(Editor’s note: Ford Motor Company purchased Lincoln Motor Company on February 4, 1922, as noted in a recent Lincoln press release, “with the encouragement of his wife Clara and son Edsel Ford. ».)
Encouragement, indeed. Henry Ford is known have what bordered on hatred for Lincoln’s founder, Henry Leland, an automotive engineer who, in 1902, had been hired by the partners of one of Ford’s early automotive ventures, the Henry Ford Company, to assess the value of the business as Henry was shown the door. The partners love Leland and the engine he had designed and supported him in establishing a new automotive company, Cadillac.
Cadillac became part of General Motors in 1909, but Leland and GM chief Billy Durant fell out and Leland left and founded Lincoln to make Liberty aero engines for World War I. When the war was over, they started producing automobiles in 1920.
But the company struggled and so the purchase of Ford and, as noted in Lincoln’s recent press release, “The transaction sparked the creation of an iconic American luxury brand.”
This transition included the departure of Leland and his son, Wilfred.
And this in the press release: “For the past 100 years, Lincoln has pioneered such innovations as center-opening coach doors, power gauges, keyless entry and symphony chimes and has pushed the boundaries of elegant automotive design, introducing products and services that have come to define the iconic American luxury brand it has become today.
“We are at a defining moment in our history.” Joy Falotico, president of Lincoln, is quoted in this press release. “We look to Lincoln’s past and find inspiration for the future and, to reflect on what we have achieved – maintaining a balance between the brand’s core values and redefining our vehicle and our experiences for the next generation of customers. The timing of our 100th anniversary couldn’t be more ideal as we transition into an electrified future, and I look forward to guiding the brand into the next 100 years.
“With the classic style, form and function that have become the brand’s hallmark, there is something very special about Lincoln,” added Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “And as we head into an electric future with connected technologies and always-on experiences, I’m so excited to see where the brand will go in China and North America as it enters its second century.”
As noted in Lincoln’s press release, “Much of the company’s early success is attributed to the influence of Edsel Ford, who served as President of Lincoln shortly after its acquisition until his death in 1943. His ambition is best summed up in his own famous words – “Father made the most popular cars in the world; I want to do my best”.
The following is the rest of this press release:
“Edsel has prioritized design and style, while making customization affordable, allowing it to deliver precision and performance in a beautifully executed package, at an affordable price. The belief that a car could be more that simple transportation was the basis of Lincoln’s rise.
“In 1936, the company introduced the Lincoln Zephyr, the brand’s first mid-priced vehicle that featured a sleek design and an alligator-style hood. In 1939, the Lincoln Continental debuted as a vehicle for personal use, becoming an instant design classic and quickly establishing the personal luxury car segment in America.
“In 1952, Edsel’s son, William Clay Ford, was named director of special products operations, in charge of the engineers and designers planning the Continental’s successor, the Lincoln Continental Mark II, considered by many to be the one of the greatest cars ever built.
“Over the years, Lincoln has pioneered several new features and innovations, and continues to introduce advancements today. Some more notable moments in its history include:
- 1955: Lincoln introduces the Mark II into showrooms
- 1961: Lincoln introduces coach doors on its Continental
- 1977: Visor-mounted integrated garage door opener debuts on the Lincoln Versailles
- 1980: Speedometer, fuel gauge, message centers become electric, keyless entry is introduced
- 1987: debut of front-wheel drive
- 1994: Memory recall for seat and mirror positioning introduced via remote transmitter
- 2010: Lincoln launches its first hybrid electric vehicle – the MKZ Hybrid
- 2017: Lincoln unveils the Navigator Concept, transforming the future of the flagship SUV with an all-new design and innovative features, including 30-position perfect-position seats
- 2018: Lincoln celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Continental and launches the special edition Continental Coach Door
- 2018-19: Symphonic Carillons recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Lincoln Launches All-New Lincoln Aviator and Corsair SUVs
- 2021: Lincoln introduces the first locally produced sedan for the Chinese market at Auto Guangzhou, the all-new Lincoln Zephyr, advancing the brand’s design language
“For a century, Lincoln focused on forward-looking innovations, while maintaining its core values that keep the brand’s products fresh and desirable.
“The introduction of the fourth-generation Navigator in 2018 has contributed to a resumption of the direction of the brand. A combination of modern luxury and innovative technology, including the launch of the 30-position perfect position seats in the all-new SUV flagship, first-class travel for families, kicking off a resurgence that Lincoln continues to drive forward today.
“The momentum continues with the introduction of new products and services. This year will see the launch of a new Navigator, once again elevating the brand’s sanctuary with iconic new features including hands-free ActiveGlide driver assistance technology.
“The brand continues to build on its portfolio of effortless services, such as the standard pickup and delivery offering, Lincoln Showcase virtual tours and remote sales delivery, while piloting new services that restore this what customers value most: their time. A new Pilot Mobile Vehicle Spa in Houston offers customers a convenient way to get their vehicle detailed on their terms.
“Lincoln has had success in China with localized production of vehicles such as the Corsair, which achieved record full-year sales exceeding 50,000 units in 2021. Last fall, Lincoln launched its first locally produced sedan, the all-new Lincoln Zephyr, at Auto Guangzhou . With over 3,100 pre-orders, the highly anticipated Zephyr is an example of the brand introducing American luxury to a new generation of younger customers in China.
“Lincoln is advancing the connected experience for customers in China, as Lincoln Way 2.0 introduces One ID – a digital tool providing seamless access to all of the brand’s digital touchpoints in a single step. Additionally, Lincoln has Opened the first Lincoln Way 2.0 Experience Center in China, an all-new center offering an immersive digital experience for the brand’s growing market.
“The core principles that made Lincoln an American luxury brand are evident in today’s vehicles, services and customer experiences, animating the spirit of Lincoln for more than 10 decades and more. finished. As the brand looks to the future, Lincoln is focused on advancing its Quiet Flight DNA towards an electrified and connected future. By 2030, it will have a comprehensive portfolio of connected and electrified vehicles globally.
“To mark the occasion, Lincoln kicks off a year-long series of global events connecting the past and present with an exciting future in the years to come. Lincoln retailers are also working to honor this milestone, with 100 stores hosting events with their customers and local communities throughout the year.
“Follow Lincoln’s social media and its dedicated 100th anniversary page for a full year of celebratory content, including news stories and galleries showcasing a century of design and innovation while providing a glimpse into the next chapter of the brand history.”
From the ClassicCars.com log files:
A design for the future of Lincoln
Our 10 favorite Lincolns