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Lincoln brand changes name as new MKZ goes on sale

December 4, 2012 • Business


Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Alan Mulally, stands next to a Lincoln MKZ as he poses for photographers, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 in New York. The MKZ will arrive at dealerships this month. The MKZ is the first of seven new or revamped Lincolns that will go on sale by 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

DETROIT (AP) — Lincoln is getting a new car and a new name designed to reverse 20 years of falling sales.

The 97-year old luxury brand, synonymous with presidential limos and black Town Cars, is returning to its original name, Lincoln Motor Co. Lincoln hopes the name will help restore the brand’s luster as the new MKZ sedan goes on sale this month.

Lincoln Motor Co. founder Henry Leland — who also started Cadillac — named the company after his hero, Abraham Lincoln. He sold it to Ford, which wanted a luxury brand, in 1922. Lincoln Motor Co. was used in advertising all the way through the 1970s and 1980s, but had fallen out of use more recently, Lincoln chief Jim Farley said Monday. That’s not unlike the brand itself, whose sales have been slipping since buyers began defecting to foreign brands like Lexus and BMW in the 1990s.

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