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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ

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Comments

  • scootertrashscootertrash Posts: 698
    Reading, and trying to comprehend the last two posts has reminded me how lame the Alphabet Soup naming stragegy is going to be.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669
    For once I'd have to agree with you. They sound ok by themselves but when you put them all together and say MKZ, MKX, MKS then they quickly start to run together.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 412
    I also had to flip back and forward to make sure I got them right but if you just think:

    S = Sedan
    X = CrossOver

    and Z = Well, no ideal, oh yeah Zephyr! :)
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    They've had this car (MKS) out in cyberspace for quite a while now. Still, it won't appear for another year and a half. It certainly isn't godawful, but there is nothing Lincoln-esque about it. This company deserved better, but the present management team is getting their just desserts.

    Bill Ford has had several years to turn this thing around, but even with the Fusion, Mustang and F150 successes, they cannot figure out what to do as a company. It is so sad. (And the ton of money wasted on weird commercials...the weirdest being Mr. Ford himself droning on.)

    Ford has messed up royally before, one time being in the 70's and early 80's. They emerged from that with bold new designs: the 83 Thunderbird, the 86 Taurus/Sable, the Continentals of that decade, the Ranger, even the Escort and the Tempo (though a mediocre ride, it had bold styling for the time when everything else in that category was squared off). They built market share quickly.

    But instead of updating their bread and butter car (Taurus) as Toyota did with Camry, they bought Jaguar, delayed a total revamp for 10 years and then issued that weird guppy of a Taurus that was actually a much bigger car that looked significantly smaller than the previous one. It was the product of a team of dolts, and the 2000 re-do was much too little too late. So then the pendulum wildly swung from weird to almost unspeakably boring (500).

    There are people in that company who know what appeals. The 427 concept was widely praised. It could have easily been on the road in 2005. The Forty-Nine concept with some modifications would have been a far more successful 2002 T-Bird, because it had a back seat. The Continental concept was polarizing, and that love it or hate it quality would have insured its success in today's marketplace. The new European Focus would have done well here, just as the Mazda3 and Volvo S40 have. The Mondeo would have made a better Mercury than a Jaguar.

    I've been in focus groups and I found the experience strange and not reflective of real life. People have a natural tendency to be conservative, but when led to new and different products by a creative designer, often over time begin seeing the thing differently and more favorably. Focus groups do not give that transition a chance.

    Somehow I doubt the 86 Taurus or the 64 Mustang or the 57 T-bird or the Ford GT designs were fully dictated by focus group results. I also think it is possible the 500 was a focus group victim.

    Wow, did I deviate from the MKZ or what? It's an OK design and some people even think it is pretty. But I've never seen a non-car oriented person stare at one. Usually a person only takes note of how nice it is by getting a ride in an acquaintance's. And, sorry to say, the exterior does not look like a Lincoln.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    It's the trend now that all luxury vehicles carry names with letters and numbers, not actual words. (325xi, 325i, STS, CTS, RX350, IS350, MDX, RDX, RL, TL, S550, E320)

    Looks like one big luxurious bowl of alphabet soup.
  • scootertrashscootertrash Posts: 698
    "It's the trend now that all luxury vehicles carry names with letters and numbers, not actual words. (325xi, 325i, STS, CTS, RX350, IS350, MDX, RDX, RL, TL, S550, E320) "

    Notice the differentiating digit or letter for each model class is the FIRST one?
    3-series, E-class, RXxxx, S-XXX
    What makes the Lincoln version so ridiculous is that they are all MK-whatever. Then you need to get out the decoder ring and decipher what the suffix is supposed to mean.

    It's absurd and clearly an omen of Lincolns terminal status. It's clearly stupid and I suspect that everyone at Ford is so scared that they just say "the focus group liked it" and they all pat each other on the backs for achieving mediocrity.
  • Ford acts to rev up stalled turnaround

    Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

    Advertisement


    GET FREE HEADLINES BY E-MAIL

    Ford Motor Co.

    Ford's generous warranty could boost sales and lift resale values, some analysts say. See full image
    Warranties at a glance
    While some warranties may vary within a company, here's a quick look at what warranties automakers are offering.
    DaimlerChrysler AG
    Drivetrain: 3 years/36,000 miles
    Basic: 3 years/36,000 miles
    Roadside service: 3 years/36,000 miles
    Ford Motor Co.
    Drivetrain: From 5 years/60,000 miles to 6 years/70,000 miles
    Basic: 3 years/36,000 miles to 4 years/50,000 miles
    Roadside service: Up to 6 years/70,000 miles
    General Motors Corp.
    Drivetrain: From 3 years/36,000 miles to 5 years/60,000 miles
    Basic: 3 years/36,000 miles to 4 years/50,000 miles
    Roadside service: Up to 4 years/50,000 miles
    Honda Motor Co.
    Drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles
    Basic: 3 years/36,000 miles
    Roadside service: Not offered
    Nissan Motor Co.
    Drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles
    Basic: 3 years/36,000 miles
    Roadside service: 3 years/36,000 miles
    Toyota Motor Corp.
    Drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles
    Basic: 3 years/36,000 miles
    Roadside service: Not offered
    Source: Edmunds.com

    Ford is increasing the warranty on all of its 2007 Ford and Mercury vehicles to five years or 60,000 miles. In addition, Ford will offer free roadside assistance for the entire warranty period. How important are these benefits when you're shopping for a car?
    Click here to vote


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    Ford Motor Co., struggling to gain traction with its North American turnaround effort, announced a series of moves Thursday aimed at cutting costs and boosting sales.

    Ford's Board of Directors voted to cut the company's quarterly dividend in half, from 10 cents to 5 cents a share, beginning in the third quarter. The dividend is now at its lowest point since Ford eliminated payments altogether in 1982 and mirrors a 50 percent dividend reduction at General Motors Corp. in February.

    Ford's directors also cut their own $200,000-a-year compensation by half. Chairman and CEO Bill Ford Jr. said the moves were necessary to maintain strong liquidity.

    Also Thursday, Ford announced that it is extending the standard powertrain warranty on all Ford and Mercury vehicles from three years or 36,000 miles to five years or 60,000 miles. Lincoln's four-year or 50,000-mile standard powertrain warranty is being extended to six years or 70,000 miles. In addition, Ford said it will offer free roadside assistance for the entire warranty period and allow customers to transfer their warranties if they sell their car or truck before the warranty expires.

    That makes Ford's warranty package the most generous of any full-line automaker -- a fact it hopes will bring more customers into Ford dealerships, which have seen retail sales drop 9 percent so far this year.

    "The headwinds we faced at the beginning of 2006 have only become stronger, as consistently higher gasoline prices in the U.S. have caused consumer purchase preferences to shift away from SUVs and large trucks to smaller cars and crossover vehicles," Bill Ford said in a statement issued after Thursday's board meeting. "While this shift plays positively to our new vehicle offerings, we must still get our costs in line in response to segment adjustments and higher commodity prices that are affecting the company."

    But Wall Street said the decision to cut dividends signals bad news ahead as Ford prepares to release its second-quarter financial results next week.

    "This certainly suggests that second-quarter earnings are going to be uglier than expected," said Bradley Rubin, vice president of credit research at BNP Paribas in New York. "People are finally realizing at Ford that this turnaround is a little more difficult than they anticipated."

    Ford shares closed down 32 cents Thursday to $6.56, a 4.6 percent decline.

    "The dividend cut telegraphs the board's mounting concern about the company's performance," said John Casesa of New York's Casesa Shapiro Group LLC. "It's a very pessimistic signal."

    The dividend cut is expected to save Ford about $375 million annually.

    "Strong liquidity is an important enabler of our ongoing turnaround efforts and this action will make an important contribution," Bill Ford said.

    But credit analysts said the move will not change the company's balance sheet enough to boost Ford's weak credit ratings, which have already fallen into junk-bond territory.

    "The cash savings are relatively marginal," said Robert Schulz, who follows the company for Standard & Poor's in New York.

    Craig Hutson, an analyst with Gimme Credit, said he expects Ford's ratings to sink even deeper.

    "It is a sign that the company is acting to shore up its liquidity amid greater headwinds in the industry than it originally anticipated," he said. "A dividend cut is never good news."

    But Ford's decision to extend warranties may be good news, at least for consumers.

    The five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty being offered on Ford and Mercury cars and trucks is substantially better than the three-year or 36,000-mile warranty offered on all of DaimlerChrysler AG's domestic nameplates and most of General Motors Corp.'s brands. More importantly, it matches the warranties offered by Ford's leading Japanese rivals: Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., neither of which includes roadside assistance as part of their standard packages.

    "Ford is setting its own path," said Cisco Codina, head of North American marketing, sales and service for Ford. "All of this is part of our strategy to become America's car company."

    The new warranties, which are effective today, will be applied retroactively to customers who have already purchased 2007 cars and trucks. Moreover, the company said it will offer extended warranties to customers who buy 2006 models. The new warranties apply to all Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles, except for those like Ford's diesel pickups and hybrid SUVs that already featured more attractive terms.

    "It definitely gives consumers another reason to look at Ford," said Mike Jackson, an analyst with CSM Worldwide in Farmington Hills.

    Boosting warranties addresses one of Ford's biggest product problems -- the resale value of its vehicles. However, the move could increase the company's warranty costs substantially.

    Ford's second quarter warranty data shows that 2006 model year per-unit warranty costs are 24 percent less than those for 2005 model vehicles.

    "I'm glad that we're leading instead of following," said Kenny Shreve, owner of Kenny Shreve Ford Mercury in McLeansboro, Ill.

    "I feel better about Ford today than I have in years."
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    One figure this article fails to mention is:

    24,000

    That's the number of American workers Ford is getting rid of in the next couple of weeks.
  • rj123456rj123456 Posts: 128
    I'm doing 25% hwy 75 city mostly short runs of 3-5 miles and the daytime temperatures have been in the 90s, but I'm still quite appalled that the mileage is stuck right at 16 mpg.

    Are the EPA estimates that badly skewed by airconditioning and traffic lights?
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    0

    That's the relevance that has to this topic. The company has to do something. Would you rather they keep workers and go out of business? GM got rid of more workers and Wall Street rwarded the company with an increase in stock price so what is Ford to do. If anything they are doing to little and should try to be even more efficient and bring out even better products. Lincoln should have been given this platform and allowed to do whatever they wanted with it and create a car where not even the roofline is the same, a more sweeping design if you will. This car should have been what the concept was period. With GM bringing out such great examples such as the new Arcadia, Enclave, Outlook triplets and all the good stuff going on over at Cadillac, Ford better buy a clue and do what everybody knows they should. Sell Jaguar and put the money into Lincoln. Jag hasn't turned a profit since they bought it. Lincoln on the other hand turned a decent profit all the way until recently.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669
    If you have less than 5K miles the engine isn't broken in yet. Mileage will improve after 5K miles. But yes - stop-n-go traffic and idling will KILL your mpg as will the hot weather.

    Have you reset the mpg calculator lately?
  • Its a sad situation its true. Its also sad that the MKZ is not made in the US. The fact is, that if ford survives, there is a chance they will bring jobs back here when the UAW and the US govt. descide we need to have a manufacturing base again. Untill then the 24K workers point is moot. They will leave rich anywhay.

    I just hope our policies change so that American cars can be made by Americans again.

    With Fords excellent new products coming out, and out already, and these new warrentees especialy on Lincolns, it should attract people who were previously on the fence.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    That is correct... IF the policies change. IF healthcare is addressed, and incentives for manufacturing jobs to headquarter and produce here in the U.S., then we would be singing a different tune...

    Till then, you gotta do, what you gotta do, to stay alive.

    I've said it before...when people want to buy a vehicle, they research everything and anything pertaining to it...same with a TV, or other electronics...When it comes to policies that affect them personally and their future, they are highly uneducated over them.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 412
    I watched the Al Gore movie last night about Global Warming. I noticed that he really pushed the purchase of Hybirds. Seems to me if Ford was smart they would make Mercury their all hybird/alternative energy division. Make Mercury different like GM did with Saturn.

    I was also distrubed when the movie showed the average Chinese car getting over 30 mpg. I cannot confirm these numbers but if true then we really are behind the cueball as we cannot sell the Chinese cars because of our poor MPG's.

    Hmm, maybe instead of a new MKZ I will get a Hybrid! :blush:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669
    The Ford only dealers would never go for Mercury getting all the hybrids/alternative fuel vehicles. And the dealer network has a huge influence on product decisions.

    Those 30 mpg Chinese cars are probably tiny and don't meet U.S. crash standards or emissions standards. And even if it did meet the standards it wouldn't sell very well unless gas goes up another $1-$2/gallon. Until then we just don't want to sacrifice room and comfort.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    What you say is true with many people. However, the buzz I hear on the Smart car, for example, is fascinating. I think they will have a waiting list when the thing is introduced in early 2008. Will Ford have anything sub-Focus by then? I doubt it.

    The management decisions still suck. Reneging on the promise to improve truck mileage by 25% was based on the projected cost and resource allocation needed, I'm sure. The lack of foresight on that will cost them more than they "saved." It is often like that with Ford in the past 10 years. And the irony is they are so afraid of doing something wrong that they move at a snail's pace compared to other companies in bringing new products to market---and then only to find their caution did not produced the expected hit.

    The MKZ is such a conservative effort that, even though it is competitive, it is not even as cutting edge (and I use that term loosely) as the LS was in 2000, nor is it able to generate even LS level of sales for many reasons. Meanwhile, Cadillac is cooking with an integrated line-up. Lincoln will soon have the MKX, but that class is crowded with excellent new entries too. I don't know, but it doesn't look good.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 412
    Yeah you are right about having one division having all the fuel efficient cars. Not sure what that would say about the other divisions. I guess that at least to me that Mercury has too much duplication. I saw a Fusion yesterday and it really looked nice. Now not as nice as my Zephyr but it was close. I was thinking why would I look at the Milian at that point it would be either a Fusion or step up to a Zephyr. Not sure if I have the time or energy to explore a middle option.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669
    Mercury exists mainly to give the Lincoln/Mercury dealers enough products to sell. It does allow Ford to offer slightly different styling and to market to 2 different demographics with basically the same car.

    While the Zephyr isn't breaking sales records, it is selling well and making money even at low production volumes - which is more than could be said for the LS. And as they add AWD and a bigger engine and increase production capacity I think it can sell 50K (profitable) units per year. A slow rampup is better than an initial frenzy followed by a big dropoff.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    At several times in Mercury history, its cars were more than just "slightly different styling" of a Ford. Mercury has also seen periods of sales in the 400,000 to 700,000 range. Yes, the market is a different place now, but clearly Ford has also set its sights too low for Mercury. Hence we see the result: touting recent sales increases from the absolute bottom of the barrel, with nothing for mercury exclusively and no new models planned.

    Again, I am not saying Zephyr is not a success. However, 50,000 sales are only a hope at present, and even if Lincoln was lucky enough to achieve this (without heavy incentives), they need several other lines to make good sales as well.

    What they will have though is a very unintegrated line-up without the "brand look" that Audi, Cadillac, BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, Pontiac, etc. can seem to impart even when dealing with a modle mix including sedans, 2 seaters, SUVs, trucks.I know Ford can do better than this, because they have.

    Present management cannot seem to stick with any plan, produce any plan in a reasonable time frame, or if changing course, doing so in a timely or dramatic way that is clearly more than lip service. Don't they look at what Toyota, Cadillac, Honda, are doing? How about VW's turnaround and spate of planned models? It will be interesting to see if Ford brings Failane to market with the attributes that made it such a successful concept, and whether this time they will give the Lincoln version its own body panels, look and presence.

    They would be looking good right now if they had brought the AWD NaviCross to market. With styling that sells now (a la Chrysler 300) yet with Lincoln look and heritage, giving those who want to move back to a sedan from an SUV a unique choice. Oh well.
  • caliddcalidd Posts: 60
    With 0% financing and 6 yr. warranty on the Zephyr, I'm thinking of jumping on a Zephyr. But i was hoping to wait on the '07 MKZ to get the bigger engine. Anyone know if 0% financing will extend to the '07 MKZ?

    Also, anything else going to be different about the Zephyr besides the AWD option, grill and horizontal front chrome changes? For example, can we expect any other refinenements in the '07 MKZ?
  • What they will have though is a very unintegrated line-up without the "brand look" that Audi, Cadillac, BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, Pontiac, etc. can seem to impart even when dealing with a modle mix including sedans, 2 seaters, SUVs, trucks.I know Ford can do better than this, because they have.

    Too true. Somewhere in these threads someone mentioned Lincoln's intent with the alphabet soup designation is to get people to say "Lincoln XYZ" or "Lincoln ABC" instead of just saying "Town Car" or "Continental" so as to emphasize the "Lincoln" awareness. They could go a long way to that if they could find and stay with a brand look. Now, however, cars will see a waterfall grill while their trucks will see an egg crate grill. One or the other, please.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    The current automatic transmission, from a Toyota affiliate, will no longer be used. Rather, a GM/Ford Joint Venture Six Speed will be. . .
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669
    In addition to the drivetrain and cosmetic changes you'll get an external audio port and a sportier suspension. I think the wheels are also different but you'd have to look close to notice.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 412
    Here is the article about the new interior but I cannot say for certain what they are going to be tweaking.

    http://media.ford.com/newsroom/feature_display.cfm?release=23389
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "They sound ok by themselves but when you put them all together and say MKZ, MKX, MKS then they quickly start to run together."

    I completely agree - and feel the same about Cadillac. Too hard to learn the code.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Agreed. But at least Cadillac has some rhyme or reason to it: CTS, DTS, STS which mimics in a way Mercedes' C Class, E Class, and S Class (proceeding up the scale in cost, if not necessarily in size).

    The Mercedes C Class actually used to be a "C" class automobile, although it is bigger than that now. Cadillac names its trucks, and give a different letter scheme for its current and pproposed crossovers. The roadster also gets its own. I still prefer names, but I can live with it.

    Lincoln on the other hand calls their smallest car a Z, their soon-to-be-largest sedan an S, the crossover an X (which falls between S and Z), and then spells out MK as Mark for the truck. They seem poised like Cadillac to keep names for their full-size SUVs. It will be interesting to see what they call the Fairlane clone they should be getting in a year or so.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 412
    I do not like the new naming schemes. I prefer a car to have its own name/personality.
  • scootertrashscootertrash Posts: 698
    Maybe they can have a tie-in with McDonalds and call it the MKVAN
  • bigtbigt Posts: 412
    Any ideal when this would be an option?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    MK-Van.... Oh my, Scooter, you just hit on something that had eluded even my superior intelligence - the Mc factor in their scheme! This is worse than the Ford Detour (Contour) and the Mercury Mistake (Mystique).......

    The McLT, the McS, McZ, McZ.....and yes, it all makes no friggen sense. Volvo has C for coupe, S for Sedan, V for Wagons, XC for the SUV, that one I don't exactly get. I disagree that Cadillac has a lot of continuity in their alpha-names, but Lincolns porport to be the worst.
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