DEARBORN - Lincoln MKZ retail sales were up 3 percent for the month of July, going against a high sell down comparison from a year ago.
“MKZ represents the newest product in in the Lincoln lineup and is coming off of its best quarterly sales results ever,” said Erich Merkle, sales analyst.
One area of opportunity for Lincoln and the MKZ is in California.
“Approximately two-thirds of our retail sales volume in the Los Angeles region is made up of MKZ Hybrids,” said Ken Czubay, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “This is a big factor in our decision to increase our production mix of MKZ Hybrid to 40 percent for the 2014 model year.”
MKZ Hybrid is turning the fastest in the lineup and conquest rates for the hybrid are 50 percent higher than the non-hybrid vehicle.
“As we look to establish Lincoln and the MKZ in the luxury market in Southern California,” said Merkle. “We can leverage our new hybrid technology, which is already seeing success.”
Average transactions prices for MKZ have also increased.
“Transaction prices are an indicator for the value customers place on vehicles,” said Merkle. “People are placing a higher value on the Lincoln MKZ – the average transaction price has increased thousands of dollars over the previous model.”
Take rates on the higher end models of Lincoln are also up. The Preferred Equipment Group accounts for about 30 percent of MKZ sales.
MKZ also is seeing an uptake in cross-shopping from other luxury competitors like BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
Total MKZ sales for July were down 7 percent driven by soft fleet numbers and the aggressive sell down of the 2012 model year at this time last year.
Overall Lincoln brand retail sales were up 2 percent for July, and total sales were down about a percentage point.
Lincoln is delivering with progress on the products, client experience and development of the dealer network.
“Lincoln’s reinvention is on plan,” said Merkle. “As we have consistently said, Lincoln’s reinvention will be measured in years, not months – and we are pleased with the progress so far.”
Last month, MKZ was named the year’s best compact premium vehicle in the J.D. Power APEAL study reflecting the high marks owners gave the vehicle for exterior styling, intuitive technology seat comfort and storage.