Ever since Ford CEO Alan Mulally said his company would have just two brands, Ford and Lincoln, there's been no shortage of critics taking shots at Mulally's strategy.
The comments generally go like this: Lincoln is a lost brand, and saving it is a long shot.
Not surprisingly, Mulally isn't phased and is pushing forward with Lincoln, even if sales are down 16% this year.
Which makes the latest results from J.D. Power about vehicle dependability a welcome bit of news for Lincoln.
J.D. Power surveyed 43,700 people who have had their cars at least three years and found Lincoln had the fewest problems.
The top 5 in dependability according to J.D. Power:
Given that Lincoln was #2 in this survey last year, it's not surprising the brand jumped up to the top spot. But how much will it help customers to give Lincoln a look? That's hard to say. On it's own, the survey probably won't drive traffic to Lincoln. Still, it's positive affirmation for those building and selling Lincoln models.
They need it.
Lincoln finds itself fighting for relevance as a premium brand. Its chief competitor Buick has kicked sales into a higher gear with substantially better designs. Lincoln needs a similar renaissance. Mulally and designer global product chief Derrick Kuzak are pinning hopes of a revival on new models coming late this year/early next year. That, plus better marketing and a restructured dealer network should help Lincoln.
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