Lincoln Resorts to Incentives for New Continental

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The iconic Lincoln Continental, resurrected by the Ford (NYSE: F) luxury division to be its flagship was added to the brand’s line up this year.. Lincoln has started to give buyers aggressive discounts, a bad sign for a model which was just introduced.

Ford sold a very modest 2,246 Continentals in the first two months of the year. The car was not available in the same period in 2016.

At present, Lincoln has several tiers of financing for buyers: 0.0 % for 36 months, 0.9 % for 48 months, 1.9 % for 60 months, and  3.9% for 72 months. These sorts of incentives are not unusual for new cars, but Lincoln has described the Continental as a vehicle which is a leader in its luxury class

The car was launched with great fanfare, which makes low sales even more disappointing. At the the launch Ford trumpeted its advantages:

The Lincoln Motor Company heralds the return of its flagship – the all-new 2017 Lincoln Continental – an elegant, effortlessly powerful, serene full-size sedan that delivers quiet luxury to the industry’s most discerning customers.

Lincoln Continental offers first-class travel for clients in America and China, bringing warm, human touches and a contemporary design. It is designed to appeal to culturally progressive clients who define luxury on their own terms – craving superior quality, craftsmanship and safety.

“The Continental name has long been associated with the best Lincoln has to offer, and this car delivers on that promise,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. “With this all-new model, we’ve focused on creating more human, personally tailored experiences for our clients – providing what we call quiet luxury.”

The car has a base price of $44,720. With a large engine and a full list of options, that figure can stretch as high as $75,000

The Lincoln is often compared to the BMW 7, Mercedes E, Audi A6, and Cadillac CTS 6. While the Cadillac is not a world class car, the German models are, and have the reviews to show it. So at launch, the Continental has huge hurdles to overcome

Discounting and special incentives are part of the car industry and are used across a large number of manufacturers and models. However, a new and supposedly superior model should not have to resort to them. Lincoln has done so with the Continental, and done so aggressively