Mexico-Built Lincoln MKZ Ending Production This Year, No Replacement Planned

In production since the 2016 model year, the MKZ will come to a grinding halt this year at the Hermosillo plant in Mexico. Lincoln can’t make a case any longer for the mid-sized sedan with Ford Fusion underpinnings, not when crossovers and SUVs are so much more lucrative.
Lincoln MKZ 10 photos
Photo: Lincoln
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Remember when we’ve talked about the Lincoln EV, developed in collaboration with Rivian on the startup’s skateboard platform? That’s great news for the luxury brand, but deep in the press release, the company confirmed that MKZ production in Hermosillo would end “to prepare for new Ford vehicles.” One of them is likely to be the Bronco Maverick off-roader.

The Transit Connect panel and passenger vans are confirmed for 2021, contradicting previous reports that a small pickup – a.k.a. the Courier – would be manufactured there as well. The Ford Mustang Mach-E will be made in Mexico as well, namely at the Cuautitlan plant.

Turning our attention to the MKZ, there are many more reasons why Lincoln had to discontinue the nameplate. In addition to being an eight-year-old design, the CD4 vehicle architecture may be changed with a stretched C2 for the next-generation Fusion. All intel available on the subject points toward a Subaru Outback-style station wagon – the Fusion Active.

In terms of stateside sales, the MKZ couldn’t do better than 17,725 deliveries in 2019, down from 19,852 and 27,387 in the previous two years. Truth be told, it’s never been as popular as the Fusion or as the German triad, including the higher-priced and rear-wheel-drive 5 Series.

What’s even more telling about the commercial failure of the MKZ is the transmission. Front- and all-wheel-drive Fords and Lincolns have switched to an eight-speed automatic while the 2020 MKZ continues to rely on the SelectShift six-speeder, a 14-year-old design. Last, but certainly not least, would you spend $36,750 (excluding destination charge) on the base trim instead of the Fusion Titanium or Escape Titanium?

Whichever way you look at it, pulling the plug on the MKZ is justifiable.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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