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LINCOLN-MERCURY LAUNCHES TWO ALL-NEW MODELS FOR 1993

 LINCOLN-MERCURY LAUNCHES TWO ALL-NEW MODELS FOR 1993
 DETROIT, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Led by two all-new models -- the


Mercury Villager minivan and Lincoln Mark VIII personal luxury car -- the Lincoln-Mercury Division of Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) expects to match its best car market share ever in 1993, a top company executive said today.
 "Mark VIII is a world-class car," said Lee R. Miskowski, Ford vice president and Lincoln-Mercury general manager. "It's going to be the flagship vehicle for the division and for the company in 1993."
 Speaking of the new Villager minivan, announced last December, Miskowski said, "It already is evident Villager will increase showroom traffic and bring new prospects into our dealerships. The potential for this vehicle is awesome."
 Miskowski cited a strong product lineup in projecting an increase in car market share to 7.0 percent for Lincoln-Mercury in 1993 -- and that figure does not include Villager which is not counted in car market share totals. The all-time high for the division was 7.0 in 1978.
 "Seven of our 10 carlines have been completely redesigned in the last three years," Miskowski added. "We continue to be leaders on the safety front, with five carlines offering dual driver- and passenger- side air bags as standard features for 1993."
 In addition to strengthening its product lineup, the division announced it is expanding the free emergency roadside service feature of its Lincoln Commitment program for 1993 from the first year of ownership to the first four years of ownership.
 "We think that's world-class coverage for world-class cars, and it should help increase our customer satisfaction and owner loyalty," Miskowski said. The program also provides owners with a free service loaner and a 24-hour toll-free hotline for customer concerns and questions.
 The division plans to increase advertising expenditures to launch its two new models and increase product awareness across both the Lincoln and Mercury lines, starting with the new Villager.
 "We're throwing just about everything but the kitchen sink into our Villager marketing efforts," Miskowski said. "As a matter of fact, we'll spend more advertising dollars on it than any other vehicle we have ever launched."
 The major effort behind Villager is partly due to the fact this is the first time Lincoln-Mercury Division's dealers will be marketing a minivan in their history, he explained.
 Even though the official introduction date for Villager is Sept. 24, 2,100 units have been delivered and over 18,000 orders have been received.
 Miskowski hailed the arrival of the new Mark VIII as another major milestone for the division.
 "We believe this car will change the way you and our customers think about the Lincoln brand and Ford Motor Company," he told reporters.
 The new Mark VIII features advanced aerodynamic styling, a 4.6-liter Four Cam 32-valve aluminum V-8 engine, anti-lock brakes, dual air bags and a number of other technologically advanced features. The car is officially scheduled to go on sale in dealer showrooms on Dec. 26, 1992.
 Other changes to the 1993 lineup listed by Miskowski include:
 -- Both Mercury Sable and Mercury Grand Marquis offer standard dual driver- and passenger-side air bags.
 -- Mercury Cougar line has been consolidated into one series -- the XR7. A special one-look pricing package will be offered as well.
 -- Topaz is consolidated into a single series, the GS.
 -- Lincoln Town Car is freshened with a new grille, taillamp lenses and an optional handling package.
 -- Lincoln Continental features a new five-passenger seating arrangement, which will be available on the Executive series, and a new optional voice-activated telephone.
 -0- 9/17/92
 /CONTACT: Chuck Snearly, 313-446-4368, or Jim Vella, 313-446-4399, both of Lincoln-Mercury Division/
 (F) CO: Lincoln-Mercury Division; Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT


SM-KJ -- DE002 -- 0484 09/17/92 09:35 EDT
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Date:Sep 17, 1992
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