Lincoln will reportedly be taking a new approach to what sort of vehicles it produces, with plans to downsize vehicles in the wake of flailing sales of the Navigator SUV and other large cars. The new approach will see the American brand focusing on cars that will likely be the smallest Lincolns ever, an approach that some other luxury rivals have shied away from in fear of a U.S. market not ready for smaller cars yet.

For the immediate future, Lincoln could be planning a number of surprises to help return the brand to prominence. Spearheading this approach is rumored to be a new compact Lincoln based on a Ford platform, most likely the Focus' global platform, but whether or not Lincoln is sure of such a move remains uncertain. The brand has already explored the possibility of smaller cars for city dwellers via its concepts, but turning them into production vehicles could be a risk that Lincoln is not willing to take.

Meanwhile, more likely to appear is a compact crossover based on an existing Ford platform that speculators are predicting could appear as early as 2011. While Lincoln is keeping its cards close to its chest, the smaller crossover could provide a change in brand image for Lincoln that would allow consumers to see the company capable of producing smaller cars.

As for Lincoln's existing models, the MKZ sedan will be getting redesigned in 2012 or 2013, and will sit on Ford's global mid-size architecture alongside other mid-sized Ford models, reports Automotive News. The MKS meanwhile will get an exterior revamp close to the end of 2011, while a major upgrade is scheduled for 2014 or 2015.

Lincoln's Navigator in the meantime has an uncertain future, and whether or not the company retains the massive SUV is anyone's guess - although with the discontinuation of earlier plans to upgrade the Navigator in 2011 we wouldn't be too surprised if it eventually goes the way of the Lincoln Town Car, which is almost certainly going to be scrapped after 2011.