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Ford Spending $1 Billion to Resurrect Lincoln

Brand has been struggling for more than a decade.

Ford Motor Co. is investing $1 billion to relaunch its struggling luxury Lincoln brand, in decline for a decade, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

As part of the effort, Ford will back seven new or significantly upgraded models for Lincoln in the next four years, the Journal said, citing auto dealers briefed by Ford over the plans.

"We are fully committed to making Lincoln a world-class luxury brand with compelling vehicles and an exceptional consumer experience to match," said a Lincoln spokesman, Timothy Elliott, cited by the Journal.

Lincoln had once been one of America's top-selling luxury car brands, but as Ford has offered mostly upgraded versions of the same models it sells under the Ford name, it has seen a marked decline since the beginning of the century.

Its sales in the United States fell to 85,000 in 2010, the Journal said, with the company predicting a sale of 78,000 vehicles this year, but a projected climb to 162,000 units sold in 2015.

The brand, acquired by Ford in 1922, also has suffered in recent years from an influx of foreign luxury offerings from Japan (Toyota's Lexus, Nissan's Infiniti) and Germany (BMW, Porsche).

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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