has seen in 32 years. What happened to the midsize luxury sedan which was the automaker’s bestseller last year?
The automaker’s slow production this year has been attributed to more intense quality inspection. Ford is devoting $1 billion to revamping its luxury division in an effort to avoid the recalls that plagued the Ford Fusion. The Escape-based MKC is one of the three all-new vehicles Lincoln plans to release as part of its luxury lineup.
This month MKZ stock had increased to a 143-day supply, more than four times the 29-day supply that was available in January, so the automaker is making an effort to get things back on track.
Yesterday Ford met with its dealers and Ford’s Vice-President of U.S. Marketing Ken Czubay said the Mexico-built MKZ was the most pre-ordered car Lincoln has ever made. Now dealers are frustrated that the increasing heavy demand for the model is not being met.
The company confirms that it’s focusing on building the brand and ensuring quality product. If things don’t change soon, the automaker could leave a bad taste in the mouth of dealers as well as customers. Production is expected to be stepped up to fully meet demand by April, and not a moment too soon.