BRUSSELS - Ford of Europe has killed its ailing Scorpio. It will replace its full-size car indirectly next year with a new small Lincoln from North America.
The Scorpio goes out of production in July. It won't be replaced in the Cologne factory until 2002, when Ford will launch a new multi-activity vehicle based on the replacement Fiesta platform. Cologne will continue to make the Fiesta and the Puma coupe on the same platform.
Ford's long-term strategy isn't clear.
Ford is still considering doing its own large European car, based on a stretched version of the Mondeo replacement platform that is due in 2000. This car has not yet been approved, said a Ford source.
Meanwhile, Ford of Europe will sell the Lincoln LS6 and LS8, which will be unveiled at the New York auto show next month. They were designed in North America.
The Lincolns use the same platform as the new Jaguar X200, which is due next year. The X200 is a competitor of the BMW 5 series.
The cars may be called Ford Lincolns in Europe. No separate channel will be set up. The Lincolns will be positioned above the Scorpio in the luxury segments. The LS6 has a 3.0-liter V-6 and the LS8, a 4.0-liter V-8.
The full-size car segment in Europe is withering away. Renault also plans to abandon its Safrane and replace it with a luxury model.
Scorpio sales peaked in 1986 at 104,000 units, held steady for four years, then plummeted. Last year sales were just over 20,000.