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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ



  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    Wow - they're still claiming that the tires are not available? They are and have been the whole time - they're part of the "summer tire handling package". Poor fact-checking.

    The MKZ does need the new 2.3L EB and another engine above the 3.7L. I think at least the 2.3LEB is coming within the next year.

    Since when is acceleration a consideration with a hybrid? The MKZ hybrid is rated 5 mpg better than the direct competition. They finally acknowledge that (begrudgingly) but only after the rant on performance.

    MSRP is high but again I think that's part of the game plan especially since the hybrid is in such high demand and manufacturing was constrained until the last couple of months when Flat Rock started building Fusions. I think we'll see more content and performance with the price staying the same.

    If the current MKZ was Lincoln's end goal it wouldn't be good. But as a building block for the future it's not bad. And it's certainly the best vehicle Lincoln has created in at least a couple of decades (and yes that includes the LS which I owned).
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    The LS was better in its time. It was at or near the top of its class back then. Comparing a 1999 vehicle to a 2013 is not a fair comparison no matter how you do it, but given the accolades Lincoln got for the LS and the lukewarm-to-good reception of the MKZ, I think the LS wins. Yes, I know it was poorly planned as a vehicle to make Lincoln any money
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    edited October 2013
    And since you mentioned press coverage - you have the Genesis which was critically acclaimed (according to you) and the MKZ which is almost universally panned). The MKZ sedan is outselling the Genesis over 2 to 1 even with high MKZ msrps and very few rebates. That should tell you something.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    The only thing the LS was good at was handling. It had good cornering and a fantastic anti-dive/anti-squat geometry that kept it level at all times even in panic braking. But the suspension was flawed and did not provide the ride quality of the 5 series with Macpherson struts. The engine was a jewel but limited to 280 hp and it was super expensive compared to the corporate mod v8 which would have produced more power at a cheaper cost but it wouldn't fit in from the bottom on the assembly line due to that shiny aluminum suspension. The interior was cheap - no 2 ways about it. Most owners added a faux wood dash kit (me included) to cover up the plain black plastic. As a luxury car it was middle of the road with just a few niceties. As a performance car it was middle of the road with great steering and decent power but not at the top of the pack for sure.

    This really just boils down to the same old FWD/AWD vs. RWD argument.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    No, you don't. The LS with all its flaws tested very well against the competition. It was a car of the year winner. The MKZ never had a chance of winning within the field of new cars within which it was introduced.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    edited October 2013
    It tells me (I repeat once again, Allen) that the Genesis, at the very end of its present product cycle, is still selling well for a specialty RWD luxury model that does not offer AWD (a demerit in the northern half of the country) from a non-luxury make.

    The MKZ at the beginning of its cycle can barely outsell the previous MKZ.

    BTW, the Camry still outsells the Fusion and Accord and Altima even though the latter three are superior to it. Thankfully, they all have made gains against the Camry appliance, but making a better product does not always translate into the best sales. That process can take many years.

    In the MKZ's case, it is a good car but not the superior product in its category, a category which does not include a certain RWD V8 sedan from South Korea. To crow about the MKZ outselling the Genesis is damning with faint praise.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    You don't get it Gregg. The object of the game is not to win magazine comparisons (unless you're GM). The object is to create and sell vehicles that can be sold at a profit. And I've told you repeatedly that the current MKZ is not where it should and will be yet - it still needs more power and better styling.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    I do get it. You assume I am always on the other side.

    Never did I say anything about the object being winning magazine comparisons. Magazine comparison wins come with superior products.

    Lincoln may be selling its few units at a profit for all I know, but who cares? I don't know whether Ford loses money on Lincoln or not, but we all know they are not making any money with it right now. It makes no difference in Ford's bottom line. The object of a luxury division is to add to that bottom line, even with fewer unit sales. I know you know that.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    I think the problem is you are focused solely on the product and not at all focused on the business side - as evidenced whenever I point out how much money GM has wasted on Cadillac platforms and dead vehicles the last decade. I probably tend to focus too much on the business side because I deal with 7 and 8 figure business cases and business strategy all the time.

    If Lincoln was solidly established - with upgraded dealerships, upgraded or new vehicles in all segments, etc. - then it would make a lot more sense to go after a high performance halo vehicle. But given that Lincoln is starting over from scratch and trying to build the entire dealership experience and vehicle lineup from the ground up, it just doesn't make sense for them to waste money on low volume halo vehicles just to "wow" the press and enthusiasts.

    The Lexus ES and RX probably generate an order of magnitude more profit for Lexus than all of the RWD models combined due to the higher platform costs and much lower volume. Same for the Audi A4 and A6.

    The jury is still out on whether they can execute this new strategy but it's not fair to judge them on it when they haven't had time to really get it started yet. That's all I'm saying.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    You keep repeating the same things...things I already know. Of course it doesn't make sense for struggling Lincoln to waste money on halo vehicles. I would never advocate that.

    You defend Lincoln vociferously and you attack GM and Cadillac as if they have screwed up worse than Lincoln.

    It does make sense for Cadillac to begin adding more expensive platforms and even halo cars now, as they are a few years ahead of Lincoln in their comeback. What old GM did has little to do with their current plan. That would be to eventually move into the territory occupied by Mercedes, BMW and Audi. They are already there with the CTS and ATS, but certainly they have a long way to go. But they are on the road.

    Lincoln is back trying to be more like Acura, and maybe eventually Lexus. I see that the MKZ is better rated by Consumer Reports than the new IS250 (not recommended), and the new Infiniti Q50. So that is a good thing.

    Maybe there will be no more mediocre and/or undesirable efforts like the MKS and MKT. Bash Cadillac if you want, but Lincoln has a lot of screwy decisions to answer for. And if I should only focus on the new Lincoln--which I am willing to do--then it makes no sense either to bash Cadillac for past things like the XLR.

    Face it...whether Cadillac has "wasted" money is beside the point. The vehicles are selling, GM is profitable and Cadillac's reputation as a quality company is coming back after long years of the doldrums.

    I want Lincoln to be at least as good, and hopefully one day BETTER than Cadillac. Cadillac bashing doesn't help Lincoln at all. Product will.
  • After all this time, I finally saw a newly styled MKZ in person. I watched it the rear view as it pulled up next to me at a traffic light. Good grief this is an ugly car. There wasn't a single thing about it that I thought was appealing. And the interior is no where near what it should be. I would say its interior is better suited for the Fusion, but I actually think the Fusion interior is nicer. This car is simply not competitive, inside or outside. There is only one statistic that counts when you are trying for a comeback and that is sales. Did Ford really think this ugly ducking was going to sell or sell with a number that was going to help revive Lincoln?
    I own a 2006 Zephyr that I bought new and I have been reading since 2005 of Lincoln's comeback. Exactly when is that going to occur? It surely hasn't happened yet. Lincoln is still dead last in sales vs its competitors. I don't know what happened, but it is painfully clear that Ford just does not know how to design a luxury car or at least design a luxury car that people actually want to buy. Ford made the wrong decision when it axed Mercury. It should have killed off Lincoln and restored Mercury back to what it used to be - a genuine upgrade over Ford with distinctive styling and nicer interiors, but with an appropriate price tag. Lincoln's aren't even as appealing as the old Mercury's so, why in the world would someone buy a Lincoln instead of a Lexus or Cadillac or BMW, etc.
    In all honesty, there is not one model of Lincoln that I find compelling. And based on the pathetic sales figures, a lot of other people think the same way. Across the lineup, they are ugly, cheap looking inside and way over priced. I guess that renaissance is still on its way. I have a suggestion to Ford. Shoot Lincoln and put it out of its misery and then bring back Mercury. At least Mercury had a following.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    Geez - tell us how you really feel. Just so you know (not that it will matter apparently because you've already made up your mind) - the 2013 MKZ was already finished when Ford decided to kill Mercury and invest in a new Lincoln. Two years ago they hired a dedicated designer and other staff (over 100 total) and they've been working on the Lincoln revival the last 2 years. But since the MKZ was already finished they were only able to make a small change to the front end.

    It will be 2-3 years before we really see a lot of the changes and probably longer until we see any clean sheet vehicles or new platforms. Lincoln is profitable now due to low costs and high ATPs and Ford is making tons of money so there is no hurry.

    If you're impatient and expect to see totally new vehicles on new platforms now you're going to be disappointed. It's a long term rebuilding plan that includes dealership upgrades and those won't happen overnight either.
  • A few yrs ago, I looked at and posted on this forum. But then, it seemed so futile that I stopped. Also, I noticed that, quite often, certain members would reduce the commentary to personal attacks which is not what this forum should be about. In fact, it had been so long since I had posted that my account "expired" and I had to establish a new one. I own a Lincoln and also own several thousand shares of Ford stock so, it's to my advantage for Ford to succeed.
    Anyway having said all of that, my comments are nothing more than my opinion (just like everyone's post). I have noticed over the yrs that you are quite the Ford apologist. No matter what, you consistently defend the blue oval and, at most, rarely even over a mild criticism. Your response gave me quite a good laugh. "they've been working on the Lincoln revival for the last 2 yrs." What about the revival that started way back in 2005? I guess that doesn't count because there is now a subsequent revival in place. When I bought my 06 Zephyr, it was touted as being the first car of the "new" Lincoln. And more new Lincolns were in the pipeline. "It will be 2-3 years before we really see a lot of the changes and probably longer until we see any clean sheet vehicles or new platforms." Are you kidding? The 2014s are out. Now 9 yrs later and we have to wait another 3 yrs or more for the revival!
    You say Lincoln is profitable. I don't know so, I'm not going to say you are wrong. I'll just say that I find it hard to believe. Ford invested a ton of money into the new MKZ and, from what I have read, it is barely equalling the sales of the model it replaced. So if Ford invested so much money into the new MKZ and it sales are so few, how can it be making money? The fact that in it's first yr the new model is essentially selling just like the old model must be horrifying to the bean counters at Lincoln. Sales usually go down after the first yr not up. When you invest all that money into a new model, you need a significant sales bump. Ford has not gotten that with the MKZ. I think that is trouble.
    When I said Ford should kill Lincoln and bring back Mercury, I didn't mean drop and revive nameplates. That would be an image nightmare for Ford. What I meant was market Lincoln for what it truly is and has been for a long time now. It's what Mercury used to be. It's nothing more than a Buick competitor that's priced like a Lexus. The public isn't stupid. If they want a luxury car, they'll spend the money and buy a Lexus. If they want a Buick, they'll buy a Buick and save $10,000. Right now, Lincoln isn't successfully competing in either market.
    I'm a Ford shareholder and I want to see maximum returns. Because Lincoln is a drag on Ford (or at best isn't helping), I'm not seeing that. You keep talking about profit. Okay, maybe Lincoln is making $1 per car. That's not good enough. Ford needs to make $100 per car (just throwing out numbers to make a point). We all understand that whatever you sell, you must make a profit on it. If you lose money on every car, it doesn't matter how many cars you sell, you are still going to lose money. However, anyone who has taken a college economics course will tell you, the most important component to total profitability is sales. You can have the best product in the world, but if you can't sell it, it's worthless. Simply put, if Ford wants to price the Lincoln like a luxury car, they to turn it into a luxury car. Putting a Cadillac price tag on a Buick doesn't make Buick a Cadillac. If Ford is incapable of making a true luxury car (which I believe is the case), it needs to slash Lincoln prices and market Lincoln for what it has become.
    Anyway, hope all this doesn't fire you up. It's not a personal attack. I know you are passionate about all things Ford and that's good. But I think you need to take off those blue oval sunglasses concerning Lincoln. It's in real trouble. Ford may be making better Lincolns, but everyone else continues to improve also. Lincoln is clearing struggling and has not closed the gap after nine yrs. It's on life support.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    No offense taken and I know I sound like an apologist but there is so much misinformation it drives me crazy. Have there been previous attempts at a Lincoln revival? Yes. But none like the current one. When Mulally took over the focus was entirely on Ford as it should have been. They killed PAG and put Ford back in the black. Once Ford was back on solid ground they had to make a decision with Lincoln and Mercury. They decided to kill Mercury and hire a dedicated Lincoln staff of over 100 folks. They got rid of marginal dealers and got the rest to agree with big upgrades. Anyone who's worked on large projects like this can appreciate that it takes a lot longer than people think it should take if you do it right and try to revamp the entire buying experience.

    As for sales - look at the prices and rebates. They're not discounting much. ATPs are high with only $750 rebates on the mkz. If they were to put $3k on the hood like the ATS they'd sell more for sure but they are content with more profit on fewer units - for now at least - while they launch their new plan.

    The current mkz is not representative of where Lincoln is going. It was done before the new team took over.
  • Very well said. I am in total agreement with Your assertion.
    If Ford wants to succeed with their luxury brand they must start by hiring You and the people like You. Do not worry if your carrier did not cross automotive path, neither was Mr. Mulally's until he joint the company.
    If You did not read my post "The car I never got", please read it. Who knows what their problem really is. Sometimes you do all the best you can, but at the end still there is no light in site. Other times, the company produce questionable products, but their business is booming. It must have something to do with luck.
    I've had two Lincoln's LS in the past. Though I liked the vehicles, I have to admit that quality problems combined with outrageous customer support was left to be desired. I guess I am stubborn and I keep coming back. If it was not for the same issues, I would have gotten 2013 MKZ. I sincerely liked the car in and out. Perhaps, when the lease on my Audi is over in couple of years, I will try again. Lets see if the luck will be on my side the second time around. :-)
  • bigtbigt Posts: 412
    I had a Zephyr and then the MKZ AWD red with black and silver interior. Loved it! Decided to go with the Hybrid so picked up a 2010 Milan and then Mercury went a way. Hard times followed so I stuck with the 2010 Milan HB. Glad I did as I have a 42 mile each way 1 hour drive here in the DC area. This summer I was getting 42-44 MPG so work was 1 gallon each way. I have 93k miles on it and the only mechanical issues ever were:

    1. Speedometer stopped working.
    2. Head lights went out.
    3. Rear tail light went out (cost 500 bucks).

    That's it. What is weird is that I just got inspected and my brakes are still green. I have never replaced brake pads. I wonder if they used something special but I remember owning a Mercedes and replacing pads every 35k miles but then again that was the Ex driving it. LOL

    So if things improve in my situation I would love to own the MKZ Hybrid.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    I had my 06 Fusion for 60K miles and still had the original brake pads. I tried to get the shop to replace them but they said it wasn't necessary. And that's with virtually no highway driving. No reason a hybrid wouldn't see 100K or more on the original pads.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    MKZ did not even reach 3K sales in October, a really good month for most brands. Nonetheless, because Oct 2012 was so bad for Lincoln (5K sales total), Lincoln posted a strong gain this October. All models showed at least a alight increase, except for MKT (that poor dumpy whale of a thing).

    So, maybe Lincoln's market share decline is over and it can build up from this point. The only way, however, will be to get new models on the street. The new MKZ is doing all it can but that doesn't amount to any more than the previous MKZ did in its best years.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,666
    Average transaction price for MKZ is a whopping 63% higher than last year. I think they're quite happy with 3K per month at those prices with very few incentives. That's close to $20K more revenue per vehicle or an additional $60 million in revenue each month.
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