Market Overview

How Much of Ford's Business Will Depend on Lincoln?

Ford (NYSE: F) kicked off the 2013 North American International Auto Show by introducing the MKC Concept, a luxury SUV created to entice attendees while hinting at future product designs.

The unveiling drew massive crowds as members of the media swarmed the booth for the Lincoln Motor Company.

After the introduction, Executive Chairman Bill Ford answered questions about Lincoln, the brand and its future within the entire corporation.

"This is pretty indicative of where we're headed," Ford said of the MKC Concept. "You will see every year us roll out new products on Lincoln. Stay tuned."

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Auto Show attendees could not wait to see the MKC Concept.

Looking ahead, Ford would not specifically say how much of the company's business will come from Lincoln. "Customers will tell us that," he said. "Really, one thing I've learned over the years in this industry is that you can set all the targets, but really it's ultimately what the customer tells you that they want. Our expectation -- my hope -- is that customers will love what we're doing at Lincoln and it will grow quickly. But we have to earn that."

"As you've seen from our business this year, from a buying perspective, it's not the majority part of our business by any stretch," Mark Fields, Chief Operating Officer of Ford, added. "But it's going to be an important part in terms of a contribution to the business but also to participate in a market that we can't participate in with the Ford brands. It's an integral part of our business."

With regard to vehicles like the Flex and the Fusion, which are becoming more luxurious with a host of amenities, Ford told Benzinga that Lincoln will still stand apart from these automobiles.

"I think you're gonna have to see [Ford and Lincoln vehicles] when they're side-by-side," he said. "I think you'll see a real differentiation in Lincoln both internally and externally, and a lot of customization features that will go into the Lincoln product that will very much differentiate itself."

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Senator Debbie Stabenow poses with a C-Max Hybrid.

When asked if these features would not appear in Ford cars, Bill Ford replied, "We'll see. It'll be different, let's put it that way."

Photos by Louis Bedigian. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

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