Reporting Vanessa Borge
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In the past, when you heard the name Lincoln attached to a car, it may have conjured up images of your grandparents in a large Lincoln Town Car. But the company that fell on hard times in recent years is hoping to find a rebirth with a new audience.
The 90-year-old car brand named for former President Abraham Lincoln is getting started with the 2013 Lincoln MKZ. The company started its campaign with a unique new advertising campaign that asked, “Does the world need another luxury car? Not really.”
The company faces a stiff market for luxury cars in the United States. From Lexus to Mercedes and BMW, Lincoln lost its market share and faces a tough road to get it back. Sales of Lincoln’s which had topped 200,000 in 1990 fell to just 85,000 last year.
Lincoln turned to a famous face in Miami to help get the new era for the company started.
“These are the brands of the country we live in and continue to support our livelihood,” said former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning.
Lincoln, which is owned by Ford Motor Company, is looking to catch the same lightning that propelled Ford back towards the top of the car market.
Ford put together a global brand in recent years and brought European designs to America in the Ford Festiva, Focus, and Escape. Since Ford’s rejuvenation, the company has started to turn the focus on Lincoln to rejuvenate the faltering brand, which is the only luxury brand left for Ford.
Between Mourning’s endorsement and a new marketing approach that will feature a Super Bowl ad written entirely by social media, according to Forbes, Lincoln’s hoping for a rebirth.
The Lincoln MKZ will serve as the flagship of the company in the beginning. The car will now have a push button on the dash instead of traditional gear shift. A retractable sunroom allowed for 15 square feet of open space and the car has a four cylinder engine that will sustain 45 miles per gallon in hybrid mode.
Still, Lincoln has a tough road to plow. According to USA Today, Mercedes-Benz has seen sales increase by 13 percent over the last year and BMW is keeping pace. Combined with Lexus, which saw a slight decline in sales due to lack of inventory last year due to natural disasters, and Lincoln’s challenge is large.