The current Lincoln Continental sedan helped kickoff the renaissance at Ford’s luxury division when it was unveiled, initially as a concept, at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
However, with dwindling sales and what appears to be a laser-like focus on SUVs at Lincoln, the Continental will be dropped after 2020. It will remain on sale in China for one more year before the nameplate is retired.
“Lincoln is investing in growth segments and the brand will feature a full portfolio of SUVs, including a fully electric vehicle in the future,” Lincoln spokeswoman Anika Saldeda-Wycoco told Motor Authority in a statement Monday.
With the demise of the Continental, the Mustang will be the sole car model across the Ford and Lincoln lineups in the U.S. The rest will be made up of SUVs, pickup trucks and commercial vehicles.
2020 Lincoln Continental
And we may not see a successor to the current Continental, even in the Chinese market. Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski told Detroit Free Press on Monday that demand for large sedans was also shrinking in China, just not at the same rate as in the U.S.
The demise of the Continental doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Continental sales in the United States came in at 6,586 units in 2019. That was down on the 12,012 units sold in 2017, the current Continental’s first full year on the market.
Furthermore, the Continental rides on Ford’s aging CD4 platform, which in the U.S. is also found in the Ford Fusion, Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus. Production of the Fusion also ends this year and there are rumors the Edge and Nautilus could go the EV route for their successors.
The Continental nameplate goes all the way back to the Lincoln Zephyr-based Continental which was developed at the request of founder Henry Ford’s son Edsel and introduced in 1939. Production lasted until 1948 after which the nameplate went on an eight-year hiatus. There have since been nine additional generations of the iconic nameplate, including the current one—which we’re hoping won’t be the last.