The Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus will reportedly die in 2023.
In its recent future product pipeline report, Automotive News reaffirmed earlier rumor mill rumblings that Ford aims to scrap the next-generation Edge SUV as well as its Lincoln-branded sibling, the Nautilus. That could come across as a surprising move, for a few reasons. The Nautilus — formerly Lincoln’s “MKX” — just saw its major update for the 2019 model year. As for the Edge, it’s been a staple in Ford’s crossover portfolio for 15 years, and is arguably one of the models that helped kill off the company’s passenger car lineup.
Both are still decent sellers within their brands, too: Ford dealers sold 42,704 Edges this year (through July 2021). Lincoln sold 12,843 examples of the Nautilus, making it the brand’s third best seller, behind the smaller Corsair and the larger Aviator. Nevertheless, Ford has no fewer than four two-row SUVs with the new Bronco Sport and Bronco in the lineup. The slightly larger, three-row Explorer, for its part, is only $175 more to start than Ford’s in-between crossover, as well.
Retooling for EVs
The news comes on the heels of an agreement between Ford and Canada’s Unifor union, which handles worker relations at the Oakville Assembly Plant where the Edge and Nautilus are built. The automaker plans to convert Oakville into an EV plant — dropping its current conventional production in the process. One Lincoln-branded electric crossover is due from that plant by 2025, with several more to follow. That may bode well for the Nautilus making its return, as Lincoln gradually transitions to a full-EV lineup.
As for the Edge, while it’s still decently popular its sales are on the decline. Even with the semiconductor shortage skewing sales figures to some extent, Edge’s year-to-date sales have suffered the worst of Ford’s mainstream lineup, falling by 27.1%.
While these two models may be discontinued in 2023, Ford obviously plans to carry forward its crossover-focused business model. The larger Explorer and the Lincoln Aviator should see battery-electric counterparts by late 2022/early 2023. More information on those cars should work its way out in the coming months.