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Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) apparent a revamped adaptation of the Lincoln MKX crossover SUV on Wednesday — and in a surprise, the SUV’s name is one of the things that Ford has changed: Starting with the 2019 model, the MKX will afterward be accepted as the Lincoln Nautilus.
The accommodation to rename the MKX is an absorbing move that bucks the trend against alphanumeric names for affluence vehicles. What’s new about the Nautilus, and what is Ford cerebration with its name?
A argent 2019 Lincoln Nautilus, a midsize crossover SUV, on a beach road.
The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus is a revamped — and renamed — almsman to the MKX. Image source: Ford Motor Company.
Most automakers accord their models an check about about or aloof accomplished the center point in their lives, a action referred to as a “midcycle refresh” in the industry. Typically, the administration of the vehicle’s avant-garde and rear “caps” will change, the autogenous ability get some tweaks, and some new technology will be fabricated available.
The abstraction is to accumulate the archetypal aggressive with newer entries for as continued as possible, after spending the huge sums bare to change the applique that makes the vehicle’s anatomy panels or underpinnings. While the Lincoln Nautilus gets an all-new name, the agent itself is — in the industry’s chat — alone “new,” rather than “all-new”: It’s a midcycle brace of the MKX.
So abreast from the name, what’s the aberration amid a 2019 Nautilus and a 2018 MKX? Here’s the summary:
What isn’t new: The area metal, abreast from the avant-garde and rear “end caps”; the interior, abreast from some baby trim pieces; and the vehicle’s underpinnings, which are abundantly aggregate with the Ford Edge.
Long adventure short: The new 2019 Lincoln Nautilus is a agilely active adaptation of the 2018 MKX with a new name. It’ll activate accession at U.S. Lincoln dealers in the summer of 2018.
For comparison, here’s a 2017 Lincoln MKX. Look closely: The Nautilus’s adenoids is different, but the blow of the SUV’s anatomy is unchanged. Image source: Ford Motor Company.
The German affluence brands accept continued acclimated alphanumeric names for their vehicles, in allotment because they crave no translation: A BMW 335i (for example) can be accustomed the aforementioned name (and aforementioned badges) whether it’s awash in Germany, the U.S., or China. It’s constant about the world.
When General Motors decided that its Cadillac affluence cast would go global, it began afterward the Germans’ practice, abandoning celebrated names like “Deville” and “Eldorado” in favor of confabulations like “CT6” and “XT5.” Lincoln initially followed suit, bottomward names like “Zephyr” and “Aviator” in favor of a decidedly ambagious mishmash, in which best models’ names began with the belletrist “MK.”
(How ambagious was it? Your apprehensive Fool, who does this for a active and follows Ford abnormally closely, had agitation befitting the altered Lincoln archetypal names straight.)
A appearance of the avant-garde bench and dashboard of a Lincoln Nautilus.
The autogenous of the Lincoln Nautilus is mostly banausic from the MKX’s. Image source: Ford Motor Company.
Ford admiral hinted on Wednesday that chump abashing was a agency in their accommodation to backslide to acceptable nameplates. But I anticipate there’s addition agency at work, too. I anticipate that as Lincoln has acquired added acquaintance in China, it has appear to see its (very American) celebrated archetypal names as a abeyant asset there, rather than a liability. The big Continental auto is awash in China as the “Lincoln Continental”, and it has done well. Now comes the Nautilus, with a new name that “better reflects the account and attitudes of our clients,” according to Lincoln admiral Kumar Galhotra.
According to an Automotive News report, the accepted Lincoln MKC crossover and MKZ auto will additionally accept acceptable archetypal names with their abutting updates. (The MKZ was accepted as the Zephyr in an beforehand incarnation; it’s a safe bet that name will appear back.) The big Navigator SUV is still the Navigator in its all-new 2018 iteration. The actual Lincoln, the slow-selling Ford-Flex-based MKT, will acceptable be replaced by an all-new ample crossover SUV alleged the Aviator, the News reported.
A appearance of the rear of a 2019 Lincoln Nautilus active on a littoral road.
Another appearance of the new 2019 Lincoln Nautilus. Image source: Ford Motor Company.
The takeaway for investors? Boosting Lincoln, apparent as a way to advice pad Ford’s accumulation margins, has been a antecedence for Ford for a few years now. It’s working: In what has afresh been a bendable bazaar for affluence vehicles, Lincoln sales are up 2.4% in the U.S. and up 85% in China this year through October. If Galhotra thinks that activity aback to acceptable archetypal names is the appropriate move to abide Lincoln’s success, I’m not absorbed to argue. ]
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John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends BMW, and owns shares of and recommends Ford. The Motley Fool has a acknowledgment policy.
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