Lincoln MKZ may die in 2019–but in name only

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2017 Lincoln MKZ

2017 Lincoln MKZ

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The Lincoln MKZ is now in its second generation, and just received a major update for the 2017 model year.

By 2019, it could be dead, according to a report from Autoline Daily.

According to the video news service, the mid-size Lincoln four-door will be axed near the end of the decade, when the current model reaches the end of its life cycle. 

Autoline's John McElroy cites a report from AutoForecast Solutions, which says several production moves will force the MKZ's death.

Chief among them: Ford will move the Focus to the Mexico assembly plant where the MKZ is built. It could move the MKZ to Michigan, but its Flat Rock plant is being converted into an electric- and autonomous-car hub.

More SUVs, please

McElroy says the Ford luxury brand will focus its resources on crossovers and SUVs, but it's unlikely this is the end for a mid-size Lincoln sedan.

Ed Kim, vice president of AutoPacific, thinks the MKZ name will be dropped from the Lincoln lineup--but predicts a new name will find its way on to a successor.

“We saw a shift with the 2017 Continental, it was the first Lincoln product that went away from alphanumerics to a new naming structure," Kim says. "The MKZ name will be put out to pasture but something functional will replace it and it will have a real name.”

While the Lincoln lineup is down on crossovers and SUVs compared to the Germans, Kim adds, "The role of a sedan is arguably more important for Lincoln than it is for other brands because it’s a brand that still has appeal with older and traditional customers. These customers prefer sedans to crossovers and SUVs."

AutoPacific data shows the MKZ was one of best-selling Lincolns last year, at 30,500 units in 2016. Just ahead of it: the mid-size MKX crossover SUV at 31,000 units.

AutoPacific says the MKZ successor will be built on the new D6 platform, as will the next Ford Explorer and Fusion. The modular platform can be built in front-, rear-, or all-wheel-drive form.

Kim says if Lincoln's smart, its MKZ replacement will be rear-wheel drive.

 
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