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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ

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  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    I agree that nobody else agrees with you about Michelins. As for Lincoln - it's about where Ford wants Lincoln to be in 4 years, not where they are now. Ford has spent the last 3 years fixing Ford and basically ignoring Lincoln and Mercury. Now that Mercury is out of the way they can do a full court press on reviving Lincoln. Based on what they were able to do with Ford I think they'll do quite well with Lincoln and every new Lincoln will raise the bar a little higher. No reason they can't compete with Lexus, Cadillac, Audi, etc.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    It is not that easy, Allen. Ford knows more or less what the Ford brand is about, and has learned some hard lessons. The Five Hundred's styling was a really awful idea, and transforming it into the 08 Taurus just wasted more limited funds. Thankfully, they got right to work on the 2010 Taurus. They also screwed up with the Flex, in that they took the Fairlane concept that in production might have become a cult car, and stretched it into an ungainly looking thing. Never mind these recent misses...the Taurus, F150, Mustang, Fiesta, Fusion, and 2012 Focus will carry the day.

    But Ford doesn't know what Lincoln should be, and that is obvious from the MKS (they could have styled it any way they wanted, but for some unfathomable reason, they chose what they did). How difficult would it have been to put the MKS on the Flex wheelbase, or at least add a couple inches to the Taurus wheelbase? (Years ago, Ford always lengthened the big Mercury wheelbase off the Ford architecture.) Why didn't it occur to anyone that pretty cars tend to sell better?

    The MKT was a clean sheet design that went from provocative concept to a too-long station wagon look that doesn't fly in the marketplace...see what Cadillac did with the SRX to fix that. The MKX, which for 2011 now looks much better, is still is clearly a customized Edge.

    Four years from now, most lux brands will be far better than they are now, so somehow Lincoln not only has to catch up to where the best are now, but but somehow leap to the vast improvements the best will have four years from now, and then somehow leapfrog that. That is a really tall order for any company, and especially so for one that has no clear idea what desirable Lincoln DNA ought to be.

    That Lincoln sales are worse than Mercury sales, even after Mercury has been euthanized cannot be ignored. Raising the bar a little higher with each one will simply keep Lincoln's status as not even as good as an also-ran in place. Fortunately, Ford does not need Lincoln any more than Honda needs Acura (maybe not the best example, because Acura is also doing better than Lincoln).

    If Lincoln could first out-Buick the new Buick, that would really be a start and a base from which to build an even better brand. But right now the Buick Regal and Lacrosse and Enclave offer more than the MKZ and MKX for less money. That has to stop. I don't care if the MKS is "worth it." Cut the price, and get some buzz going about what a great value it is. Don't forget, Buick has plans for a Park Avenue model, which will have no problem outselling MKS, unless Lincoln starts offering a more desirable car for the same or less money real soon.

    I don't think having Mercury "out of the way" is going to allow a "full court press" on Lincoln. In the end, Mercury wasn't bleeding all that many company resources, especially given the sales Mercury had without even trying. What is needed is a Mulally personality for Lincoln (he has his hands full maintaining the Ford brand's success, and no one these days can take their eyes off the ball for a second).

    Heads should be rolling at Lincoln, if they haven't already. But maybe Lincoln's day is done. Lots of storied brands have died, and will continue to do so. There are always others jockeying to take their place. Who would have ever thought five years ago that Hyundai would bring a car like the Equus here? They may not succeed of course, but unlike the wonderful but unloved VW Phaeton, it will start at closer to $50K than $80K, and that could make all the difference.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    Getting rid of Mercury was also a way to accelerate the fixing of the bloated dealer network. But the big advantage isn't in cost savings or resource savings - those are there but they're not huge. The big advantage is they no longer have to neuter Fords in order to maintain a mid level brand. Look at Chevy - they won't get any really great cars because GM doesn't want Chevy competing with Buick and they don't want Buick competing with Cadillac - although that won't stop them from coming out with 4 clones of the same vehicle.

    The Flex and MKT weren't as successful as Ford would have liked, so now they're refreshing them along with the MKS. This will be the real test of whether Ford knows what they're doing or not.

    I don't understand why you continue to defend GM and question Ford. Cadillac has had more failures than successes (XLR, previous SRX, STS, DTS). The only advantage they have right now is a more modern large SUV and a good RWD sedan platform. At least Lincoln has a large crossover in the MKT - where is Caddy's?
  • tiger16tiger16 Posts: 54
    Great post. But first, to address Kirby's comment about me being the only one that doesn't like Michelin. Apparently, he didn't read the posts by Wilcox and savetheland. Those posts got us started on Michelin. So, even on this board I am not the only one that dislikes Michelin. DUH!
    Anyway gregg, your post is right on. I said some time ago that Ford lost it's way with Lincoln. You can't essentially ignore the Lincoln brand for 2 decades, almost be completely run out of the market, then crank out a couple of new models (that appeal to very few) and believe you are back in the conversation. Not to pick on Kirby (although I need to admonish him from time to time about getting his facts straight, I rather enjoy going back & forth with him and he does make some valuable contributions), he seems to be fixated on what Lincoln is going to be in 3, 4 or 5 yrs. The new kid on the block (MKZ) has been out since 06 and it's sales are abysmal as are the sales of MKS and every other Lincoln. If this continues, Lincoln won't be around in 3 yrs. Ford has to do something with Lincoln now. They have to redo the styling, they need to do serious upgrades to the interiors. Get rid of all of that black plastic, black vinyl and black carpet. That's not what people expect in a luxury brand. To compete in this market segment Lincoln needs to look like a Luxury car, feel like a luxury car and act like a luxury car. For some time now, it hasn't done any of those things.
    I guess Lincoln may be trying but, the problem is they don't have the people in place that truly know what a luxury brand is supposed to be or what people want. I agree, there should be a complete house cleaning concerning the Lincoln brand. Otherwise, 4 yrs from now (if Lincoln is still around) we will be having the same conversation.
    I said in a previous post that Ford needs to cut the price of Lincolns and I was chastised by a few here. People simply aren't buying Lincolns and you have to start getting them on the road so they can be seen and at least begin to be talked about. You can't charge Lexus prices when the buying public doesn't even put Lincoln in the same conversation. Cut the price, sell some product, get your product noticed and then bring in some people to design a build a true Lexus/Cadillac/Infiniti competitor. Otherwise, just market Lincoln for what it has become - Ford's version of the Buick.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    If you go check the tire tests and user reviews on tirerack.com (a much bigger sample size than this forum) you'll see that Michelins get excellent marks in almost all categories. Some (like the MXV4 on the Accord which is not the same tire as the one on the Fusion) aren't great but by and large they're great tires. If you disagree then you're certainly in a small minority.

    As for Lincoln - right now Ford has chosen to sell as many vehicles as they can without cutting prices. They could sell more by cutting the price but that also cheapens the brand even more than it already is. Their plan seems to be to establish a standard, then build the new vehicles to the same price point with better design, materials and features.

    What I find amusing is that everyone who complains about Lincoln totally ignores the fact that Ford has not spent much money on Lincoln up until now. They said all along they were fixing Ford first, then Lincoln. They're just starting. The point is we haven't seen what Ford wants Lincoln to be yet, so is it asking too much to wait and see?

    As for Lincoln being on borrowed time - no way. Ford made $5B the first half with the current Lincoln lineup and they're committed to a multi-year plan to turn the brand around. If they aren't making money in 4 years then maybe they'll consider closing the brand but not now.

    It's like watching a pre-season football game with 2nd and 3rd string players and proclaiming the team will such all season.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    I get your point, Allen, but not sure you get mine. Ford would likely have made even more $$ if it hadn't diverted any of their limited resources into shoring up a damaged brand. If Ford didn't sell any Lincolns, they would not be any worse for the wear (other than of course the not inconsiderable costs of winding the brand down).

    In the long run, it may turn out that Ford would have done better financially to make Mercury into a Buick competitor than to try to make the ruined Lincoln brand into a world class marque. Of course it is not asking too much to wait and see...after all, it is the only thing we can do. Waiting four years to close the brand down may give it (and us) a glimmer of hope. I will be the first to cheer when Lincoln actually has a model that gains both critical acclaim and sales.

    But it should be very clear to Ford by now that they cannot limp this brand along a few more years until such time as they can give it a full court press. The world is moving too fast, development is relentless, competition is more fierce than ever, and brand loyalty is not the big thing it used to be. There will be no time in which Ford can rest from their full court press to rebuild and sustain the gains of the Ford brand. Lincoln cannot survive with any less attention. Lincoln has fewer models than Ford, and that is the only reason Ford can invest less in Lincoln than the Ford brand. Putting out forgettable things like the MKS, MKZ, and MKT has proven worse than useless. Lincoln sales are lower than ever.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    We all know you can't sell a $75K Ford car. VW tried and failed miserably. That's why they need Lincoln just like GM needs Cadillac and Toyota needs Lexus. You need a separate brand to compete in the luxury market.

    Ford's plan all along was to take all of their vehicles upmarket including the Lincoln brand. Why? Because there is a lot of money to be made - much more than just with the Ford brand alone. And they're willing to invest the money - just like they announced when they announced they were killing Mercury. Did you miss that announcement or do you just think they're lying about giving Lincoln unique products with more exclusive luxury features?

    Obviously it remains to be seen how well they execute but I just don't understand how anybody can question their commitment at this point given that they've done everything they said they would do over the last 3 years - and done it well. I think if nothing else they deserve the benefit of the doubt.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Excuse me, Allen, but that is where we differ. Ford has learned and applied good lessons for the Ford brand and it is paying off...for the Ford brand.

    I don't think anyone is lying. I also don't think anyone who is paying attention missed the announcements. I just don't see where anyone at Ford has any good idea of how to make Lincoln a player. The MKT is proof of the pudding. This weird station wagon thing was their response when they finally had all the reins. They could have made it unique and interesting by producing the concept. Instead, they installed a station wagon look on a concept that had been anything but.

    Luxury features these days have filtered down to most non-economy cars (and some of those as well). These days, lots of Fords sell for $40K plus. They have the latest toys. Lincoln offers nothing special by offering luxury features. Those features will be on Fords the very next year (or they should be). And we already have the strange situation where the Ford model actually offers more than the Lincoln. Lincoln has to either go away or offer greater value for the money. They have not figured this out yet. Lexus got a foothold in the world by doing the same thing as luxury brands for less. After sales soared, they hiked prices. A lot. And it worked. Hyundai has the same plan.

    Meanwhile, Lincoln prices its models according to what competitors are getting for the similar stuff. In a fair world, people would just buy Lincoln on preference, and we could all stop the debate. But Ford seems to forget...Lincoln is a damaged brand and almost no one would give a s**t if it went away. There was more support for Pontiac, and we all know that brand was well past toast. Load up the equipment, but cut the price, make it the new Lexus value (going back two decades), and Lincoln could rule. Acting as if Lincoln has any purchase in the present environment is just stupid.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    Here we go again. You say they can't do it and I'm saying they haven't been trying yet. Why do you think the Taurus gets more equipment than the MKS? Because they haven't taken the MKS where they want it to go yet.

    Could they sell a lot of vehicles if they cut prices? You bet. And what do you think that will do to resale values and how much harder will it be to increase prices later?

    You prefer the GM strategy of make as many cars as you can and give them away if necessary. Ford prefers profit over market share. I guess we'll see who's right in 2-3 years. Until then we'll just agree to disagree. Again.
  • tiger16tiger16 Posts: 54
    I chose my Zephyr over the Lexus ES for because I could get it w/o a moonroof (I'm 6'3"), it ran on regular gas and it offered great value. It's no longer the value it was and Lexus is retuning their product line to run on regular (the 2011 ES drops 4-6 HP but, recommends regular fuel). The gas thing was one advantage the MKZ had over it's competition but, now that is gone (CTS already uses regular, not sure who else but, soon they all will). This surely will not help Lincoln sales.
    I too think it was a mistake to dump Mercury. The foundation, name recognition, loyalty, etc were in place. All Ford needed to do was tweak the styling, move the current Lincoln interiors to the Mercury (where they're more appropriate) and pump 10-15 HP into the engines to further separate Mercury from Ford and viola - a Buick killer!
    Anyone who thinks Ford knows what to do with the Lincoln brand is in denial. Just go to the Lincoln website. They're already offering a $1000 cash back on the 2011 MKZ. What sense does this make? The car basically hasn't hit the showroom and it's already being discounted. Obviously, Ford realizes the car is overpriced. So, just reduce the base price and forget the rebate nonsense. A rebate on a 2011 in August of 2010? I've never heard of such marketing.
    I admire kirby's passion and loyalty to the Lincoln nameplate but, I don't think Ford has earned them. Ford hasn't shown much over the past 20 yrs that tells me they are truly serious about Lincoln. And please don't mention sales duds like the MKZ and MKS or that hideous MKT. Ford began to ignore Lincoln long before it ran into financial difficulty and it doesn't have qualified people in place now so, why should anyone believe Ford is REALLY ready to do some good things with Lincoln? Lincoln is in a different market segment than Ford. They might be trying to fix Lincoln with the same people that fixed Ford. I don't think that translates.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    What if Lincoln came out with a RWD sedan with a supercharged 5.0L engine that beats a CTS-V? Would that change your mind?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Allen said:
    Could they sell a lot of vehicles if they cut prices? You bet. And what do you think that will do to resale values and how much harder will it be to increase prices later?

    This is what I think. Cutting prices could easily help resale value. Right now, Lincoln prices are set much higher than actual transaction prices, and THAT is what is hurting resale value at present.

    Meanwhile, Ford has shown that you can increase prices AND resale value, if you have a vehicle like the Taurus that people believe is worth the asking price. Lincoln does not have such a vehicle, and until they do, they should not be asking so much money for their cars, when they actually sell them only with big discounts.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    Cutting prices would put Lincoln in the same price range as some of the Fords - how is that going to help?

    If this was the end game for Lincoln then I would agree with everything you're saying. But it's obviously not. The plan is for much better products that justify the higher prices and until they get them they're just going to settle for lower volumes without cutting prices too much or putting huge rebates on the hood.

    There is no wrong or right here - they could go either way. But I think the way they're going currently is setting them up for where they want to be in 3 years and cutting prices would go against that.

    You're thinking now and Ford is thinking 5 years from now. Will it work? I think so but we'll have to wait and see.
  • carjimcarjim Posts: 155
    AKIRBY's question was ignored, but not by me.

    I would definitely consider a Lincoln if it is rear wheel drive, or rear-biased all wheel drive. Because it is neither at present, it can never be on my shopping list. My spouse and I currently drive Infiniti vehicles because we love the handling.
    I fell in love with real Lincolns when they came out with those slab sided models back in 1961, I believe. What Ford did to the brand since is a travesty.
    Have they learned anything yet? After Ford trashed Jaguar attempting to make it a volume car with the X Type I am not holding my breath.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    There is hope because

    1 - Ford is making money and can afford to splurge a little on a low volume vehicle
    2 - Ford has turned the engineers loose to make the best cars possible
    3 - Ford Australia has a nice RWD platform with V8 power readily available
    4 - Ford management is totally different than it's ever been
  • carjimcarjim Posts: 155
    Check out Autoblog today (September 8) and you will find a road test of the MKZ Hybrid. While not a rave review it is a positive analysis.
  • tom213tom213 Posts: 49
    edited October 2010
    Bought a new 2010 MKZ, (only 19 miles on it) but the car was manufactured back in October of 2009. There are several roads in my area that have been open a little more than 2 years now and they are not in the database (it's as if I'm driving through a wheat field!!). So if these roads are not in there, there are obviously more that are missing/revised and then I'm wondering how out of date the POIs are!! Asked the dealer if they would flash a current map and they said I would have to purchase one for $199.00 to get a newer version!! I couldn't believe it!!! I also have a 2007 Tahoe and GM provide me 2 updates for FREE on the first and second anniversary of my purchase date!! I've complained to both Ford Motor Company and the dealer, no luck so far. Dealer told me the update can only be used once and can't be used again. Sounds like a little BS to me... Anybody out there get their dealer to give them an update without cost?? I'm not even asking for a deal like GM had, just a current version that should have been in the car when I drove off the lot!!! Other than that, love the car...
  • dmphildmphil Posts: 5
    Does anyone know the procedure to turn on or activate daytime running lights on a lincoln zephyr purchased in the US, but will be required in Canada?
  • There are so many posts for the Zephyr that this question may have already been answered. If so, feel free to simply copy the link from the answer instead of retyping. Anyway, I'm in the market to buy new tires for my 2006 Zephyr. I guess I should 1st ask, should I buy them at 53K miles. Winter is coming soon, and I don't expect to own this car for another 50K, so this would be my 2nd and last set of tires. With regards to type of tires, my dealership quoted me $878 for 4 Michelin P225/50R17 tires. I don't know which specific Michelins are currently on my car, but I'm assuming I was quoted for the best and most expensive. They did offer a $60 rebate, but that's not much considering the total. I know there are other quality tires that are less expensive. Anyone have any good ideas on other brands? Bridgestone?
  • jerrys2jerrys2 Posts: 188
    Just replaced at 42k om my 2008 MKZ. Could have gone another 10k, but why not replace them now prior to winter. Expect to trade in 12 to 24 months and would have to replace tires , so why not use them now?

    Uniroyal Tiger Paws are about $40 less per tire the Michelin and are made by Michelin, basicaly same tire . Comes with excellent guarentee. I like the tires. Jerry
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