MKX Marks the Spot

Thursday, 10 May 2007 | 9:58 AM ET
2007 Lincoln MKX
2007 Lincoln MKX

I have to confess this is something new for me. In eight years of covering the auto industry for CNBC, I'm not sure I've ever done a story about how things are looking up for Ford's beleaguered Lincoln division. Well folks, mark your calendar with a big MKX.

Today, J.D. Power's Power Information Network releases its "hot off the lot" list for April, which is a rundown of the 10 fastest selling models in the industry. Last month, Lincoln's new crossover, the MKX, made the list. On average, Lincoln dealers kept the MKX on their lots 18 days. Not bad in an industry where the average time a vehicle spends in a showroom is 60 days.

The skeptics will say, "So what?" After all, one month of strong demand doesn't end the fact Lincoln has been a "lost" luxury brand for some time. And in fact, I can't argue with you. Yes, with the exception of the Navigator, the Lincoln brand has been about as hip as the former President's personality.

Still, give the Ford company some credit. The MKX is one reason Lincoln sales are up 7.8% this year and the crossover utility vehicle is a decent competitor in the increasingly competitive CUV market. Sure, Lincoln needs more products and, eventually, a marketing campaign if it's ever truly going to be an upscale line with growth potential for Ford. But for one month at least, MKX marks the spot.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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  • Phil LeBeau is a CNBC auto and airline industry reporter based in the Chicago bureau and editor of the Behind the Wheel section on CNBC.com.