Fleet News

Lincoln to be launched in Britain

FORD will launch the Lincoln LS in Britain late this year or early in 2000, the manufacturer's president and chief executive officer Jac Nasser revealed at the North American International Auto Show. Speculation has been mounting in the UK that Ford's long-time reluctance to name any timescale other than '1999' was due to concern in Ford of Britain as to how to market the American model following the failure in the luxury car sector of the recently axed Ford Scorpio.

And with Ford-owned Jaguar soon to launch the S-type in the UK and a 'baby' Jaguar to follow early in the millennium, it is believed there has been widespread concern in Ford of Britain at the cost involved of launching the Lincoln brand when sales could be minimal. Ford of Britain will also have been watching the performance of Cadillac, brought in to the UK last year by General Motors with limited success.

Nevertheless, Nasser dismissed the speculation saying the Lincoln LS, which is to be launched in the US in the early summer, would be sold in Europe, including the UK, 'some time this year', although it is expected that it will be 2000 before sales take off. American pricing for the Lincoln LS has yet to be announced but the automatic/ manual 3.0 litre 24v 210 bhp V6 and automatic 3.9-litre 32v 252bhp V8 are expected to cost between $30,000 and $40,000 when launched. Both models are expected to be available in the UK.

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