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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ

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  • bigtbigt Posts: 412
    edited November 2013
    Ok you non-believers:

    1. 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

    When it comes to luxury cars, Lincoln is a name that stands out as one of the best. With their MZK Hybrid, they are continuing that tradition. A mid-size sedan, the MZK Hybrid is a car that the company put a lot of effort into to get people back into driving a Lincoln. The car has an MSRP of close to $36,000, making it relatively affordable, but packs all the usual Lincoln features and luxurious that people have grown accustomed to. Throw in the fact that it’s a hybrid and you have a fantastic car. It will get you 45 mpg, which is a lot more than you may remember as a kid riding around with your parents in their Lincoln.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Ok, it is MKZ, and yes it is a decent car. However, the reviews more or less say you are getting nothing all that special that you do not get with the Fusion Hybrid. Same car underneath, same graphics, same drivetrain. One problem is that Lincoln charges like Cadillac and Audi, etc., while still producing cars that are more like the gilded Fords that Mercury used to be. We shall see if the MKC breaks that pattern when it goes on sale next summer.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    Yes, they're charging a premium but up until a couple of months ago they were still production constrained (and constrained on hybrid production in general), so there was no reason to drop prices. Did you see that MKZ prices increased 63% from the old model? And they're still selling 3K per month at those higher prices with more than half being hybrids. Considering that Hermosillo was running at full capacity the last year, why would Ford want to lower prices?

    I expect a lot of the new MKC features (lighting, 2.3L engine, etc.) to make it to the MKZ with little or no price increase now that Flat Rock is offloading Fusion capacity.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Well of course you have a point about pricing. If Ford can sell 3,000 a month and be satisfied with that, fine. You predeicted 5,000 I believe, but that is beside the point.

    But meanwhile, reputation will be a factor in rebuilding Lincoln as a true luxury brand. Right now, we all know Lincoln sales are in the doldrums. Cadillac introduces the XTS (hardly a world class machine) and already they are selling 3.6 XTSs for every MKS sold.

    Perhaps Ford really doesn't care (we are making money here), but when the buzz is that Lincolns are over-priced and not engineered to the level of refinement of much of the competition, that hurts brand image, and that keeps sales low even when production is not contrained.

    BTW, I have seen some hefty incentives on Lincoln models locally (both leasing and buying), so those few sales are not as profitable as you might imagine.

    Realistic list prices is what I am talking about, so that when production is not contrained, big incentives will not be needed. GM just pulled this stunt with their new pickups: big price hike and then big rebate to get people to believe they are getting a bargain. In their case, it is working to some degree as sales have increased. (How gullible are people?)

    In this case the trucks are getting decent comparison reviews. Lincolns are not. There is not one Lincoln model that is at or anywhere near the top of its class. Here's hoping the MKC changes that. The 2.3 model looks good, is well equipped, and potentially could drive better than the 2.0 liter Audi. Now, if they could just move their new model intros up a bit...but that is not likely to happen.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    MKS is dismal and will remain so until the new one arrives. MKZ is ok for now but needs black label and new power trains. MKC looks to be very competitive and looks nothing at all like an Escape.

    I don't understand why MKZ selling 3K at higher ATPs with only $750 incentives is marginal when the so much better and newer ATS is selling less with $3K on the hood.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    First of all, I meant constrained, not contrained. Sometimes I am an idiot.

    Secondly, I don't think that 2909 sales (MKZ) v. 2782 sales (ATS) is statistically different, given changes month over month. But more importantly, these are not comparable cars and unlikely to be cross-shopped.

    Cadillac entered a new market with the ATS, a market that is already hot and saturated with the BMW 3 series, Mercedes C Class and Audi A4/S4 among others. Those shopping an MKZ would be more interested in a larger machine than the ATS, and the competition would more likely be Avalon, Azera, Cadenza, ES 350, Maxima, even the Volvo S80--although that is deader than the MKS!

    Thirdly, the ATS is NOT newer than the MKZ. The MKZ is newer than the ATS. Remember? The ATS came out in fall 2012. The MKZ did not arrive until calendar year 2013.

    Now, as for incentives, please note those on the 2014 MKZ, an extensive list. Only $750 in incentives is NOT accurate....sorry to report.
    http://www.automobilemag.com/am/99/2014/lincoln/mkz/base_sedan/341/rebates.html

    Next, note those on a 2014 ATS. No actual rebates...the incentives are on loans and leases (which MKZ also has).
    http://www.automobilemag.com/am/99/2014/cadillac/ats/25_1sb_sedan/3765/rebates.h- tml

    Finally, Cadillac has the Car of the Year 2014 CTS, which practically every reviewer has called better than the BMW 5 series and the E Class. It also has the aforementioned non-comparable ATS, also well received. Actually, Lincoln has nothing like either one. MKZ more or less straddles the two classes, sort of like the ES350 does (although the Lexus has significantly more interior room without a significantly bigger footprint). Plus Lexus has a 5 series competitor, although it is not doing well.

    So once again, you are a Ford/Mercury...oops LINCOLN fanboi (more so than me anyway, even though I still wish Lincoln would turn around despite their slow response that has done nothing to make that turnaround real) looking for evidence...that ignores other evidence. We all do that. We are human and that's what humans do.

    I suspect in sum that Cadillac is now making more money on their ATS and CTS sales than Lincoln is making on their MKZ sales. I could be wrong.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    You say fanboi, I say savvy business person who understands profit and loss and corporate business cases.

    Tell me again which company went bankrupt?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Old GM, I believe.

    The new one is coming back like gangbusters. Ford is still doing better thankfully, but like it or not, GM has a big jump on Ford with its luxury brand. Yep, they spent gobs of money doing it, but apparently proved their corporate business case.

    Lincoln has yet to prove any of their corporate business cases for the MKS, MKT, etc. You may be savvy, I'll give you that, but I cannot see your sour grapes regarding Lincoln's chief American rival.

    That new new new Lincoln team may have some tricks up their sleeves, but speed to market isn't one of them. They need to figure that out Why the MKC won't be here until late next summer is rather odd in such a competitive market.

    I know you don't like Cadillac, but geez, in the time Lincoln has taken to get the MKZ and MKC here, Cadillac has the ATS, the coming ATS coupe, the XTS, the new CTS, the new Escalade, and ELR. The CTS coupe will soon be updated, the SRX is being re-done soon, and another new crossover is coming. Meanwhile, Lincoln talks about 4 new models now. Two of them are the MKZ and MKC.

    Cadillac's pipeline is still not very full when compared to Audi, BMW and Mercedes, among others. Even struggling Volvo will be bringing more new models to market in the next 2 to 3 years than Lincoln plans to do.

    The corporate think at Ford has not allowed them to think outside the box about Lincoln. As a result, every new re-set of Lincoln Motor Company has not moved the needle in the right direction for th epast 12 years or more.

    The world has changed. When non-luxury cars offer quiet, refinement, all the bells and whistles that used to be exclusive to luxury machines, the leaders have had to up their game considerably. Lincoln is still thinking that finally producing vehicles that share no exterior panels or interior fittings and an exclusive engine or two is the answer. It is only part of the answer.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    What I don't like is Cadillac spending billions on new platforms (bespoke platforms until recently) trying to win magazine comparisons and making niche low volume vehicles and ignoring higher volume higher profit vehicles like regular hybrids and small crossovers.

    It's taken Cadillac at least 10 years to get where they are today and they've only got 4 competitive vehicles - two that were recently introduced. Yet you expect Lincoln to be there in less than 3 years? We've only seen a tiny glimpse of what Lincoln has in store. Just because they're doing it methodically doesn't make it wrong and this effort is nothing like any previous Lincoln revivals. But impatient people just can't seem to stand the wait. They'll get higher performance vehicles but they're not the priority right now because vehicles like the MKC pay the bills, not vehicles like the ELR and the CTS-V.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    edited November 2013
    Just what I thought you'd say.

    Lincoln has been trying to come back for at least 10 years as well. Yes, three years is too little to "come back," but Lincoln has had a lot longer than that. You act as if this latest team was their only comeback attempt, but you know that isn't true. I hope this time it works, but meanwhile you trash Cadillac for taking a course that has put them years ahead of Lincoln.

    I can go back many years on this site and find messages from you touting Lincoln's comeback attempts. For examplke, I remember when you said the MKT was the new Lincoln's first clean sheet vehicle.

    I remember when the MKS was merely a concept (with a different grill and sequential headlights). My immediate reaction a couple years before the darn thing was introduced was PLEASE don't. Please look at it. It is dull. It is not pretty. It will not succeed. If a dolt like me can see the writing on the wall, why oh why were people who couldn't see it being paid the big bucks to bring out such mediocre styling and dynamics?

    And then they follow it up with the MKT??? What on earth were they smoking? Had either of those cars had beautiful designs, Lincoln would be much further along today. It was wasted money, and you trash Cadillac for spending a lot of money and getting somewhere?

    Yes, Cadillac has five competitive vehicles in their respective categories (ATS, CTS, SRX, XTS, Escalade).

    I don't expect Lincoln to turn around in three years. I expect them to stop changing a bad course to another course every three years, and after 12 years getting nowhere.

    And I expect you to stop crowing about how Lincoln is not using incentives to sell cars when they are using more incentives to sell the 2014 MKZ than Cadillac is using to sell either the 2014 ATS or CTS.

    BTW, hybrids are neither high volume nor high profit vehicles yet. They will one day be so , but they are not yet. Lincoln has one small crossover, the MKX and it is not selling well. Cadillac has the SRX and it is selling well. Both brands have plans to expand those choices, the MKC being an example.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Allen, you said this back in 2006, speaking first of the coming MKS:

    "It's one model, folks - 50K units. In the meantime they're adding the 3.5L and AWD (not just FWD) to the Zeph...err...MKZ in addition to new interior and exterior styling and introducing a totally new vehicle in the MKX.

    Let's talk about timeframes from concept to production:

    Mustang - concept introduced at NAIAS in Jan. 2003, production version shown at NAIAS in Jan. 2004, production Sept. 2004.

    Ford GT - concept introduced at NAIAS in Jan. 2002, first production version June 2003, production April 2004.

    I'm not saying they don't need it now but 2 years is not totally out of line."
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Allen (from the MKS discussion):
    "If you define success as flash in the pan designs that are popular today and forgotten tomorrow, then yes they are successful. The [Chrysler] 300 will sell good at first then fall off as people tire of the in-your-face styling and they'll have to start over with something totally new. Meanwhile, the 500 will soldier on with steady sales for years to come with just a few tweaks. When they freshen up the front of the 500 and add the 3.5L V6 I bet it easily outsells the 300."
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    Hybrids are definitely profitable for Ford - they have been for several years. And the MKZ hybrid is in high demand and garnering a lot of conquest sales. And it won't be hard to add a plug-in hybrid.

    I've repeatedly listed all he things that make this turnaround effort different than past efforts. Mulally is the main difference, followed by a dedicated Lincoln staff of over 100 including Max Wolf and no other brands to be distracted by (Mercury, Jag, Aston-Martin or Land Rover). I don't know why you keep dismissing this since it's exactly what Cadillac did years ago. The fact that you keep bringing up the MKT and MKS tells me you don't get it.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Allen, in 2008 you predicted at least 40K yearly sales for the forthcoming MKT (you initially played with 100K, but didn't really ">mean it), saying at 40K and a shared platform, they could still make money.

    In 2010, Lincoln did manage to move 7400 of the suckers, but sales have been lower since.

    Now, Lincoln needs people like you...died in the wool supporters through thick and thin. I want you to start being right with your predictions. Let's do a review in another 2 years. :shades:
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Yep, I don't get it.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    I remember saying that about the Flex because that's what Ford said but not the MKT. But I'm not going back to check. If I said that I was delusional. The MKT and MKS did show that Lincoln had started to do unique sheetmetal and interiors rather than the rebadgine of the past.

    I agree we should just wait another year at least otherwise we'll just be rehashing the same thing over and over again.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    I'm sorry to report you did actually say it. You started off speculating that:
    "If you consider that 16M vehicles will be sold this year and 100K is a good sales target - that means you only have to convince 6.25 people out of every 1000 buyers. And it probably means you can sell at a premium instead of bargain basement."

    Confronted by heyjoe, you responded:
    "I just used 100,000 as a round number - I don't think Ford has released its sales target yet. 40,000 wouldn't surprise me - with a shared platform and normal pricing they can make money at that volume. And that means they only need to convince 2 or 3 people per 1000 buyers."

    Now, all of us occasionally say things we regret. I certainly have. Let's give the new team two more years to simply start being a real player in this premium category. I've put November, 2015 in my calendar. Let's do another review then. Every premium brand of course gets two more years of development as well.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    Yep - delusional.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    edited November 2013
    Haha, Allen.you are often grounded in reality more than most of us. But everything is a circle. Go too far in that reality direction, and the next marking on the dial is delusion.

    All of us here are speculating. Guessing. The group comes closest to reality when there are all points of views represented. This forum needs your input, because you represent those people who truly believe Lincoln can do it.

    I truly enjoy sparring with you. You also occasionally provide inside information that I do not yet have.so, back to our corners.

    I agree that the MKZ is relatively salvageable. Some styling tweaks could work wonders. You know I don't normally say this about any vehicle. The Ford 500 was not salvageable with styling tweaks and the market proved that.for the MKZ, some drivetrain improvements, and some interior engineering to carve out a bit more back seat room, like Chevy has done with the Malibu in one year's time, could help a lot.

    so why not do like Honda did with the Civic in one year or Chevy is doing with the Malibu in one year? Why wait for a mid cycle refresh for the MKZ?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    I don't think they're waiting for a mid cycle refresh, I think they're waiting for black label and the 2.3L EB to be available which should be this time next year for the 2015 model. Not sure they can make any big styling tweaks without major changes underneath like they did with the MKC.
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