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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

I belive Lincoln has a history that neither Lexus or Infiniti have, and if Ford wanted to, it could make Lincoln a better brand than Lexus/Infiniti. THe new MKS and MKX are a good start, but ford has to keep going, Lincoln needs a flagship sedan (RWD platform would be best), that can compete with a LS430 or Infiniti Q45, the Town Car is simply to old and underpowered to even compete against these two.

What do you think Ford should do with Lincoln??
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Comments

  • I'm afraid I have no answer. Like Cadillac, Lincoln was established by Henry Leland. Unlike Cadillac however, he didn't have GM's bean counters looking over his shoulder and set out to build a car that would "last forever". And went bankrupt. It was saved by Edsel Ford who continued who continued with the highest quality/no profit view of luxury. When Henry II took over Lincoln began its long slow move away from high-end prestige, towards profitability. Should they try moving back up market? Or should they change their target from Cadillac to Chrysler.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I belive Lincoln has a history that neither Lexus or Infiniti have

    I don't think that matters much, frankly -- heritage for the Big 2.5 is vastly overrated, and is probably more of a hindrance than a help. But I agree that the situation isn't utterly hopeless.

    If I was CEO, this is what I'd do:
    -Punt Mercury. It's a redundant exercise in cynical badge engineering that simply dilutes the brand, and is relegated to the role of Old Man's Car. Let Ford be the main brand, with Lincoln as the luxury/ niche provider, but keep a seperate dealer network so that the service styles can be sufficiently different.

    -Dump the badge engineering. There is no reason to have ever had both a Taurus and a Sable, for example, nobody is fooled and both cars end up with diluted images as a result. Put the marketing and R&D dollars into one exceptional car, instead of creating ugly grilles to end up with two mediocre ones.

    For Lincoln, what it shouldn't do:

    -Sell rebadged Fords. If platforms are to be shared, make the resulting cars highly distinct. (If Ford can use the same platform to build cars as varied from one another as are the Volvo S40, Mazda 3 and Ford Focus, it can be creative here, too.)

    -Copy the Europeans or Japanese. If people want a Mercedes, they will buy the genuine article; if they want the reliable version of the Benz, they will go Lexus or Infiniti instead. No reason to run into a market niche that is already crowded with tough competitors, when the buying public won't take it seriously.

    Instead:
    -Follow the path of the 300 and such, and build a uniquely "American" sedan (whatever that means.) Give it the best interior in its class, outstanding fit-and-finish, an exceptionally smooth small-block V-8 standard (no pushrods, but do give it some nice low-end grunt), with a nice poised balance between handling and ride.

    Offer one larger engine option, high standard equipment levels and few options, as well as a look and feel not quite like the imports, but not quite in the vein of the outgoing Lincolns, either. Give it the longest warranty in the business and a complete free maintenance package that is akin to BMW's.

    And don't give it a name intended to remind people of a past glory car, just in case you create more annoyance than excitement.

    Create an SUV in the same vein as the above, as well as a special limited-edition coupe that is meant more to showcase the brand as a performance-luxury car -- it need not sell in high numbers. Get away from the image of being a barge, while avoiding any attempts to copy the Germans or Japanese.

    In other words, build a relatively cheap V-8 version of a Bentley. Continentals are flying off the shelf, relatively speaking -- go for the crowd that would love to own a Bentley, but couldn't possibly afford one and would like one at a fraction of the price. It doesn't have to look like one, but it should exude character and quality, whatever that happens to be.

    By the way, none of this will ever happen, so we'll just keep this between us...
  • the zephyr IS a merc milan/ford fusion and although I have not yet had a chance to drive them - it comes down to a small matter of styling and options.

    but then, the ES300 Lexus was really little more than a Camry with better options and some sound-deadening equipment and the Infiniti I30 was a Maxima in new sheet metal - as was the old G20 (a Sentra-knock off, of all things)

    I just bought a Ford and I like it, but not so keen on the new grill for 2006 - the Merc one is better. Also, the "Fusion" does have a different interior and attitude than the "Milan" version.

    Lincoln shouldn't be just another destination for Ford's parts-bin. If they want to keep it, it needs to step back up and make luxury cars that are truly luxurious - and then allow Mercury and Ford to handle "cheap luxury" cars.

    A $80k Lincoln? If it had a V10/12, and could keep up with an Audi A8 in styling and performance - heck yeah...

    Question is, can Ford's engineers build them? They are showing lots of promise - but the jury is still out if the blue oval can make a true luxury car to even compete against the likes of the VW Phaeton.

    Sadly, money will make it very unlikely to see this stuff happen - so instead...let's just hope that Lincoln means conservative styling for grown-ups who want a Ford but don't want to look like a teen.
  • prosaprosa Posts: 280
    If I was CEO, this is what I'd do:
    -Punt Mercury. It's a redundant exercise in cynical badge engineering that simply dilutes the brand, and is relegated to the role of Old Man's Car. Let Ford be the main brand, with Lincoln as the luxury/ niche provider, but keep a seperate dealer network so that the service styles can be sufficiently different.


    Ford is trying to market Mercury toward women. An unusual step, but it might just work.
    I'm not so sure if Lincoln-only dealers could survive.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Mercury's are rebadged Ford and Lincolns, is that a good thing ???? :confuse:

    Rocky
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    I like Ford products, but...

    Today, Lincoln (and Caddy for that fact)... Neither their SUV's nor their smaller passenger versions are impressive.

    Lincoln was a famous name....at least it was back in the 1860's to the 1960's.

    Today, it's pretty weird to have a "luxury" vehicle that has the same name as a one cent piece....(which is nothing more than a piece of steel with a copper color...a penny so worthless that none evens wants to bend down and pick it up off the pavement).

    Remember the "Olds"? The older names seem to be burning out.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I'm not so sure if Lincoln-only dealers could survive.

    If quietly tied to Ford dealers or with a large enough Lincoln lineup, they could. (Once credibility is built with the quality sedan and buzz created with a hot coupe, I could see a roadster, crossover vehicle and possibly other cars.) But if the former, the relationship should be fairly opaque, similar to how Lexus and Toyota are clearly distinguished from one another, despite the ES 300/ Camry relationship.
  • Lincoln was a famous name....at least it was back in the 1860's to the 1960's.

    Unsure of your reference here. Lincoln was started during WW1, building Cadillac engines for airplanes. They moved into cars after the war (1918) and were bankrupt by 1922. Only the fact that Ford bought the company, has kept it around the last 80 years. The last 10 years have been perhaps there best years ever.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I'm sure he's referring to the original famous Lincoln -- old Abe himself!
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    Yes, honest Abe was the first Lincoln...and we know what happened to him. Then, in 1909 the lincoln cent made the sceen. From 1909 until the 60's the lincoln cent was made out of solid copper. Today, the lincoln is worthless...not worth hurting one's back to bend over and pick one up from the ground...especially if "tails up".

    My point is that the name is old. Marketplace has become dynamic. Most old sounding things don't do well at the market place. And the "LS" cannot compete because of cost, performance, comfort, style, resale value, and reliability.

    If you test an "LS" and then go down the road and test a "TL", then who's the better?.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    And the "LS" cannot compete because of cost, performance, comfort, style, resale value, and reliability.

    I think that along with this, another issue is that the LS is an effort (or at least a partial effort) by FoMoCo to build a European-influenced sedan. Given its history as a builder of luxobarges, cars like this from Lincoln arrive on the market with zero credibility behind them. Even if the car was outstanding, it would be hard for it to change minds, because we do not associate the Lincoln nameplate with "Euro sedan."

    That's why I'd go for the bargain Bentley approach -- this wouldn't be a real stretch from what Lincoln had done in the past. Rather than try to compete head-on with Acura and Lexus, getting killed in the process, build a highly reliable luxury American muscle car with proper handling in a sedan body with a fantastic interior, and carve out a different angle to reach the same audience. The public doesn't want a faux 5-series from a US automaker, when it can just buy the real thing.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "My point is that the name is old. Marketplace has become dynamic. Most old sounding things don't do well at the market place."

    So, you suggest a more modern name? Perhaps the 2007 Bush MK Z? Or anyone out there for a 2008 Hillary MK C?

    "And the "LS" cannot compete because of cost, performance, comfort, style, resale value, and reliability.

    If you test an "LS" and then go down the road and test a "TL", then who's the better?. "

    I don't know what 'who's the better' means, but in case of LS vs TL, I'll take the LS every time. The LS has competed very well against the best entry-lux cars out there. I don't know the final tally but Lincoln has sold a ton of em. My '01 still runs like new with 70K on the clock. I think the LS could compete much better in a slightly higher price bracket with an interior more similar to the Navigator or even Zephyr and perhaps a body redesign. Say for example the LS innards and aluminum suspension in the MK S body and interior. It is one of the best performing and handling vehicles out there. Up there with the BMW 5 series. You can't say that for the FWD TL.
    Speaking of which, isn't the TL a modified Accord? Yesterday I drove the last '05 Accord Hybrid on the local dealer's lot. I've been thinking about a better gas mileage machine in the driveway. Now this is the top-o-the-line accord with leather and some bells and whistles and a 255hp setup, with Navigation for $30,000. It's gotta be pretty comparable to a TL. It ran quite nicely, with comfort and a nice amount of getup and go. I liked it. But when I got back in my LS for the drive home, I knew right away that the LS was a much nicer and more fun car to drive - even with 70K miles. And I can buy a lotta gas for $30000.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "I think that along with this, another issue is that the LS is an effort (or at least a partial effort) by FoMoCo to build a European-influenced sedan. Given its history as a builder of luxobarges, cars like this from Lincoln arrive on the market with zero credibility behind them. Even if the car was outstanding, it would be hard for it to change minds, because we do not associate the Lincoln nameplate with "Euro sedan." "

    There is some truth to this. It has become next to impossible for American auto mfgrs to get serious credibility back after the stuff they were building in the 70s and 80s. ANd the car was and is outstanding but Lincoln had a lot of trouble getting the target demographic - Beemer buyers etc - into the showroom. And once they were in the showroom, then Lincoln had the disadvantage of a clueless sales force. They ended up selling a lot of LSes to the blue hair set.

    "The public doesn't want a faux 5-series from a US automaker, when it can just buy the real thing. "

    I dunno. Lots of us bought this very thing - for 8 to $10,000 less than the 5-Series. And the LS is a bigger car.

    I think there's room in the Lincoln stable for a performance-oriented luxury RWD car like the LS but with more bling - ala the COntinental concept - for more bucks. And a MK S to compete with Acura. And an updated Town Car and a Zephyr. And then there's that wonderful Mark X convertible concept. That would bring some cred like the XLR is helping to bring to Cadillac, which, BTW, could be the example to prove your theory wrong. But Lincoln announced they would not build the Mark X concept 30 seconds after they showed it. Of all the concepts they've shown since I bought my LS the only one they're building is the MK S. If they build the Continental COncept as well, they'd have a winning lineup.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    I may have spoken a little too quickly about LS. You sound very pleased with yours. Several years ago they were exciting...even the little V6 with manual shifter.
    Last summer I spent a day looking and testing sedans. I was considering an LS. They look good from a distance. The prices were very competitive (Caddy's were too). :D

    I chose a handsome new LS on the lot that I'd be most interested in. The sales person went and got the key and guess what? The cotton pickin new LS had a dead freaking battery. That turned me off completely.

    So, I goes across the street and to Acura. The white TL started right away. It was fun to drive. I won't go into any further details on TL...

    The other day in Publix magazine section a Consumers Reports listed quite a few "black balls" for used LS's. That was sad to see. :cry:

    I finally lowered myself into a'06 Accord LX V6. For the Mrs. Have no regrets so far. Except, maybe, not trying the EX Accord 244 H.P. V6 with the "short throw" manual 6 speed....I'm sure it could have replaced my SVT in most respects.

    How much longer will the LS be in production before the Lincoln Fusion takes over? The Lincoln brand name is timeless...afterall, I remember our 1964 Continental with the 430 cubic inch V8 that dad had. It's transmission crapped out rather early though..

    Sorry if my first post stepped on some of you guys toes.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "Several years ago they were exciting...even the little V6 with manual shifter"

    That's the one I have.

    "The cotton pickin new LS had a dead freaking battery. That turned me off completely"

    That stuff happens. Your reaction was more severe than mine probably would have been, but that's what make the world go round. But sounds like you never did drive an LS? Tsk Tsk .... you would have been impressed.

    Yeah, CR can be rough on American cars. Some think they're biased!!?? In my experience they're reasonably accurate. My LS, knock wood, would get a bad mark only for the HVAC.

    The '05 Accord Hybrid with 250 hp and an auto was pretty spunky.

    The LS goes out of production in June or July of this year. :mad: The Lincoln version of the Fusion, called the Zephyr, has been on sale for a few months and apparently is selling briskly.

    My Feb calendar picture at my desk is a blue '64 Continental convertible. Makes me wanna go out and find a fixer one to play with. I had a '65 Mercury Parklane convertible a few years ago that I loved but wife said that was first thing that had to go when I got laid off after 911. That car was as close to being a Lincoln as Mercury ever got.

    So u never did say if you prefered the '07 Bush or the '08 Hillary? :>) ;)
  • bigo08bigo08 Posts: 102
    my 2000 LS was one of the best cars ive had. I did consider BMW and Mercedes but ive always been a big fan of Lincoln and the LS is a pretty good car to drive. RWD V8, no acura TL with FWD and V6 gives u that feeling of power.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I'd say down the drain, if they continue to build em' in Mexico + badge engineer Fords by slapping some faux wood and leather. :confuse:
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    my 2000 LS was one of the best cars ive had. I did consider BMW and Mercedes but ive always been a big fan of Lincoln and the LS is a pretty good car to drive. RWD V8, no acura TL with FWD and V6 gives u that feeling of power.

    I'd smoke your LS like a cheap cigar in a "FWD" Acura TL. :P
    Seriously though it wouldn't be a race. ;) 0-60 in 5.6 and Q-mile high 13's with a 6-speed manuel TL. ;)
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,794
    Well if I could put my one cent in (thats two cents after taxes), the first thing Ford should do is offer the Zephyr with a far more powerful engine and a 6-speed manual transmission.

    Next stop offering more expensive Ford clones.

    Make the Town Car a big luxury boat again.

    No SUV's, high end luxury SUV's are a joke.

    Make a sporty two seater convertible.

    Make a sportier smaller coupe.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    ""FWD" Acura with a 6-speed manuel TL"

    Well, so they're making the Acura trannies in Mexico now eh?

    BTW, I'll take your bet in my RWD 5Speed LS. First curves we hit, your front end will be plowing like a cow-catcher. That'll be me going by on the left.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well the Salom, and skid pad numbers reflect quite the opposite. ;)

    BTW- Do you smell something ???? Smells like death of another Lincoln :P

    Rocky
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,794
    I'd smoke your LS like a cheap cigar in a "FWD" Acura TL. Seriously though it wouldn't be a race. 0-60 in 5.6

    Are you sure on that? I went looking and from what I found the TL does 0-60 in 6.4 the same as an LS. Of course you could smoke my Lincoln its 0-60 in something like 45 seconds (of course its a 1938 model).

    Now if you want to take on my CTS then thats no contest. :shades:

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    6.1-6.4 for the automatic pal. The 6-speed manuel I read about in one of the major car mags had a 0-60 in 5.6 and a Q-Mile of 13.8 or 13.9 (can't remember what tenth) on a 04' model.
    That article influenced my decision. ;)

    Rocky
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,794
    Sorry pal low to mid 6's for the 6 speed manual in everything I read. Same as the Lincoln LS. Live with it as I blow past you in the Caddy :)

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    6.1-6.4 for the automatic pal. The 6-speed manuel I read about in one of the major car mags had a 0-60 in 5.6 and a Q-Mile of 13.8 or 13.9 (can't remember what tenth) on a 04' model.
    That article influenced my decision


    You comparing against the V6 LS or the one with the V8? My father in law had a V8, and that thing was pretty ferocious. He burned up 3 trannies with that thing. :surprise:
  • My dad can beat up Manuel's dad.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Sorry pal that's incorrect. What does the CTS do in the Quarter Mile 16 point ? :P That's what I thought. ;)

    Really a V-6 CTS and/or LS blowing past a TL is absolutely funny. :cry: <-w/ laughter. Ya'll and your faux stats.

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    My dad whipped Manuel's dad and your dad at the same time. :D

    Rocky
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,794
    Sorry pal 1/4 in the upper 12's lower 13's I think. 0-60 in about 4.5 seconds, give or take.

    Really a V-6 CTS and/or LS blowing past a TL is absolutely funny

    Who said anything about a V-6?

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well you didn't tell the whole story did ya. ;)

    BTW- Acura TL MSRP $36K-loaded. CTS-V MSRP $53K-loaded !!!!

    If my Math isn't "Fuzzy" that leaves me $17K price savings.

    I'll take that savings and buy a good turbo, tires, and a suspension. You couldn't handle a FWD sport/lux whipping your butt all over the place, or could ya. Bye Bye !!!!! :P

    Rocky :shades:
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