A new automotive industry report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch is out, and we’ve found some interesting takeaways: one, Ford’s new model turnover will be the quickest of the American big three automakers over the next four years; two, that turnover will be led by crossovers and trucks; and three, Lincoln is most definitely planning a big comeback.
The information comes courtesy of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which released its yearly Car Wars report. Among the 46 pages that were released are predictions on market share increases, the average age of major models (the time a nameplate spends between complete overhauls), and the inevitable prediction for share prices.
BoA/ML’s overall prediction is this: automakers will likely turn away from putting large sums of money on the hood of old cars in hopes of making them sell, and will move more towards frequent updates and new models in the hopes of keeping profit margins high. Perhaps spurred by Chrysler’s success–the company updated or overhauled almost its entire lineup during its period of financial turmoil and has since seen big gains–automakers may replace models at a quicker pace.
But tucked away in this report are some individual model predictions. BoA/ML predicts that Ford will overhaul 46 percent of its lineup (by volume) in 2015 with the release of an all-new Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX mid-size crossover, a new Ford F-Series pickup truck, and a new Ford Mustang sports car/convertible. It’ll follow that up with a 20-percent replacement number in 2016 with a new Ford Explorer, Lincoln MKS, Ford Taurus, and Ford Fiesta.
But BoA/ML also predicts that Lincoln will balloon its lineup along the way. Research indicates the possibility of a Lincoln MKD small crossover and MKC sedan in 2014, and a new MKS and an Aviator large crossover in 2016.
We’ve heard murmurs about some form of Lincoln C-segment crossover before, so the MKD comes as little surprise, but the MKC and Aviator are more surprising. Lincoln’s naming conventions would predict that MKC stands for “compact,” and the MKC would be a Buick Verano/Acura ILX competitor in the burgeoning compact luxury segment. The Aviator, meanwhile, appears to again be based on the Ford Explorer, which could mean it’s a new name for the MKT large crossover or an entirely new Explorer-based vehicle.
Put all of those predictions together and, assuming they’re true, and Lincoln’s product portfolio would look much more like the Acura and Buick portfolios against which it arguably competes. Lincoln would have competitors to Buick’s Encore, Enclave, Verano, Regal, and LaCrosse, Acura’s RDX, MDX, ILX, TL, and RL/RLX, just using existing Ford Motor Company platforms. Fans of the historical luxury carmaker, it would appear the fight’s not over yet.
It begs the question: what do you want to see from Ford and Lincoln over the next few years? Let us know what you think of the research, and what you’d want to see, in the comments below.
Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch