Lincoln Product Boss Hangs Up His Hat
The man who oversaw the development of Lincoln’s current vehicle lineup will retire effective November 1st, the automaker claims. Scott Tobin, a Ford Motor Company veteran who hopped the pond from Europe to the U.S. in 2006, had a hand in developing a wide swath of the company’s current products.
Tobin’s departure comes at an interesting time for Lincoln. The premium brand, having returned from its near-death state in the earlier part of the decade, finds itself in need of volume-boosting new product.
The turnaround point is expected to come with the arrival of the nicely sculpted Aviator midsize SUV next year, a model that capitalizes on the newfound popularity of the revamped-for-2018 Navigator. A renaming (Nautilus) and refresh for the brand’s midsize crossover took place for 2019, with the next-generation MKC expected to carry the Corsair name. Meanwhile, the long-in-the-tooth MKZ sedan appears ready to follow its Fusion stablemate into the grave. The Continental? Things aren’t looking good.
Year to date, Lincoln’s U.S. sales have fallen 9 percent, driven by declines in all models except the high-margin Navigator (it’s up 81.9 percent through the end of September).
Automotive News reported Tobin’s departure Tuesday morning. The automaker, giving no reason for the departure, claims Phil Collareno, Ford’s executive director of North America and global product programs, will take over Tobin’s role until a replacement can be found.
Tobin headed up development of all of Lincoln’s contemporary vehicles; before that, he worked on the current-gen Ford Explorer, Taurus, and the Flex. Beginning his career at Ford in 1989, the executive switched to Lincoln in late 2011, soon busying himself with modernizing the brand’s culture while boosting profits. An effort to provide customers with a more premium experience was also his doing.
[Image: Lincoln Motor Company]
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