Treading water almost from the get-go, Lincoln has struggled to regain its footing in this market, while simultaneously preparing to launch in the lucrative Chinese market. The MKZ has finally seemed to have found its place in Lincoln showrooms, just in time for the new MKC – which I predict will be a flat-out hit in the smaller luxury crossover segment – to arrive this summer. The Ford Motor Company needs Lincoln to not only survive, but also thrive, because the future profitability of the brand in China could be staggering, and make or break its very existence. Everyone has been waiting for Lincoln to make some noise in the market, and the MKC will go a long way to helping the brand gain traction here. Lincoln still needs a full-size luxury statement vehicle, the kind that will make people take notice and say, “Did you see that new Lincoln?” with a sense of excitement, interest and urgency, because until they have that car Lincoln will merely be present and accounted for in the American luxury market, and that’s not good enough. The AE Brand Image Meter ranking for Lincoln? The burner is starting to get a little warm.