Lincoln Is Playing a Dangerous Game of Catch-Up in a Crowded Market

Lincoln just revealed a concept for its first-ever electric vehicle, but is it too little, too late?
Written by Andrew Kidd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
May 5, 2022
In the race to electrify its line-up,
Lincoln
is at the end of the pack playing catch-up.
Ford’s luxury brand recently introduced its first electric vehicle concept, the Lincoln Star Concept, in late April 2022. It’s a move that sees
one of America’s oldest luxury brands
attempting to keep pace with the rest of the industry.

The Star Concept car and what Lincoln has said about its future electric line-up

As
Bloomberg
explains, the Lincoln Star Concept SUV isn’t a drivable model, but more of a demonstration of the design language the company is hoping to convey in its upcoming electric vehicle lineup. Lincoln plans to deliver three electric vehicles by 2025 with another coming in 2026.
The concept vehicle itself seems to make use of a lot of glass; the glass roof can be manually tinted while the vehicle’s front pillars feature a 3D-printed lattice to let light into the interior. It also has some throwbacks to Lincoln cars of yesteryear, with coach doors that call back to Lincoln Continentals from the 1960s.
The rear passenger space of the concept is full of hidden storage compartments and a chilled beverage cabinet meant to make the vehicle feel like an executive office or lounge. That’s complemented by soft cabin lighting courtesy of pinstripe lights around the vehicle, including the floors and ceiling.
As Bloomberg writes, the concept doesn’t do too much to be innovative; other luxury automakers have offered similar trappings in their electric vehicles. For example, mood-changing features like sound and fragrance modifiers have been offered by others like
Mercedes
for years. 
The glass roof also seems to copy off of other vehicles that have done it before, even Ford’s own Mustang Mach-E.

Playing catch-up in a crowded luxury electric vehicle market

But is Lincoln late to the game? Lincoln President Joy Falotico essentially admitted as much to reporters.
“In 2017 there were only five premium electric vehicles, today there are 48, and by the end of the decade premium EV sales will triple,” she said to reporters during a press preview.
The automaker has consistently told the press that half its global sales would be hybrid and electrified vehicles by 2026. It hasn’t exactly shown much in the way of a production EV just yet, however. Which is surprising, given the reputation Lincoln vehicles have long had of being “fancy Fords.”
On the other hand, Lincoln parent company Ford is leaning hard into its electrification strategy, having just launched an electrified version of its F-150, the
F-150 Lightning
. At the same time, Ford CEO Jim Farley increased the company’s EV spending but delayed plans for an electrified Lincoln Aviator to boost production output of the Mustang Mach-E.

What does the future hold for Lincoln?

As Bloomberg notes, it’s important to remember that concept cars like the Lincoln Star Concept won’t necessarily reflect what will be in a production vehicle, but instead serve as pitches to the board about what could be if the company is given the budget to pursue it.
It’s still to be seen if Ford will allocate more budget for Lincoln’s electrification strategy, or if it will double-down its focus on electrifying its popular nameplates pending the success of its F-150 Lightning. 
Time will tell—but time probably isn’t on Lincoln’s side here. Maybe
Matthew McConaughey
can help push Lincoln into the 21st century.
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