Lincoln MKC Inventory Rising, But U.S. Sales Have Levelled Off

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
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lincoln mkc inventory rising but u s sales have levelled off

With November’s sales results in hand, we asked four months ago whether Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln division had reached “Peak MKC.” Initial evidence suggested the Escape-related small crossover wasn’t able to cross the threshold from middling success in the Acura RDX and Audi Q5-dominated small luxury CUV arena into the upper tier.

With the MKC’s U.S. sales results from the first-quarter of 2015 now in, there’s yet more evidence leading us to believe that demand for the MKC – at its current price point, with its current level of incentives, without a new MKX stealing limelight – won’t climb noticeably higher.

Its share of the small luxury SUV category is lower than it was during the launch period in the third-quarter of last year. After claiming 9.3% market share last summer, the MKC accelerated to 10.9% in the final three months of 2014. But with five established rivals selling (RDX, Q5, X3, XC60, GLK) more often and Lexus’s NX also generating greater interest, the MKC’s share in the segment was down to 8.6% in Q1 2015.

The MKC was Lincoln’s best-selling model in November, and it seemed likely that it could continue to be the brand’s most popular model given the decreasing interest in the brand’s main car, the MKZ, and the fact that the MKC was believed to be just getting going. ( MKZ volume declined in each of the last ten months.) Some showroom traffic is perhaps being diverted toward the MKC, as well, because the first-generation MKX is more than eight-years old and the new MKX is forthcoming.

LincolnMarch 2015March 2014% Change3 mos. 20153 mos. 2014% ChangeMKZ2,8424,052-29.9%6,5069,218-29.4%MKC2,070——5,230——MKX1,4752,581-42.9%3,9687,101-44.1%Navigator1,09774647.1%2,8751,56184.2%MKS8381,034-19.0%2,0422,440-16.3%MKT373556-32.9%8571,283-33.2%———————Total 8,6958,969 -3.1% 21,478 21,603 -0.6%

Lincoln dealers have the MKCs to sell, as well. Automotive News shows more than 10,000 MKCs were in stock at the beginning of March, a month in which 2070 MKCs were sold, the MKC’s fourth-best of 11 months. That’s a 163-day supply, not an extraordinary number for Lincoln (which has the highest inventory levels of any auto brand in America), but far greater than the industry average of 69 days.

We are, however, approaching the prime automobile buying season. Top-selling small luxury crossovers like the Acura RDX and Audi Q5, for example, sold 19% and 27% more, respectively, in the second-quarter of 2014 than in the first. Over the next three months, the auto industry should produce at least 10% more activity than it did over the previous three months. But after averaging fewer than 2000 monthly sales over the last nine months and never topping the 2400-unit mark, there’s little reason to believe that, even with plenty of MKCs available, there will be a sudden spike in demand without real pricing aggression from Ford MoCo.

As for the hope that the MKC would be a Lincoln saviour, well, that’s not turning out to be the case. Non-MKC Lincoln sales plunged 25% in the first-quarter and 26% in March. Even including the MKC, brand-wide Lincoln sales slid 3% last month and 0.6% in Q1.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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  • Alfisti Alfisti on Apr 11, 2015

    Was shopping in this segment for father in law. Lincoln want $53k for a well specced MKC in toronto. That is absolutely INSANE. I can do a fully loaded Q5 for that money. I was absolutely floored by the sticker price. Floored.

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Apr 11, 2015

      Well, that's $42,400 in US dollars. When the looney drops to 80 cents American from its former parity, you have to expect higher Canadian prices. Still, that's a bit steep for a compact vehicle with no V6 option.

  • Akear Akear on Apr 12, 2015

    It is hard to believe Lincoln exists at all since their annual sales are half that of Cadillac!!

    • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Apr 13, 2015

      It's even more shocking because Cadillac is in a sales freefall (death spiral?), with CTS, ATS & even SRX sales absolutely cliff diving - being down anywhere from 23% to 54% YoY (ATS & CTS have many, many months - over YEARS now - of consecutive monthly sales declines).

  • Analoggrotto Buyers are skipping these in droves and heading down to sign the golden paperwork for a new Telluride. ATPs speak volumes and we have 'em. Our customers are telling us that we offer Mercedes quality for a better deal, and our suite of luxury features rivals any luxury automaker. Insult me all you want, but AVMs, DSDs and BSODs tell the truth.
  • Ted Lulis The Exodus from California is mind-boggling. No surprise from the rectum of the country
  • Mr Imperial Seeing the adjusted-for-inflation amount always makes me sick, I can't believe how much it has gone up in my 40-some-odd trips around the sun. Still fondly remember seeing these and Ford Explorers everywhere.
  • Kyl65759578 👋
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