Logo for the Lincoln automaker.
Logo for the Lincoln automaker. - 

JEREMY HOBSON: Ford's putting a $1 billion into its only remaining luxury brand. That would be Lincoln. Even after Ford sold off Mercury last year to focus on Lincoln, the brand has lagged.

Marketplace's Eve Troeh reports.

EVE TROEH: Oh, the Lincoln Town Car. The name evokes the image of a hired driving running execs to the airport.

Ford told a group of its car dealers that it's going to totally redo the Town Car, the Navigator SUV, and the other Lincoln vehicles. That's take four years.

Ray Wert at the website Jalopnik.com says about time.

RAY WERT: They have put absolutely no R&D money into Lincoln. Those vehicles are pretty much re-badged, re-platformed, Fords, and that's all they've been for a decade.

So Lincoln's meant luxury in name only while brands like Lexus and Cadillac have boosted performance. And that lack of investment could account for the abysmal sales. Ford sold about 85,000 of all the Lincolns cars total last year, compared to half a million Ford F-series pickups.

It's a do or die moment for car dealers who only sell Lincoln. Ford needs to convince them to stick it out.

I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

Follow Eve Troeh at @evetroeh