The Lincoln Mark LT Proved This Harsh Lesson About Luxury Trucks
Lincoln is the luxury brand of iconic Ford, responsible for making some of the most luxurious and high-quality vehicles on the road. When you think of a pickup truck, however, you may not think of luxury. And when you think of America’s biggest truck makers, Lincoln probably doesn’t make the list. But that hasn’t stopped the luxury car company from attempting to enter the luxury truck market, or better yet, create a market for luxury trucks. So what’s the story behind the Lincoln Mark LT?
Lincoln’s second shot at a luxury truck: the Mark LT
In 2002, Lincoln made its first attempt at a luxury truck. The Lincoln Blackwood luxury pickup wound up being an epic failure in sales. Only a few short years later, Lincoln decided to give it another try, after its own marketing research found that many Lincoln owners happened to also be truck owners.
Determined there would be a luxury truck niche in the market, Lincoln produced the Lincoln Mark LT from 2006 to 2008. But according to Oppositelock, “the Mark LT was nothing but an F-150 with Lincoln trimmings.”
The Mark LT would make its debut in 2006, essentially as a rebadged, more expensive version of the F-150. According to AutoTrader, it came with only one engine choice, a 5.4-liter eight-cylinder that created 300 hp.
The Mark LT came available in only a short-bed crew cab, with only one available trim level. In 2006, the starting price of a Mark LT was just under $40,000. Optional upgrades in the Mark LT included four-wheel drive availability, power-adjustable pedals and running boards, chrome wheels, and a DVD player in the rear.
Lincoln’s luxury design fails a second time
After the failure of its first luxury truck, the Blackwood, Ford wasn’t ready to put a ton of money into the possibility of a luxury truck. That didn’t help the already-small niche for luxury truck buyers, which could simply opt for an upgraded F-150 instead of a luxury-brand truck.
When the Mark LT pickup went on sale in the middle of 2005, initial numbers were immediately disappointing. According to CarSalesBase, Lincoln sold just over 10,000 Mark LTs in its premiere year of 2005.
In 2006, more Mark LTs were sold, totaling almost 13,000 in total for the year. But in the following years, 2007-2009, Lincoln sold 8,300, 4,600, and 150, respectively.
It seemed Lincoln’s second attempt at a luxury pickup wasn’t any more of a success than the second one. And after Lincoln’s research, experts were expecting a much different result. Immediately out of the factory, the Mark LT missed its estimated sales mark of 13,000 for the 2005 sales year.
Do people really want luxury trucks?
Lincoln was so certain there would be a market for luxury trucks that the high-end giant tried not once, but twice, to create a luxury truck that would fly out of the dealerships. But was Lincoln trying to sell trucks in a market that doesn’t exist?
While more and more people are seeking modern features in their pickup trucks, a pickup truck’s biggest job is also the biggest reason a person may purchase it. Most consumers in the market for a pickup truck are not in the market for luxury, but for towing/hauling capacity and capability.
And most consumers do not associate luxury with workhorse capability. In addition, most truck buyers will only purchase a truck from a truck-making brand they feel they can trust to produce a quality truck.
Lincoln has made zero attempts to create a third luxury truck after the failure of the Mark LT. But according to AutoTrader, Lincoln’s failure in the luxury pickup truck niche helped lead to the higher optional trim levels and packages in the F-150, such as the Platinum and Limited variations. So in a way, this extinct Lincoln truck lives on.