Increasing Lincoln brand value via hybrids
When the upcoming Lincoln MKZ hybrid goes on sale it will cost the same as a conventional, gas-powered MKZ, or roughly about $35,000.
So will anyone even want a conventional MKZ anymore?
The Lincoln MKZ hybrid is rated by the EPA at 41 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. The conventional MKZ is rated at 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. And while the battery pack might pose some long term concerns for buyers, why would anyone choose the same price for a vehicle with so much less fuel economy?
While the MKZ isn't a huge seller, if all buyers went hybrid, the MKZ hybrid could potentially move more than 10,000 units per year. Moreover, as the MKZ hybrid will offer the best fuel economy in its class, the MKZ hybrid could easily become the most compelling hybrid in its segment. In fact, it might provide serious competition to the cheaper non-hybrids in its class, which might be what the MKZ hybrid is all about.
According to Bruze Belzowski, assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, “Lincoln might say, ‘We're going to take a hit on this,'” Belzowski said. “They may say something like ‘We're willing to take a hit on this because the marketing value is going to outweigh the cost.'”
Of course, based on Ford's hybrid past, it seems hard to believe that Ford has the battery supplies for 10,000 MKZ hybrids per year any time soon. So, it will be interesting watching this development unfold.
Regardless, this should provide some nice buzz for the Lincoln brand, and Ford's hybrid technology overall.