Lincoln kills Continental, goes all-in on utilities

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DETROIT — Lincoln Motor Co. confirmed Wednesday it will end production of the Continental at the end of 2020 as the luxury brand abandons sedans.

U.S. sales of the Continental, reintroduced in 2016, slowed in recent years as customers shifted to the brand’s growing crossover lineup. Lincoln announced this year that it would end production of its other sedan, the MKZ, at the end of the year.

“Lincoln is investing in growth segments and the brand will feature a full portfolio of SUVs, including a fully electric vehicle in the future,” the brand said in a statement. “Lincoln will continue to keep its newest SUVs fresh and we will have more news to share later this year; however, as the full-size premium sedan segment continues to decline in the U.S., we plan to end production of the Lincoln Continental at the end of this year.”

Lincoln informed workers Wednesday at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant that Continental production would end.

“We build to customer demand and customer demands are changing,” John Savona, Ford vice president, North American Manufacturing, said in a letter. “Lincoln is important to Ford Motor Company and we know it has a bright future.”

Lincoln brought back the Continental in 2016 as the flagship vehicle for a rebounding brand. It was one of the first models to feature Lincoln’s new mesh grille and was the first product to include 30-way massaging seats, which have become popular options on more recent models.

Sales hit 12,012 in 2017 but fell steadily from there. Officials attempted to juice sales with a hyper-limited run of coach-door models in 2019.

A spokeswoman said the brand would offer a 2021 Continental in China.

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Saurabh Shukla

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