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100 Years Of Lincoln Elegance And Innovation

1922 Ford purchases Lincoln

A hundred years ago, on February 4, 1922, Henry Ford made history by purchasing The Lincoln Motor Company from Henry Leland, renowned inventor and automotive engineer. With the encouragement and support of his wife Clara and his son Edsel, Henry Ford paid an impressive $8 million, and it made history as the birth of an iconic American luxury brand.

Lincoln President Joy Falotico shared, “We are at a defining moment in our history. We look back at Lincoln’s past and find inspiration for the future and, to reflect on what we have accomplished – maintaining a balance between the brand’s core values and redefining our vehicle and experiences for the next generation of luxury clients. The timing of our 100th anniversary couldn’t be more ideal as we shift to an electrified future, and I look forward to shepherding the brand into the next 100 years.”

Lincoln may be celebrating their rich and glorious history, but they are also looking forward to a bright and exciting future. The brand is moving forward and has committed themselves into delivering a distinct lineup of electrified vehicles and connected services that creates effortless experiences for their clients.

“With classic style, form and function that became the hallmark of the brand, there’s something very special about Lincoln. And as we move toward an electric future with connected technologies and always-on experiences, I am so excited to see where the brand will go in China and North America as it begins its second century,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Farley.

100 Years of Innovation

The early success that the company experienced could be attributed to the influence of Edsel Ford. He served as the Lincoln president after it was acquired until his death in 1943. Edsel once stated, “Father made the most popular cars in the world; I want to make the best.” and it perfectly summarized his vision and ambition for the company.

Design and style were Edsel’s priority, and he also made customization of the cars affordable. This enabled him to offer the perfect balance of having an automobile that offers precision and performance, perfectly wrapped in beautiful coachwork, at a reasonable price. The company’s popularity was boosted by their belief that a car is more than just a means to transport you from A to B.

In 1936, they introduced the Lincoln Zephyr. It featured a streamlined design and an ‘alligator’ type hood, it was also Lincoln’s first mid-priced vehicle. A few years after, in 1939, the Lincoln Continental was introduced as a personal-use vehicle. Its design became an instant classic, cementing their position as the personal luxury car segment in America.

1923 Lincoln Model L Touring Car

In 1952, Edsel’s son, William Clay Ford became the manager of special product operations. He was placed in charge of engineers and designers who were working on the Continental’s successor, the Lincoln Continental Mark II. It was arguably considered to be one of the greatest cars ever made.

In their 100-year history, Lincoln has introduced a lot of new features and innovations, and they continue to introduce breakthrough innovations today. Some of their notable moments in history are:
• 1955: Lincoln introduces the Mark II to showrooms
• 1961: Lincoln debuts coach doors on its Continental
• 1977: Integrated visor-mounted garage door opener debuts on Lincoln Versailles
• 1980: Speedometer, fuel gauge, message centers go electric, keyless entry is introduced
• 1987: Front-wheel drive debuts
• 1994: Memory recall for seat and mirror positioning introduced via a remote transmitter
• 2010: Lincoln launches its first hybrid electric vehicle – the MKZ Hybrid
• 2017: Lincoln reveals the Navigator concept, transforming the future of the flagship SUV with an all-new design and innovative features including 30-Way Perfect Position Seats
• 2018: Lincoln celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Continental and debuts the special edition Continental Coach Door
• 2018-19: Symphonic chimes recorded by Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Lincoln launches all-new Lincoln Aviator and Corsair SUVs
• 2021: Lincoln introduces the first locally produced sedan for the China market at Auto Guangzhou, the all-new Lincoln Zephyr, advancing the brand’s design language

Edsel Ford 1916

Reinventing the Lincoln brand

Throughout their history, Lincoln has always concentrated on innovation, yet has kept itself grounded with their core values allowing them to keep their cars always new and in demand.

In 2018, they introduced the fourth-generation Navigator, and it was instrumental in showing their clients the new direction that the brand was taking. It was a perfect blend of innovative technology with modern luxury. They also introduced the new 30-Way Perfect Position Seats in their flagship SUV, raising the bar for first-class travel for families.

The innovation has sparked new interest in the Lincoln, and they have kept their clients’ interests by introducing new products and services. This year, the brand is expected to launch the new Navigator which will again have new features like the ActiveGlide hand-free, driver-assist technology.

Lincoln has also kept on improving and upgrading their effortless services like the standard Pickup & Delivery. The Lincoln Showcase gives virtual walkarounds of the vehicles as well as remote sales delivery. They have also been piloting new services, focusing on giving back to the clients what they value most – their time. Another convenient and innovative service feature is the new Mobile Vehicle Spa wherein they give clients the option of a convenient, hassle-free, and personalized way to get their vehicles detailed.

Lincoln has also been successful in entering the China market with the launch of the One ID in Lincoln Way 2.0, it is a digital tool that offers seamless access to the digital touchpoints of the brand in just one step. It was also in China where they launched the first Lincoln Way 2.0 Experience Center. It is a completely new center that provides an immersive digital experience for their growing market.

Celebrating their 100 Years

Lincoln has kept and upheld the core values that has made them the American luxury brand that they are, and these can still be seen in their vehicles, services, and client experience today. For more than 10 decades, it has driven and shaped the brand. As they move forward into the future, Lincoln has their eyes focused on improving the Quiet Flight DNA into an electrified and connected future. Their goal is to have a full portfolio of connected and electrified vehicles by 2030.

To celebrate this milestone in the business, Lincoln is planning a yearlong series of global events that connects their history with their present and future. Even Lincoln retailers are joining on the celebration as 100 stores will be hosting their own events in their local communities throughout the year.

To know more about upcoming events and stories for Lincoln’s year-long celebration of their centenary, visit their dedicated 100th anniversary page as well as their social channels. They will be featuring stories and galleries of their 100-year history of design and innovation as well as give visitors a peak of what they’re working on for the brand’s future plans.