Lincoln Readies Dealers to Move Into the BEV Market

The automaker doesn’t have a BEV in its lineup, but its president promises that will change.

Nancy Dunham, Principal Analyst/Retail

January 28, 2023

3 Min Read
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'23 Corsair earning positive early reviews, Lincoln chief says.Lincoln

DALLAS – Lincoln Motor Co. President Dianne Craig meets U.S. dealers in a closed-door session to discuss the manufacturer’s growth plans that include a move into battery-electric vehicles.

But that doesn’t mean she expects internal-combustion-engine vehicles to disappear from the production line anytime soon.

“It’s not going away,” she tells Wards following the meeting held during the 2023 NADA Show here. “It’s going to be part of our business for the foreseeable future.”

While dealers and industry insiders are anxious to find out how rapidly the mix of offerings will change, both at Lincoln and throughout the industry, Craig (pictured, below left) can only speculate.

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dianne craig-lincoln

“People always ask the question, ‘What is it going to look like at the end of the decade?’” she says. “Is it going to be 50% EVs and 50% ICE? It is going to be more 70/30? I tell dealers that whatever we predict will be wrong. It’s certainly going to grow significantly between now and the end of the decade.”

As a luxury brand, Craig says it is important for Lincoln to move into BEV production. The automaker already produces plug-in hybrid versions of the Aviator fullsize SUV and Corsair CUV. She notes that while EVs currently account for about 2% of the market, the number is about 25% in the luxury segment. Yet, Craig says, Lincoln won’t rush into electrification.

“So, my message to dealers is that it’s coming,” she says of the proliferation of BEVs in the marketplace. “We have got to get ready for it. It’s part of our industry. And the one thing I love about this industry is that it’s constantly changing, and it’s moving at a pace like we’ve never seen before. And this is going to be a great opportunity for us because we are going to get in front of it.”

Craig is an industry veteran who was named president of Lincoln in December. She tells dealers she is well acquainted with the brand because she started in the business making sales calls to Lincoln dealers.

She notes that the year is off to a solid start with positive reviews for the redesigned Corsair that introduces ActiveGlide 1.2. Features include hands-free driving at speeds up to 80 mph (129 km/h) and an array of safety features including in-lane repositioning.

“Evolving the design of the popular Corsair was an exciting challenge, and our team accomplished this in a dynamic way,” says Kemal Curic, Lincoln’s global design director. “With the new Corsair we are offering a glimpse into Lincoln’s new exterior design language and introducing new and more youthful colors and materials that allow our clients to make their vehicle their own.”

Craig says the March launch of the ’23 Corsair is only one of the products she expects Lincoln will introduce this year, though she doesn’t offer specifics.

“You know, we are working with our retailers to prepare for this EV evolution,” she says. “We don’t have (a battery-electric vehicle) in the market today, but we are not going to squander our time. We will get the product right and we will bring out products that customers find irresistible.”

About the Author(s)

Nancy Dunham

Principal Analyst/Retail, WardsAuto

Nancy Dunham is a former staff member or contributor to NADA publications, US News & World Report, Automotive News, MotorTrend and other automotive and general interest publications.
Contact her at [email protected] or

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancydwrites/.

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