It may be obvious that PepsiCo makes Pepsi, but did you also know it also owns some or all of Quaker Oats Company, Stacy’s Pita Chips, and Sabra? It’s fascinating to learn that some common brands are related. That’s also the case with automakers. In fact, Lincoln has been under the Ford umbrella for almost 100 years.
The history of Lincoln
According to History, the Lincoln Motor Company was born in 1917. Until then consumers had little choice in which cars they could purchase. General Motors had more offerings than the average car company, especially after it acquired Cadillac in 1909 to break into the luxury car segment.
Lincoln set out to compete with Cadillac by producing more opulent and expensive cars to appeal to wealthier consumers. Interestingly, Henry Leland, founder of the Lincoln Motor Company, was also a co-founder of the Cadillac brand years earlier, effectively competing against his former company.
Lincoln Motor Company’s first car was the Model L, and its production began in 1920. It suffered many problems, but arguably the most glaring was that customers had to wait up to a year to get their hands on their purchased vehicles.
Lincoln remains a known brand today, but the original iteration was short-lived. By 1922, Ford Motor Company had purchased it.
Ford’s acquisition of Lincoln
While other carmakers concentrated on diversifying their offerings, Ford turned its attention to its only vehicle: the Model T. However, demand plummeted in 1927, and Ford halted production. The automaker shifted toward a design with more style and comfort features: the Model A. Observers noticed the similarities between the Model A and Lincoln vehicles, which earned the Model A the nickname “Baby Lincoln.”
Owner Henry Ford’s son, Edsel, saw an opportunity to acquire Lincoln as Leland’s brand got a rough start following the release of its Model L. Edsel persuaded his father to purchase Lincoln in 1922, and Edsel ended up largely developing and running that branch. He took over the company as president after his father resigned in 1919, though the two continued to work closely together.
Edsel’s main legacy with the company is his focus on vehicle design and style to appeal to a broader audience. Henry Ford is widely credited with helping the assembly line come to fruition while concentrating on one product. Edsel persuaded his father to expand the company’s potential by introducing new designs for more attractive-looking vehicles to boost sales.
How the two brands operate
True to its American heritage, Ford largely produces its vehicles in the United States. The automaker has several vehicle platforms it uses for both Ford and Lincoln vehicles. For example, the CD4 platform encompasses midsize, midsize luxury, full-size luxury, and other sedans. The now-retired Ford Taurus, Ford Edge, Lincoln MKZ, and Lincoln MKX have all sat on the same platform.
And the Ford P Platform debuted in 1998. It’s been used for Ford F-Series and Super Duty trucks, as well as the Lincoln Blackwood and Mark LT.
Despite looking and feeling different from each other, Ford and Lincoln are practically siblings under the same roof.