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Old 09-29-2004, 07:49   #1 (permalink)
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US:Lincoln hoping for higher volume with second, lower-priced luxury pickup

Lincoln hoping for higher volume with second, lower-priced luxury pickup

AMY WILSON | Automotive News



Lincoln's second stab at a pickup will be priced much lower than its first.

The 2006 Lincoln Mark LT, which goes on sale early next year, will carry a base price in the low- to mid-$40,000 range, Lincoln Mercury President Darryl Hazel said. Lincoln says it's too early to release exact prices, but the estimated price is significantly less than the $52,500 Lincoln Blackwood. The Blackwood pickup bombed after its debut in 2001.

Lincoln introduced the production version of the Mark LT last week at the Texas State Fair.

Lincoln marketers are hoping for a better reaction to the Mark LT, which is a dressed-up version of the redesigned Ford F-150. They are targeting sales of 20,000 pickups annually. By contrast, Lincoln sold 3,356 Blackwoods during a 15-month sales period.

The Mark LT's price point also significantly undercuts that of primary competitor Cadillac Escalade EXT, which starts at around $54,000.

"There are a number of people who may have assumed a higher price," Hazel said. The Mark LT pricing guidance will "indicate to dealers that we are interested in realizing some reasonable volume."

The 2006 Mark LT will go into production in January.

The Mark LT will have four-wheel and rear-wheel drive configurations, a 5.4-liter V-8 engine and a crew cab body style. Lincoln expects a 50 percent take rate on 4wd, said Alex Hultgren, the Mark LT marketing manager.

Target customers are men aged 45 to 55, possibly small-business owners who occasionally need to carry cargo or go offroad. Target customers are likely to cross-shop the Cadillac Escalade EXT or GMC Sierra Denali, Hultgren said.
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