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Lincoln MKS

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  • Lincoln is already a niche brand. It chooses not to compete with any other premium brand and that includes Cadillac. Ford admits that Lincoln is not a competitor against premium imports. That Lincoln is aimed at the domestic market and those that tend to purchase domestics. If Ford follows its present plans it will again be producing outdated cars if all it is going to do is to use its present platforms for the next 5 years. The Fusion is based on the Mazda 6 platform that has been discontinued. And will continued to be based on that platform. Ford has no plans to use the new platform. In fact Ford is going to use its present platforms with mild updates for at least 5 years. Meanwhile in all probability the Asian brands will return to profitability before the domestic makes allowing for the introduction of new platforms and tech thus leaving the domestics back where they started which is producing outdated cars with decreasing reliability which would equal less demand for domestic products.And continued financial problems for the domestics. S&P took this into account when it determined that in the future all three of the domestics would probably have to go into ch 11 regardless of bailouts. Ford and the rest is going to have to invest in using new tech, materials , metal alloys and methods to produce its vehicles. Especially if the vehicles that they produce are going to produce better fuel mileage without being the size of the Chevy Aveo. None can wait for the next five years to determine what the foreign competition has done and then play catch -up . They are going to have to plan better products for the near term. But they are all short of funds and can't afford to do that. If they could use the bailout money for that instead of having to use it to fulfill old agreements then it may be possible. Baring that, they all may be better off by going into chapter 11 and getting out of their obligations. Then use that money that is freed to really modernize their vehicle line-ups. As for Lincoln , Lincoln has to produce a world class rwd vehicle that employs many of the methods that I wrote about above in order to survive. Lincoln has to be more that a niche vehicle that is only available to the domestic market. It needs to establish an export market for it to be more than a domestic niche brand that is basically a Ford with a different body. It probably can't survive by just depending on the domestic market for sales. It needs to create vehicles that can compete with the foreign premium brands. In an export market the price of producing such a car could be better spread out over more sales in more markets. And if congress does its job and closes some of these loopholes, I doubt that the price of a barrel of oil will top 75 dollars.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    The Fusion is based on the Mazda 6 platform that has been discontinued. And will continued to be based on that platform. Ford has no plans to use the new platform. In fact Ford is going to use its present platforms with mild updates for at least 5 years.

    Ford chose to continue using the CD3 platforms for now because they are consolidating the domestic (fusion) and european (mondeo) CD vehicles onto a common platform - why change now only to change again in a few years? Besides, there is nothing wrong with the current platform - if anything the Mazda6 is just now catching up with where the Fusion has been for 3 years already.

    And in case you haven't been paying attention, the 2010 Fusion is blowing away the Camry and Accord in fuel economy - it's not even close. And that goes for both the hybrid and non-hybrid models. The 2010 Taurus is gorgeous and they're bringing over both the European focus and the Fiesta. They're moving the Explorer to a unibody platform for better ride and fuel economy.

    Ford is the focus right now (pun intended) and that's where all the money and resources are going. Mercury was simply put on hold and Lincoln is getting minimal funding. Ford is the priority - that's where the money is.

    Not to mention that Ford has not cancelled any future product development other than GRWD - they are still investing in new products and they're doing it without a government loan. They are also GAINING market share right now (including Lincoln) and will be in good shape by the end of this year.

    It take money and resources to make the kinds of changes you're asking for, and Ford has neither right now beyond what it's already working on. Anyone who understands running a business and budgets understands that you have to pick and choose and right now they're choosing to work on things that will keep the Ford brand profitable from here on out - and that has to take precedence.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    The Fusion is based on the Mazda 6 platform that has been discontinued. And will continued to be based on that platform. Ford has no plans to use the new platform. I don't disagree with many of your sentiments, but I do believe in giving credit where credit is due. The Fusion platform was an update/re-engineering of the Mazda6 platform. The car's dynamics are frequently praised, especially in comparison to competition like the Camry.

    The new 2009 Mazda6 adopted the Fusion platform, because it is superior to the old 2003-08 Mazda6. If the Fusion package deserves any criticism, it is that the overall 2006 styling will be carried on for too many years...not much Ford can do about that now. Fortunately, it is still current, though in looks (a subjective thing of course) hardly competitive with the 2009 Mazda6. Being a Ford, having the best mpg, and now having stability control, SYNC, etc., it will do well. The Mazdas will suffer some, because both hp and mpg are down from the comparable Fords.
  • Ford gained market share because the others lost market share. I believe that Fords sale were down 32 perscent in Dec as compared to Dec of 07. The new F150 is the only veihcle that has seen an increase in sales. What is the list price on a Mondeo in the U.K? This is an expensive platform. Much more than that used on a Mazda 6. The platform for the Mondeo was engineered for European driving patterns. The same can be said for the European Focus and Fiesta platforms Also the European versions have a more upscal interiors and can be purchased with a turbo diesel and 2 or 3 other gas engine options. The platforms of these vehicles that are going to be used in the U.S . are going to be watered down versions of their European cousins to hold down cost along with watered down interiors to do the same. First though, these vehicles will have to get through all the government red tape to get approval to be marketed here. By the time it takes to get the new tooling and gov approval to manufacture these vehicles here these platforms and other tech will have all but have been made obsolete by their asian competition. Also, Ford, has asked the European Union for bailout money to run its Euro operations.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Ford gained market share because the others lost market share.

    Umm....yeah, that's how market share works. In order for someone to gain market share, someone else has to lose it. To look at it another way - Ford lost LESS sales than the others did. What that means is that if overall auto sales were at the same level as in the past, Ford would be selling more vehicles. Gaining market share is the only benchmark you can use to quantify market success when the entire market is down.

    What is the list price on a Mondeo in the U.K? This is an expensive platform......The platforms of these vehicles that are going to be used in the U.S . are going to be watered down versions of their European cousins to hold down cost along with watered down interiors to do the same......By the time it takes to get the new tooling and gov approval to manufacture these vehicles here these platforms and other tech will have all but have been made obsolete by their asian competition.

    There is no comparison between UK prices and USA prices. Cars cost more in the UK - period. It's a totally different market.

    If you've seen the U.S. versions of the Fiesta you'd see that it's not a "watered down" version of the Euro Fiesta at all. All Ford is saying is that it will use a common platform (starting point) for similar U.S. and Euro models. How much is different will depend on local market requirements - but commonality is the goal.
  • Thats right Ford lost less sales than other makes. It didn't increase it sales over the same period comparing Dec 07 to Dec 08.Sales were down about 32 %.The only increase in sales came from the F150. Not from the car segment. Most of these sales were from those that needed a new truck. for heavy use. The sale of these vehicles will probably decline as the market I wrote about above for these vehicles become satiated. If you ever get to the U.K. drive a Mondeo and then drive a Fusion or MKZ. When compared to the Fusion or MKZ the quaility of workmanship, perfomance and interiors of the Euro vehicles are clearly superior. The Americans I guess don't deserve this type of vehicle according to Ford.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    What point are you trying to make about sales? Honda and Toyota lost MORE sales in December than Ford did. That means Ford did BETTER than them, and better than most other mfrs. What part of "increased market share" do you not understand?

    The Americans I guess don't deserve this type of vehicle according to Ford.

    Who said that? Ford's plan is to do just that - bring over the European models with minimal changes. The U.S. version of the Fiesta is almost identical to the Euro version except for minor changes. Again, I don't know what you're complaining about here.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Guess I have to move over to Allen's camp here,speculator. First of all, the Mondeo costs more in the UK and continent because of a higher tax structure on personal vehicles than what we have (VAT tax, etc,). In addition, all the people who do direct conversion of one currency to another are forgetting that this only holds if you are buying the currency, traveling, or importing goods. For those living in the EU, they don't figure costs in dollars as we do. If a car costs 21K pounds or 21K euros, to the residents of those countries (who are paid in those currencies), it is roughly akin to a $21K car in the US to a US citizen.

    Of course it would cost more for Ford to import the Mondeo and sell it here. That's why they don't. But if they built it here (or in Mexico or Canada), that exchange rate penalty goes away. That is why, if Ford survives until 2010 and beyond, some of their best products will be able to be sold at competitive prices.

    I share your disappointment that those in control at Ford made such incredibly bad decisions, backed up by exttraordinarily unreasonable salaries. However, this is no different than the out-of-whack situation that occurred in most industries who were feeding off the artificial and greedy go-go projections of the early 2000's. But Ford is poised to survive better than GM and Chrysler. It is at the moment doing better than Toyota and Honda in this country.

    Will it survive long-term? I wouldn't bet on it. The damage Bill Ford did is still playing out. People other than him share the blame. To have been on the top in the late 90s and early 2000's, and continue to "redesign" by using previous designs and refine them was pennywise and pound foolish.

    GM is in a lot of trouble and may need more life support. But at least they changed the Suburban and Silverado and Malibu and Caddy CTS and SRX every redesign legitimately. They didn't just do the front and rear clip and interior and call it all new. They are dying for a lot of bad decisions regarding product. The Pontiac line? OMG!, The wilting Buick line? Hummer? Saab? The Malibu and Impala and CTS and G8 and Solstice and Enclave and Escalade were overshadowed by too many divisions and too much duplication.

    Ford really really screwed up. But now they have a chance to make it. Conditions are such that they will have to succeed in almost impossible conditions. But of the "pathetic 3" I'd bet on them. And please look at Audi, which committed to FWD/AWD. Even in 2008, which was awful for just about everybody (and remarkably so for Toyota and Honda), they not only increased market share, but increased year-to-year sales. If FoMoCo can survive by giving quality and value as Audi did lacking any RWD, like Audi which now has a RWD sports car and is planning more, Ford may be able to make Lincoln a real player again. Ford must survive first....at any cost. Then Lincoln may once again be more than a Studebaker with lipstick (final Packards).
  • "this is a car that could rival Mini (the only success out there right now in these dark times), and you call it simply another Focus?"

    So now Lincoln is competing with Mini. Nice. And Mini is RWD BTW (just kidding, okay).

    And I still did not get answer: what is Mercury for?

    Ford and Opel always considered in Europe as a cheapo brands. Ford had superior handling starting with the first Mondeo (a.k.a. Contour) - but interiors were always on cheap side and it hurt Ford's reputation in Europe tremendously.I don't know may be they improved with the last Mondeo. In fact VW at least last 20 years considered as a more premium brand than eigther Ford or Opel. And there is nothing extraordinary about Mondeo price - it is more about tax structure than real cost. In Germany all cars has firmer suspension and better (firmer) seats just because roads are extremely smooth and well-maintained and speeds are considerably higher than in USA.

    For Audi it took long-long time of consistent development of excelent AWD cards to get even close to MB and BMW. And even now many people do not consider Audi as an equal to MB and BMW. Cadillac and Lincoln in the past at least 60-70s were very prestigious brands, more prestigious than Audi and likes. But GM and Ford managed to squander prestige and for what? Cheapening brands did not bring them more money - just opposite.

    And Ford changes its mind every month - Lincoln will be in PAG, not lets put it back with Ford, wait three years and you will see RWD luxury Lincoln, No there will be no RWD luxury Lincoln - only Ford clones, wait no - there will be no big Lincolns - Lincoln will now compete with Mini. No-no-no - Lincoln will compete with Buick. No we changed our mind again - Lincoln will compete with Huindai. No - with Kia (and we actually had Lincoln-Mercury-Kia dealership in Sunnivale - believe it or not).
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    And your point is?

    BTW, the last two Mondeo redesigns have been lauded by European press and public alike. The latest Mondeo won all sorts of accolades there. Its interior stands up to any of its competition. The Mondeo has definitely helped Ford's reputation there...along with the Focus, the new Fiesta, the new Ka, the new Kuga, the European Fusion, C Max, S Max and Galaxy. Not a clunker in the bunch. In 2008, the most difficult selling year in many years, Ford became the second best selling nameplate in all of Europe.
  • My point is that Lincoln strategy depends on season, it is like Macy's sales events. And Audi, BMW, MB strategy did not change in a couple of decades. Germans do not lay off good engineers - it is as simple as that. In other words compete with Buick and Huydai and call it a day. American companies do not value people and expertise - everything is about marketing and bonuses for excecutive - catch-phase of the day - engineers are expensible. Even Japanese are more consistent.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    I don't think it's fair to make that claim about Ford under Mulally's leadership. They've fixed so many things that were wrong and they seem to be making the right decisions and doing the best they can do given what they inherited 2 years ago. You only bring up the bad things and totally ignore all of the good things that Ford is doing. Ford is not BMW - it can't survive building niche cars in modest volumes. Mulally has a plan to put Lincoln back on top and it does involve new platforms that will compete with other luxury imports. The problem is that takes a TON of cash that Ford simply doesn't have right now.

    So continuing to whine about it is totally pointless. They know what to do, they just can't afford to do it right now.

    Again - why is that SO hard for you to understand?
  • I guess this is another one of Ford's better is cheaper ideas. Most Amricans are willing to purchase knock offs of better cars. Another thing, why purchase an MKS built on a modified outdated Volvo S80 platform when for about the same price one could purcase a S80 with a new platform?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    The Volvo S80 is a sales bomb, looking too anonymous and too much like the previous generation. It does not have nearly the room of the MKS and it costs a boatload more money to get it similarly equipped. I haven't seen any reports that show the current S80 architecture superior to the MKS architecture. If you look at how the cars are built, you can see that Ford heavily modified the Volvo base. Otherwise it wouldn't be as tall and as roomy. It's akin to the changes Ford made on the Mazda6 chassis...so improved that Mazda adopted Ford's modifications for its 2009 6.

    Again, Ford deserves a spanking (the 500 styling was just so incredibly dumb), but the things they do right need to be acknowledged. I am no fan of the fat, tall MKS with too long overhangs, but it sure can hold its own against the S80, and most other FWD based large sedans.
  • How much more is the Volvo? About 5 or 6 thousand dollars. I am no fan of Volvo. I wouldn't accept one if one were given to me. I was just trying to say Why MKS and not Volvo? The new Volvo platform is about 15% stiffer than it predecessor. What fwd vehicles can it hold its own against? The DTS has less torque steer as does the old Cadillac SLS and STS. Also these vehicles have a more sophisticated suspension and steering systems.Components of their suspension systems and steering were adapted from the Corvette. I realize that the DTS has a higher list as did the old SLS and STS. Could the MKS hold its own against Audi that is say priced within 5 or 6 thousand dollars of the MKS? If a person is hunting in this price range then 5 or 6 thousand more for a vehicle shouldn't matter.The Japanese cars priced within this range still have better interiors and more controlled rides over uneven pavement. I drove my neighbors MKS over the cobblestone s that line the street where I live and the MKS shimmied and bounced much more than my cousins Acura RL. I thought that RL was a sub par vehicle for the price that he payed for it. And Infiniti has all but eliminated torque steer in its fwd models. The new Mazda's platform is 6 inches longer and the is about 2 inches wider also has more rigidity than the previous 6 on which the Fusion is based.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    So to paraphrase.....MKS sucks, EVERYTHING else is way better. And the Fusion sucks and EVERYTHING else is way better. Ok, we got it.
  • "The new Mazda's platform is 6 inches longer and the is about 2 inches wider also has more rigidity than the previous 6 on which the Fusion is based"

    Fusion also is 6 inches longer and 2 inches wider than Mazda6. SO what is the point?

    Regarding Mullaly - they still change strategy for Lincoln very often and what is Merucry for is not clear at all - it is total mistery at this point. BTW BMW is not a niche car player - they sell cars by millions all over the world.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Ford can't survive at BMW's U.S. volumes. Lincoln has a strategy now, but it didn't 2 years ago. Global RWD platform was a key part of that strategy that had to be put on hold. They know what they WANT to do, they just can't afford to do it all right now.

    Mercury was put on hold for the same reason - to focus on Ford first, Lincoln second. It's #3 on the priority list, and will stay there as long as is necessary. Look at all the new Ford products released in 2008/2009 and you'll see where Ford is spending their money. Revised F150, mustang, escape and focus. All new Flex, MKS, MKT. Heavily revised Fusion/Milan/MKZ and Taurus. New Ecoboost 3.5L engine, new 2.5L, 3.0L and 2.5L Hybrid powertrains with best in class fuel economy.

    Add in plans for 2010 including the Fiesta, Euro Focus, Transit and Transit connect plus new engines for mustang and F150 and an all new unibody Explorer and anyone can see that Ford is investing heavily in it's CORE brand - the one that will bring profitability and market share. THEN they can afford to spend more on Lincoln and finally Mercury.

    You think this is a lack of focus because they're ignoring Mercury and to some degree Lincoln. I say it's just the opposite - for the first time in a long time Ford has a CLEAR strategy for success and is executing it as well as can be expected.

    Just because they're not building what YOU want them to build doesn't mean they're failing. Try to see the big picture for once.
  • kenb757kenb757 Posts: 149
    Well said emrnibbles1. I really wanted an MKS, but its ride and refinement was so un-Lincolnlike that I couldn't see leaving the DTS/Lucerne platform for it. The only car Lincoln has that appeals to me in ride and refinement is the old Town Car. If and when Ford updates the TC, I'll look at Lincoln again. Unless, of course, Lincoln wants to spend some money making the MKS ride better than a Taurus.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Certainly there are different definitions of refinement. It is really personal preference. Sometimes it comes back down to the guys who need their hemorhroids treated very gently and some just prefer the "jet smooth" ride of the traditional big American sedan. The Town Car for me is somewhat crude...while the ride can be smooth, the chassis is shuddery-juddery over rough pavement, and bump-stop suspension hits (with potholes and such) sound anything but quality to me. To each his own.

    However, it is true that old man cars like the Town Car, DTS, Lucerne lose more sales every year. Younger audiences tend to prefer a different feel in their driving machines. It's funny, because the MKS has been criticized in the press for leaning too far toward the comfort-wallowy end of the spectrum. It is definitely a compromise, a bridge vehicle if you will, to move Lincoln away from old man car company, without making a huge leap away. As a compromise, it may not fill the bill for some traditional buyers as well as for some who prefer not to drive as if their vehicle will tip unless they crawl through every sharp corner.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Not riding like a TC or DTS is actually a plus to most drivers.
  • kenb757kenb757 Posts: 149
    The answer would be to install an air suspension system adjustable to each driver's preference like the last Continental or the Magnetic Ride Control system as installed in the DTS Performance version and Lucerne Super. Lincoln will also have to remedy the torque steer in the MKS and the visibly vibrating steering wheel when idling which is worse than that in the newly-shrunken fwd 1985 deVille.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Or they just let Cadillac keep that very small and shrinking market segment while they go after the much larger and growing segment that wants a more European ride quality.

    What's next? Bench seats?
  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    Pity the "European ride quality" can't come with the European road quality. The cobblestone streets of Paris that I drove for several years were smoother than many major boulevards in our cities today, and that's excluding the pot holed paradises of the Northeast....

    And as for the apparent dissing of the Magnetic ride control of the DTS, you should try it. Soft and plush under 40, quite controlled beyond that. Definitely an improvement over soft at all times or harsh at all times.

    As for the bench seats, you can do things on those you can't with buckets....
  • kenb757kenb757 Posts: 149
    Why don't we just let Radio Flyer design the suspension system? We won't have to worry about springs, shocks, or bushings. Why not have 24 inch tires with an aspect ratio of 10 that will never go flat because they require no inflation? If you want a "luxury car" with the ride quality of a Matchbox car then buy BMW, Audi, or Infiniti. Mulally still drives his LS430, evidently the MKS doesn't ride as well as his Lexus.

    Interesting video on MRC: http://www.gm.ca/media/vehicles/cadillac/showcase/innovations/mrc/video_en_CA.ht- - ml
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Most people don't want to feel like they're sitting in the La-Z-boy in the living room - they want to actually feel the car and the road. Comfort and plushness are not the same thing. But what you and I want doesn't matter - the question is which market is growing and which is shrinking - and why would Ford go after a shrinking market?
  • No it isn't. the 09 Mazda 6 has been lengthen actually about 7 inches and is about 2.3 inches wider. The platform is all new and has been lengthen about 4 inches. Also it is more rigid. It is based on the newer EUCD platform that underlines the Euro Mondeo, Euro Mazda 6 that is smaller than the American 6 and also the present Volvo S80
  • Why should I buy this car over another car in its same price range? I am willing to spend up to 52 k. Would it be better than an STS ? What cars will it out accelerate or out maneuver? I keep reading the post for this car, but nobody seems to answer the questions.
  • datagendatagen Posts: 107
    Why don't you test drive them all and decide for yourself.
  • datagendatagen Posts: 107
    Ok I have read the comments and theories. I have a Taurus, MKZ and a MKS. I ordered the MKS with everything that they could put in it at that time. I can tell you that as good as the Taurus ride is, it is not the ride of a MKZ and both are not up a the smoothness of the MKS. I see many are really comparing oranges to apples and that seems not fair to me. Having lived in Europe for a number of years, I have driven BMW’s, Mercedes, Volkswagens, and Audi’s. These are vehicles of a different breed for the European roads and style of driving. Most Europeans do not care about the 12-position seating or the plush center console. They do care about speed/fuel economy and handling. So a bulk of the technology seems to be devoted in that area in these vehicles. They like it if they can get from Rotterdam, Netherlands to Frankfurt, Germany in 5 hours or less (hell living over there at the time, I liked that too).

    Yes I will agree that many cobblestone streets were smother that concrete and blacktop roads we have here. Yet their roads are better because their tax rates are higher. The average European paycheck has between 28-37% taken out for taxes no matter their level of income. As we demand better from our automobile makers, we need to demand more from our infrastructure as well. I for one care more about quality and luxury than speed. I get enough tickets with the engines I have now. The center stack of the MKS does have plastic, but it looks ok to me. Besides who around here is an expert on cheap and expensive plastic? Is there plastic that looks cheap that is really expensive? Is there expensive plastic that looks expensive? Or is there cheap plastic that looks cheap. Yes I know plastic can look cheap but I do not see this cheap look on the center console. What I do see is a balance of different technical and luxury areas that I have to give the designers credit for that balance.

    Where they lack points with me as with many others in the trunk opening. I do understand it as in the design of the vehicle. I do not have huge coolers that will test the opening. Everything I have put in it (duffle bags, suite cases, etc) seems to fit and so the opening is less of a concern.

    Now as far as the automakers are concerned, we as the public bought what they made. The numbers in sales of the so-called good vehicles between them is not enough to even mention. So what if as example Camry got 22%, Accord got 25%, Escort got 19%. The rest went to a bunch of vehicles (mostly SUV and others) that were not needed for the times required. What does matter now is finally the message is clear. What many do not understand is that corporate do not listen to complaints, comments, nor remarks. Only the numbers wakes them up and when they go below acceptable levels, then the eyebrows gets to raising and the heads starts turning. The engineers have their marching orders (make it better, at a cost, and more efficient), so until corporate follows rather than lead, (history has shown their leadership can lead these companies to oblivion) another 75-80 years from now, the same thing will happen again (if they last that long).

    As an example, I understand there was a debate between upper management at Ford and the MKS engineers on the engine and type of fuel it would be going out the gate. Even when the price of gas was under 2 bucks a gallon, the engineers felt a powerful V-6 on regular fuel was the way to go. Upper management wanted a bolder statement by making it with a V-8 on premium gas. Eventually the engineers won and I guess that can account for the pretty good sales the MKS has enjoyed lately. Realize this, even if there was a car made that everyone liked, that was perfect in every way, no one and I mean no one would buy it. Why, because we are a society of criticism rather than praise. So the last excuse would be that everybody else would want one and there would be no individualism.
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