Ford Motor (F) - Get Report remains focused on beefing up its SUV, crossover and truck lineup while reducing its car portfolio. The Los Angeles Auto Show was just another example of this strategy, where Ford's Lincoln brand unveiled its new Aviator SUV.
The current Lincoln fleet already boasts four SUVs: The MKC, Nautilus (MKX), MKT and of course, the well-known Lincoln Navigator. It also includes two passenger cars in its lineup, the MKZ and the iconic Lincoln Continental.
Lincoln actually began producing the Aviator in 2002, but stopped making the vehicle more than a decade ago in 2005. Now, the automaker plans to introduce the premium crossover/SUV in 2020.
The Aviator will come with two engine choices, the first being a twin-turbocharged 3.0 liter V6 producing roughly 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. The other option is the same V6 engine as above, but with a hybrid option capable of pushing out 450 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.
The vehicle features three-row seating, WiFi capability and the ability to use your phone as the key. Further, the Aviator will have a number of self-driving assist features, including Evasive Steering Assist, Reverse Brake Assist, Active Park Assist Plus and Traffic Jam Assist.
The move to add another SUV or crossover vs. a passenger vehicle is no surprise to auto industry observers.
Notably, at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the Lincoln Navigator was crowned as the North American Truck of the Year. In February, Ford said it was increasing production of the Navigator as well as the Expedition, as high-end trims were selling well.
Further, the trend toward SUVs, crossovers and pickups has been evident at Ford, which announced in April that it would keep only the Mustang and the Focus in its passenger car lineup. It also added the Ford Ranger to its lineup and will reportedly add hybrid and diesel options to its F-Series.
The move isn't necessarily Ford-specific, either. Year-to-date SUV/crossover sales are up just 1.6% for Lincoln, but its car sales are down 29% on the year. General Motors (GM) - Get Report also announced a large restructuring plan earlier this week. While it was met with plenty of controversy, it's notably cutting six passenger vehicles from its lineup -- and no SUVs, crossovers or trucks.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.