Providing tangible proof of its commitment to revitalize the Lincoln brand, Ford Motor Company has just opened a new design facility for its luxury division. Located in Dearborn on the campus of Ford Motor Company's Product Development Center, Lincoln's first such design center in four decades is home to a global team of designers, sculptors, math sculptors and modelers that are charged with turning out four all-new vehicles by 2015.
Max Wolff, Lincoln's Director of Design, also was responsible for the open, loft-like work environment of the Lincoln Design Studio which is intended to maximize interaction between staff members of all disciplines as well as their respective supervisors. Wolff made it a priority to locate both the interior and exterior teams into one space that would facilitate a more harmonious creative process for individual vehicles as well as for the entire Lincoln Product Development organization.
"We have spent considerable time to develop strong integrated design, engineering and product programs into a common Product Development vision for Lincoln," noted Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, at the opening program. "Lincoln's advantage is we can build on the company's tremendous global product development resources and ensure we continually innovate to develop the best technology and apply it to support the unique Lincoln difference."
First vehicle to emerge from this new facility will be the 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedan which goes on sale later this fall. Previewed at the 2012 New York Auto Show in April, this primo 4-door features two innovative Lincoln touches that Nair says were a direct result of the new integrated approach: a push-button shift mechanism and a panoramic glass roof.