Tomahawk, WI 01/28/2014 (BasicsMedia) – On Jan 23, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) uncovered a family oriented upgrade of its Lincoln Navigator. It is a new version of the sport utility vehicle that etched the Lincoln brand during the American SUV bash ten years back. The U.S. second biggest automaker is in a pursuit to redefine Lincoln as a sleeker and more superior brand.

The 2015 Navigator will be having upgraded services and will be available in new models like the mid-sized sedan MKZ and the yet to come compact crossover MKC. Last year, the auto manufacturer faced troubles in assimilating the project due to a lack of availability of parts. The MKZ’s launch was postponed due to certain manufacturing constraints.

The 2015 Navigator

The new version of the Navigator will be an eight seater and will support a new suspension. It will have a smaller, turbo charged engine with a new front grille. Although the grille will have the same split-wing design as the other renovated Lincoln models, but will be stronger. To pay homage to the SUV’s past the grille will be more formal than the other restructured models, as informed by Max Wolff, Lincoln’s chief designer. The new version’s chief engineer, Elaine Bannon said that the present day Navigator buyers do not look for features such as fuel economy while purchasing. They are more concerned with the vehicle’s look, capability and power. Wolff, on the hand, said that while the first versions of the Navigator had successfully outrun the American sedan which was then the most sought after vehicle, but they can no longer survive today.

Low sales of SUV Lincoln

Sale of the big brawny SUV Lincoln was down by 0.6% the previous year. However, it is seeing a comeback with a surge of 7.6% in the broader U.S. vehicle markets. On the other hand, sale of the Navigator was up by 3%. Ford is now trying to cash on this fact and is aiming the upgraded version of the vehicle at alluring buyers between 50 and 55 years of age. Generally, the Navigator is more popular among the older age group of around 60 to 65 years.

In this context, Lincoln’s group marketing manager, Andrew Frick commented that it had started out as more single based hit among the youth and professionals but now is being seen as a family based vehicle.

The 1990s Navigator

In the late 1990s, both Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) and its rivals, including General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM), had generated huge profits on the SUVs as they saw an immediate boom in the market. Back then, the Navigator was Ford’s one of the most profitable vehicles. It was introduced in 1997 and had made a record profit of around $15,000. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F)’s Frick said they are expecting the yearly sales of luxury, full size SUVs like the Navigator to increase. He said they could easily expect the sales to rise from the present 50,000 units to 55,000 units per annum.

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