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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ

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Comments

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    It's as quick as my 2000 3.9L LS V8.
  • I believe that if they decide to produce the Fairlane, and it doesn't show any glitches, it will be a huge hit for Ford.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    ANT14 - Yes, work on buildings or yards is a nice mental change of pace from business work. These car discussions also serve that function for me. Plus, I really do want Ford to suceed, since they are so close to having a wonderful product lineup, and since they have such a long and good history.

    Updating the Zephyr to the MKZ seems to be strong evidence that Ford has decided to to move much faster and much more aggressively than in the past.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Well definately "Launch and forget" won't be occuring with vehicles anymore. That was Fords biggest mistake in the past.
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    This one item would be the biggest single change Ford can make. How many "best in class" vehicles have been allowed to whither on the vine? Lincoln LS, Ford Ranger, Sport Trak are just a few recent examples. Taurus could have been improved after the disasterous oval fiasco, and the name could have been used instead of one of the new names. Even the Town Car lost it's place due to lack of interest from Ford.

    If they really do this, and use the internet/customer relationship to their advantage, then they have a chance. I can't begin to tell you how much difference it made to have an advocate (J. Rogers), at LIncoln, while I had repeated early release and dealer issues. Rather than being remembered as the "worst" car I ever had, I think of it as my favorite.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    I think some of the geniuses at Ford became convinced that they could keep using the same body shell over and over (with front, rear and interior modifications) because they were successful in doing so with their best seller, the F150, for something like 17 years (before they totally redesigned it in 1997).

    Unfortunately, now that they know this may not be the best move anymore, they still have a "new" 2006 Explorer using the 2002 body shell, a 2007 Navigator (and Expedition) using the 1998 body shell, and even the "all new" 2007 Sport Trac is still using the 2000 doors, roof, windows, etc. It will take several more years for them to work this stupid policy out of their vehicle fleet.
  • And don't forget the 1982 Ford Ranger they are still selling; well, trying to sell.

    I think it just demonstrates their fundamental contempt for the consumer. "Aw, just throw a new grille on it and they won't know the difference"
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    You're missing an important concept. The small pickup market is shrinking. So it doesn't make sense from a business standpoint to make a huge investment to update a vehicle that's in a shrinking market segment. It's smarter to spend the money to develop new vehicles like the Edge and enter new markets like the Fusion/Milan/Zephyr and 500/Montego/Freestyle.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    That is a point. But there is another point. Rangers were still selling very well in 1998, when Ford last did a major update to it. If they had also updated the conservative, long-in-the-tooth body shell in 1998 (along with the good changes they did underneath), they would not now be trying to sell such a pteradactyl when Chevy, GM, Dodge, Toyota and Nissan all have since updated their small pickups. As it was then, most people could not tell a 1997 from a 1998. Now they have equal difficulty sorting a 2006 from a 1998. It did not have to be this way, even given the shrinking compact pickup market.

    I do hope Lincoln has a plan for the 2010 MKZ that includes a new body shell. The present Zephyr and MKZ are EXACTLY the same car (recent hype notwithstanding), except for two thin strips of chrome added to the front brightwork and (of course) the 3.5 liter. Thus, the 2006 Zephyr is in reality also the 2006 MKZ. By 2010, it will have put in its time, in its present guise. Does Lincoln really know that? Do they really get it? I certainly hope so, because by then I will be in the market again, and I would love to buy a Lincoln this size that could stand against any of its competition.
  • poodog13poodog13 Posts: 320
    Went to the 2006 Pgh Auto Show this weekend. I went in with the thought that my next vehicle would be either a Mercury Milan or Acura TL, entirely depending on budget (obviously these cars don't compete directly).

    I hadn't given much thought to a Zephyr because I don't generally like to pay more for same vehicle plus nicer interior. By the same logic, I'd almost never consider Audi or Lexus versions of entry class counterparts.

    I have to say though, Lincoln won me over on this one. They did a great job putting the Zephyr together in fit and finish, and the six speed auto-tranny is a big bonus. I'm now considering the Zephyr as a solid option compared to the Acura TL, while I don't expect the Zephyr to perform the same, they represent very different but very interesting alternatives at around the same price point.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I don't believe that's all true, gregg..... For sure, the Navigator isn't using the 98 skin, even on the 03's and beyond. The 07 will be a different size - so no chance even.
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    "new" 2006 Explorer using the 2002 body shell, a 2007 Navigator (and Expedition) using the 1998 body shell, and even the "all new" 2007 Sport Trac is still using the 2000 doors, roof, windows, etc.

    How about the "New" Camry still being based on the older platform. How about the "New" Highlander being based on the same. How about the "New" RX being based on that same old platform as well. How about the "New" ES350 based on that same platform.

    How about the "new" Accord not having a completely new chasis either. The "New" Ridgeline, the "New" Odyssey, the "New" Pilot as well.

    It may seem like Ford and GM are the only ones that do it, but more or less they are the only ones that get caught. It is like people speeding in a big group and two people get pulled over.
  • "I don't believe that's all true, gregg..... For sure, the Navigator isn't using the 98 skin, even on the 03's and beyond. The 07 will be a different size - so no chance even."

    Sorry NV, they use the same body shell with a different front clip as a 1997 Expedition. The doors and all the glass are all interchangable.

    "You're missing an important concept. The small pickup market is shrinking. So it doesn't make sense from a business standpoint to make a huge investment to update a vehicle that's in a shrinking market segment"

    Maybe the market is shrinking for them because their product stinks? The american car companies tend to think the customer will be fooled by a new color, a new name or a revised grille. The Japanese companies improve their products every few years and always strive for excellence.

    Who's winning?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Yes, nvbanker and driverdm, my comments were not about "belief," or about using the same platform. You miss my point, which scootertrash makes better than I did.

    Nothing at all wrong with reengineering or updating or restyling the same platform. But you cannot, for example, take a door from any previous Camry generation and bolt it on the update. You can however take a 1998 front door from a Navigator and bolt it on to a 2007 and it will close into the space perfectly. Same with a 1993 Ranger door into a 2006. Same with a 1991 Explorer into a 2001. (The 2002 Explorer actually changed the body shell--but the 2002 again will fit into the 2007 opening).

    Heavily revising or changing the front clips or tailgates is not at all like the change GM has done with every generation of their big utes, or what Toyota has done with their model changes. Modifying the cowl, windshield and side glass is pricey, but most companies do it for the integrity of the design, if nothing else.

    "Fixing" the 1996 ovoid (weird) Taurus by modifying the rear roofline, trunk and front clip was a definite improvement, but it was still stuck with the cowl, side glass and side sheet metal of the ovoid monster, so at least from some angles, it still didn't look all of a piece.

    Still, the fact that the two of you insist you do not see the same body shell where it still is may mean Ford is on to something...
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    The MARKET is shrinking - period. More people are buying other types of vehicles. Heavy investment might increase the percentage of Ranger sales but the actual number of units sold would probably continue to decrease.

    It's simply a matter of business priorities.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Maybe you and the other 3 people in the entire country who care whether the doors are the same should just buy a Chevy and be done with it.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Meow.

    I don't care for Chevys.

    In the recent past, Ford brass have admitted that styling changes have been too conservative--and that similar changes in the pipeline would unfortunately continue to be so (such as the 2006 Explorer and 2007 Navigator/Expedition). Explorer sales have not received the expected bump. On the other hand, the 2007 big GM utes are doing better than forecast. Maybe I am wrong (it has happened more times than I even know!), but I cannot help but think that a product that looks truly fresh has a better chance of picking up sales.

    This body shell recycling had as much to do with decimating Freestar?Windstar sales, for example, as the shrinking minivan market itself. Still, Ford must make the best of it and I'm sure they will.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    In another thread I admitted to driving a Honda Accord Hybrid yesterday. Going to keep the LS though.

    Posting here because it was a Chevy-Honda dealer and while there I looked at a few Chevys, including the new Tahoe. I owned a '97 Tahoe for 3 years. The only GM vehicle I've ever owned. It was a fine, reliable vehicle with a powerful engine. But the interior kinda sucked. And it had more body roll than a bowling ball. Well, they finally have the interior handled. The new ones have an excellent interior. Not quite a Navigator, but heads above previous Tahoes. The exterior is better too, in a more evolutionary way. Sticker was $48K for fairly well loaded one. A bit of an 'ouch' there.

    It was interesting to walk around this dealership and compare the Chevys to the Hondas. The Chevs seem to have quite a price advantage now. Can get a Malibu for about the same as a Civic. An Equinox for $8000 less than a Pilot and an Avalanche for about the same as a Ridgeline (ugh).

    That little HHR is a nice alternative to the PT Cruiser too. OK, nuff Chevy talk.
  • Picked up my Zephyr on 2/18. So far, I have a favorable opinion about it except for one thing - the noise coming from the blower fan. It's unbelievably loud and it never shuts up! When you first turn on the auto temp, it's so loud you can barely have a conversation. Even at 65 mph on I-95 with the radio on you can still hear it whooshing away. After about 25 minutes, the fan goes from #6 or 7 speed to #2 but, no lower and you can still hear it. My old Maxima's fan never shut off either. It would eventually go to #1 speed but, you could no longer hear it at #2. Knowing that this will be a year round thing since the fan also runs the A/C, this is quite disturbing. I find this inexcusable in a $33,000 car. Last night I found myself searching the internet for info on the new Lexus ES350 and I haven't even had the Zephyr for a week! I'm in my car 2 hrs a day (long commute) so this noise is very annoying. Any suggestions and/or similar problem?
  • The out-of-touch arrogance of "You and the other 3 people who care if the doors are interchangeable" is why the American car companies are dying from their self inflicted wounds.

    The Explorer, Ford's Golden Child, has laid an egg in the market. Despite it's many upgrades, it didn't fool anyone because it looks just like the old one with a new grille.

    The Ranger, which is mostly from 1982 and partially from 1993 is nearly dead, except for the Phone company fleet, because no one cares to buy a new 20 year old truck. Despite it's many upgrades, it didn't fool anyone because it looks just like the old one with a new grille.

    The Navigator, the original and one time undisputed king of luxury SUV's is largely ignored. Despite it's many upgrades, it didn't fool anyone because it looks just like the old one with a new grille.

    Ford is surrendering the minivan market. The Windstar is one of the biggest flops in memory. Despite it's many upgrades and a fancy new name, it didn't fool anyone because it looks just like the old one with a new grille.

    The Focus is basically exactly the same as the one introduced in late 1999. There is an all new, vastly improved Focus sold in the rest of the world, but Ford thinks Americans don't notice and don't deserve the better one, and they wonder why their "market is shrieking"

    Crown Victoria/Lincoln Town car. Is Jimmy Carter still president?

    Here's the 1999 LS. We'll produce it unchanged for 7 years and then act surprised when sales fall off.

    They did introduce the 500 and Freestlye, but designed these vehicles to be so bland that they already look like 10 year old designs.

    Can you name a Honda/Toyota/Nissan that gets pumped out for 10-15 years? No.

    The Japanese focus on making a fresh, excellent product, and know the sales will follow, and they do.

    Ford emphasizes a new grille design and thinks Americans will be fooled.

    Check their slice of the pie. It didn't work.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    It might be more cost effective to take it to the dealer and have him fix the fan noise. If they give you the usual "they're all like that" excuse, try a few on the lot. If they are all like that then maybe it's time for a Lexus. But test the fan on the ES too.
  • The blower fan in my Zephyr is considerably lower at the lower speeds so take it in to get it checked.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    You are SO out of touch with the normal car buying public.

    Park an Explorer and Mountaineer next to each other and 95 out of 100 people won't know they have anything in common.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    That you are wrong about. Park them next to each other and almost anyone will see they are the same vehicle. Give people some credit! You are right that if you show them to some people separately, they might think they are not related, because lots of people are not very "car oriented." But when it is right in front of their faces??

    If your attitude represents what decision-makers within Ford still think, even given the over one million vehicles in sales that Ford is down in the past few years (more than GM and Chrysler combined), I wouldn't bet that anything will turn around there soon.

    AK, you are very knowledgeable and have cleared up several of my own questions with your insightful answers. But on this you wear blinders. I truly hope Ford has taken them off. No other company does this sort of "redesign" any more. Mid-cycle updates, yes. But Ford has hoped they could get by without the expensive overall sheet metal redesigns, by doing new front clips and/or rear changes every three to five years. They are still losing market share as I write this.

    I think it is high time to abandon the idea that hardly anyone can see the resemblance between an Explorer and a Mountaineer.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    No, you're giving way too MUCH credit to the AVERAGE CAR BUYER. Enthusiasts like us are a very tiny percentage of potential car buyers. The average car buyer doesn't read car magazines or visit forums like this. People look at the exterior and interior styling and they see different vehicles. They don't look at them and say "oh darn, they used the same doors on both of them". Ask any car salesman who deals with the average buyer every day.
  • I'll be taking the Zephyr in to have the climate control/fan checked. I think I definitely have some problems. This morning driving to work, I set the temp at 74 and 50 minutes later the fan speed had only dropped from 7 to 5 (with accompanying noise)! Even dropping the temp didn't change the fan speed. That's not right. Within 10 minutes my Maximum would drop to #1 speed.
    But here is something my fellow Zeph owners can easily help me with:
    1. Seat warmer. When I set it to low, within 3 minutes I can fry bacon on the seat. It gets unbelievably hot and I have to turn it off. With other cars I've owned with seat warmers, on low, the seat would stay nice and comfortable seemingly forever. Is this normal in the Zeph?
    2. Fan display icon when in auto. Sometimes I get it, sometimes not. I picked the car up on 2/18 and didn't see the fan speed icon until the morning of 2/22. After being in the car about 25 minutes, out of the blue, it popped up over the driver temp setting and was visible throughout the most of the day. That evening, I went out, set the auto temp, and no icon. Didn't reappear until this morning (2/24) after being in the car for about 20 minutes. Again, it just popped up with a certain number of hash marks for fan speed. What's going on? How does yours work? When auto was set on my Maxima, the fan speed was always visible.
  • poodog13poodog13 Posts: 320
    Park an Explorer and Mountaineer next to each other and 95 out of 100 people won't know they have anything in common.

    That's an absurd statement.
  • You are SO out of touch with the normal car buying public.
    Park an Explorer and Mountaineer next to each other and 95 out of 100 people won't know they have anything in common.


    With that aloof attitude, You just explained what happened to Ford's market share.

    Guess what?
    People are smarter than you think.

    Ford and GM pump out obsolete garbage with shiny new grilles, and the Japanese make excellent products that they keep improving, over and over even if they are selling 400k units per year.

    Who's winning?

    Maybe the public won't say "Those cars use 10 year old doors" or "that $70k Navigator uses a 1997 Expedition greenhouse"

    But they are smart enough to know quality and good design when they see it.

    I pray the people who are trying to turn Ford around have less contempt for the car buying public than you do.
  • "You are SO out of touch with the normal car buying public.
    Park an Explorer and Mountaineer next to each other and 95 out of 100 people won't know they have anything in common."


    Lincoln Aviator

    Can you name any other "Luxury" SUV's that flopped so badly?

    I guess people couldn't find a reason to buy a $45k Explorer.

    Aren't you the guy who was talking smack to me when I criticized the Zephyr name? If I recall, you said Ford was brilliant for calling their car that lovely name.

    I can't think of any vehicle that was ever renamed 6 months after introduction. Can you?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Park an Explorer and Mountaineer next to each other and 95 out of 100 people won't know they have anything in common.

    That's an absurd statement.


    Go to a mall, pick 50 men and 50 women at random and show them both vehicles side by side and see how many even mention that they look alike. It won't be very many.

    Obviously you disagree and we're not going to test it so let's just drop it.
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