Mazda B pickup and Navajo were “badge jobs” where they took the Ford vehicle and literally changed the badges.
Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, etc.
When you develop different vehicles on the same platform with different sheet metal, interiors, suspension, wheels, etc. that is NOT a badge job.
Your point makes sense for sure, however, you have to earn that badge on the hood. And you only do that by putting out great products that convince buyers to switch over. A RWD version would be a good step in that direction.
I'm hesitant to trust this article. They based it on a 2016 trademark filing/renewal, and info that was ruomored a while back (about RWD) but we've not seen anything about.
I'll be really happy to see it happen, but I'm skeptical at the moment.
I know there's talk of Conti becoming Lincoln's EV, but if they're going through the effort of making a RWD MKZ - er - Zephyr, would it not make sense to make a companion Conti too?
Several cars that share the same architecture and come down the same lines (its called "flexible" assembly lines) and are not considered "badge jobs" only if there is a Ford Oval on the factory door. Even your supplied link shows that they are not merely a "badge job".
Well, for Escalade v. Navi, they can make a lot more of them. Plus Escalade has been more relevant for the last decade, with continual updates, whereas Navigator trudged on with an ugly look and minimal updates.
Cadillac, with their very expensive group of products dating back to the original CTS, has also gained a better, more modern reputation with the general public, whereas Lincoln has only recently started gaining some attention/recognition. It'll take time, but I think it'll all work out in the end.
OK, what if we agree on this? If they come down the same assembly line, nose to tail with their brand sibling, it's a "badge job".