So completely redesigning or refreshing the entire lineup aside from MKT doesn't count as product development?
The MK naming scheme is about to go away, potentially on the refreshes about to debut.
There are things that Ford does extremely well and others, well, not so well. And yes, Lincoln has been making steady progress thanks to all those refreshes, etc. Unfortunately, it's taken a lot more years than promised to get to where Lincoln is today. Even still, product that was expected to fill voids is still a few years away. Promises, promises.
There was a time, unfortunately decades ago when Lincoln was so distinctive that you could tell a Lincoln on the highway from a half mile away. The waterfall grille and body style of the Lincoln Mark IV/V series was simply unmistakable. But over the years the Lincoln division was badly mismanaged with inconsistent product development, etc. Lincoln decides on a new front end treatment and a few years later they change it to something totally different. In addition, Ford and Lincoln have a media problem beyond their control in that they're held to a different standard. BMW has used the kidney bean nose treatment forever and with the slightest revision the media gives glowing reviews yet if Ford does carry on a design theme they get criticized and/or crucified for it. To borrow a reference to another recent message thread... Imagine if Ford gave the same attention to development to all models as it does to F-Series and Mustang.
At the same time, Ford's going through another of many cycles over the years again, thanks most recently to the Fields' cutbacks, where product development was cut and timetables pushed back by years. And in the meantime the competition catches up and then leaps past Ford and Ford is forced to do something to avoid losing even more sales, market share, etc. Sure, there are a lot more manufacturers competing in the U.S. marketplace now but Ford's lost 40% of the market share it had. Remember when Ford had 6 of the top 10 selling vehicles? Now all the decisions are dictated by the bottom line profit potential even if it means losing more sales, more market share and erosion of it's owner body upon which future sales are dependent.