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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,333
    The XJ8L has been considered, however, our home on the hill would be easier to reach in the Snow with an AWD. There isn't a Jag dealer within 50 miles & the nearest dealer has prices higher than a huntchbacks [non-permissible content removed].
  • Euphonium, based on your posts, I know you like the TC, and like me, you would have likely bought a newer one if they had kept the old girl up to date. Have you considered an MKS? Not as much room for sure and a less user-friendly trunk opening, but they are a pretty fine vehicle to drive.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,333
    After considering the MKS, it would be at least 10k more economical to instead buy the Taurus Sho with AWD.

    In the process of Sho shopping, it appears the factory is selling a "gadget goer". To get what is needed would require a special order.

    Vibrating seats, heated or cooled, Navigation, Synch, hole in roof, distance sensors are not items to be appeciated. The $295 added charge for the Red forces a dark Black interior. The Limited offers a Tan interior, but no Ecoboost engine.

    As of last week, you could not order a Limited Taurus with the Ecoboost.

    Computer sequential production of Ford vehicles has given way to Bundling of gadgets.

    Would be interesting to see an AWD 4 Door TC with at least the Mustang V8 and 5 speed tranny. :)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    For the price of a new Lincoln or late model Jag, you could probably have that AWD TC Franken-car built to your spec. You've already got a nice car to use as a body donor, right? :shades:
  • There are indeed other differences between MKS and Taurus besides sheet metal and $10K. MKS comes with another year of base warranty, and it's NVH properties are considerably more refined. Furthermore, the interior materials are appreciably better in MKS. Taurus may be a better overall value in the strictest sense, but the MKS doesn't command a meaningless premium.

    A lot of inconsistencies in features among badge brothers an the product heirarchy reflect Ford's emphasis upon bringing the most improved product to market as quickly and economically as possible. To not offer BLIS on MKS, EcoBoost in Flex SEL, but no non-SHO Taurus, massaging seats, and the lack of a simple backup camera in a non-SHO Taurus because it's spoiler-mounted and despite a badge-embedded alternative used in F-Series, Flex, and others are all similar examples.

    With more cash andless uncertainty, 2011 will hopefully see many of these discrepancies cared-for, including why a Performance Package fitted SHO is made to forego so many of the other niceties that otherwise make 2010 Taurus such a terrific, nay the best, mainline large sedan available in North America by a wide margin.

    As for Ecoboost, despite Mustang's 2011 butching-up, it would indeed have been nice to see EcoBoost work it's way to RWD platforms, including a Panther platform swansong. A V8 Ecoboost would indeed make a Police "Interceptor". As for Town Car and/or Grand Marquis, as much ad I happen to love both, the world probably doesn't need roads full of turbocharged airport livery drivers or white-shoed buffet-seekers dragging each other from red lights in order to make their tee times and doctor's appointments, do we? Polygrip doesn't make a strong enough product for that demographic. :)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,719
    The Taurus was really the first "clean-sheet" design under the new Ford management model and business plan and Ford is spending the money on Ford first and Lincoln second.

    I see this (the Taurus) as a great sign of even bigger and better stuff from Lincoln over the next 2-3 years.
  • speculatorspeculator Posts: 116
    Now that Ford has decided to replace the Crown Vic Police Interceptor for 2012 with the fwd Taurus,it is only logical to believe that a rwd drive Lincoln sedan is dead. The Caprice police variant is rwd. If Ford were going to compete with Cadillac,It would certainly make there bread and butter fleet sales leader rwd to compete with the Chevy and thus a Lincoln premium pltform variant based on a rwd Ford police vehicle to compete with Cadillac. I hear that the Mustang for 2014 will be smaller than the present vehicle but may be rwd with an irs. It all depends on the cost of such a vehicle and on international demand. The only way to justify the production cost of the new Mustang with rwd and irs is to develope an international market for it. Why not do the same with Lincoln? Lincoln still has some cach'e to its name in the world.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,422
    Where does Lincoln have that supposed cache in the world? Lincoln has been an also-ran for many years now, and the MKZ/MKS'MKT have done little to turn that around.

    Not that Lincoln couldn't, with a concerted effort. Look at what Hyundai did in a few short years. They went from Daewoo-style economy car mediocrity to building the Genesis, the Genesis coupe, the Equus and the 2011 Sonata, while renewing all the rest of their extensive line-up--and in the process became a sales leader. All Lincoln has to do (ok, it is a tall order) is build exceptional vehicles too, and all will be forgiven.

    But so far, Lincoln has largely squandered their newest chances. The MKZ could have gotten more differentiation at its Zephyr introduction, but the beancounters did not think it was really necessary. Turns out it was.

    The MKS is a decent and competitive car with almost zero Lincoln DNA is its Japanese-style look (except for the grill). The MKT was a stunner in concept form and would likely have defined a new genre, like the Explorer and Navigator did back in their day. Instead we got a carefully dumbed-down looking MKT (so as not to offend as much) and now it looks like a too-long station wagon. We know Americans unfairly dislike station wagons. Translation: unremarkable sales.

    So where from here? I do think the MKR would be a logical step, but given the Taurus Police Interceptor, I doubt anyone at Lincoln yet understands what makes a truly aspirational vehicle. The small Lincoln C could be a surprise hit with its full size passenger room in an era of higher mpg standards. But I have no faith that they will bring it to market without dumbing it down a la MKT. What else is in the pipeline?

    As long as the Ford brand is on a roll, I doubt anyone is overly concerned about the mish-mash at Lincoln. Besides, Lincoln sales have finally stopped their many years long nose dive. But for how long will even that hold? The moving targets are moving much more quickly today.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,719
    I'd say it's pretty hard to argue with the "beancounters" decisions given Ford's recent miraculous financial turnaround. And I don't question their desires for Lincoln - Mulally made that clear a year ago.

    They obviously put the money into new drivetrains (all new V8s, new diesel, new V6, ecoboost V6 and I4, 2nd gen hybrids, etc.) and new market segments (MKT, Flex, Fiesta, unibody Explorer) and new technology (Sync, MyFordTouch, etc.).

    Yes, a new roof and doors, upgraded interior and a 3.7L/3.5L EB powertrain upgrade would certainly help the MKZ, but there is limited opportunity there due to the popularity (and publicity) of the Fusion and Milan. I think they went a little above and beyond to give the MKZ a brand new interior right in the middle of a design cycle.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Ford has big plans for Lincoln including a new RWD platform in the near future. They just can't afford to implement it all right now.

    Patience, grasshopper.
  • speculatorspeculator Posts: 116
    Actually the Lincoln brand still has some cache in the U.K. I had clients from the U.K. who purchased Lincolns from me.The most popular were the Marks and LS series eventhough they all were LHD. I would say that about 75 % of those, still own them. It still is possible to bring Lincoln back to its former glory. For god's sake, Buick is considered to be a premium car in China.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,719
    A hand full of enthusiast buyers doesn't make an entire market feasible. Any European presence would be an afterthought - U.S. and Aussies would be driving the development which probably means big V8s and ecoboost V6s. I think any type of Euro volume would require dedicated European powertrains which drives up the cost and makes it hard to justify financially.
  • speculatorspeculator Posts: 116
    If that is the case then the new rwd Mustang and its irs is not feasible. Ford would have to dedicate one model for its rwd line-up. If to make that feasible it has to have international sales. The sales of Mustangs in other markets is not very great. For international sales it would have to smaller than it is today. But you have made a good point as to why Ford will not make the Mustang on an entirely new platform that can accomodate an irs. The present platform is paid for and it would be hard to develope an export market to help pay for a new Mustang rwd platform. It is the same for Lincoln.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,719
    1 - the new mustang with new engines should sell around 200K/yr, more than enough to support a dedicated platform if necessary (assuming drivetrain and other parts sharing). This was enough to justify the all new platform for the 05 mustang.

    2 - you're forgetting about the Aussies. A global RWD platform would be shared with them, not with Ford Europe, since they already have RWD V8 capable platforms. Same reason that the Fiesta was jointly engineered with Europe.
  • speculatorspeculator Posts: 116
    200 thousand sale of a new Mustang. Where is that number coming from? What about the competition from Chevy? Right now the Camaro has recently out sold the Mustang. Assuming that Chrysler is still around, what about the Charger/ Challenge?. These are all competition. The only thing I can think of in order for the Mustang to reach that number is to produce a car that is cheaper to build and has a really cheaper base price than it competition. Does any body remember the Mustang II? It was certainly cheaper that what it replaced. It was so cheap that no one wanted it. Another thing, it would be lucky if total auto sales in the U.S. hit above 13 million total sales in 2012. If it does, it would probably hover around that number for quite a few years. The auto market will probably never hit the 15 or 16 million mark again until about 10 years from now. That's according to those who watch the industry. Ford already has determined that the new Falcon will be based on the U.S. Taurus platform which is based on a Volvo platform. Read some of the Aussie Auto mags. The same platforms that Ford is going to base all of its domestic products on are going to be used in Aussie land. I hear that the Aussies are really teed off at Ford for going fwd in Australia. It's this one world Ford formula.
  • madlockmadlock Posts: 39
    edited March 2010
    2011 Mustang is a whole new ball game. With power parity having been established with Camaro and Charger, Mustang simply becomes a class apart and above its bemuscled brethren. Neither Camaro nor Charger has Mustang's "daily driver" chops; and any subjective aesthetic bias Camaro may win due to the simple vagueries of personal preference are usually worn away once the vehicle is actually seen, or especially, touched. Add real-world grown-up practical benefits like SYNC, an honest-to-Jesus world class navigation suite, and all of the other "real world" sensibilities Ford has engineered into Mustang without detracting one iota from the fun it's meant to inspire, and the narrow band of drivers to whom the narrow range of circumstances in which Mustang's "live axle" matters, the broad marketplace has to really be willing to make some Olympic caliber rationalizing before either alternative becomes even nearly equally-compelling as Mustang. While there's no doubt that a true IRS would only be reasonable for Mustang's next wholesale platform development, 2011 Mustang is simply the state of the art in American muscle without a credible peer.

    What does this mean for sales? There will certainly be new motivation for current Mustang owners to make their next purchase, and it will win the lion's share of present "fence sitters" who, until now, had to consider a more expensive GT to match LS/LT power. Ford also enjoys its media darling halo on behalf of its indisputably-Improved product and the propriety of it's own renaissance, a message that tends to play well to the "all-American" segment mindset in which endless entitlements and bailouts aren't as popular as they are among the left-leaning CamCord owners who suddenly don't know what to do with their Priuses now that Oz and Toyota City seem to be co-located. Atop organic demand within the marketspace and the very real potential to win business away from other RWD models at a much lower price point, 200K units may seem optimistic, but it's certainly not pie-in-the-sky. My pre-order goes in next week.

    As for the D3 successor to Panther, the Commodore-based Caprice, while being a terrific driver's car, especially for the money, otherwise has no inherent advantage whatsoever over a Taurus interceptor, nor do the mythical benefits of an RWD law enforcement vehicle whose ONLY benefit is price and whose many disadvantages are fundamental to any fleet operator in a climate with rain or snow. Not only does Taurus provide an inherently safer platform by virtue of its available drivetrains, its larger mass puts physics even more squarely in safety's favor, period.

    Price, therefore would be Caprice's only conceivable buyer's advantage, but that's only as much of a challenge as Ford decides will exist. Furthermore, with a common-platform and drivetrain LE truck based on 2011 Explorer, fleet maintenance cost advantages will help offset any difference in acquisition cost among fleet operators of both.

    There are plenty of options today for RWD and cheap, yet Panther and Crown Vic continue to rule the day. When combined with just about any council member in any city where GM doesn't have an established U.S. assembly facility would have a very tough time indeed remembering to constituents at election time the justification for choosing to support a bailed-out GM over the self-sustaining Ford when spending further public funds.

    That's not to say there won't be police fleets operating Caprices, Chargers, Impalas, or other vehicles as their mainline patrol vehicles, but the truth is that Taurus is likely to enjoy greater momentum and support, even as an entirely new platform to law enforcement operators than many existing models that are already in service. (At least, in a JUST world, it would.)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,719
    Ford has announced that Mercury will be shut down at the end of the year. Lincoln/Mercury dealers will be consolidate with Ford dealers or bought out if necessary.

    Lincoln will receive 7 new or significantly updated models over the next 4 years including a C class vehicle and unique engines.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,676
    Let's face it...they were as similar, or more similar, than the GM middle cars, like the Cutlass, LeMans, Chevelle, and Skylark...the only difference between Ford and Merc was slightly different grill, taillights and dashboard...remember the Maverick and Comet???...Sable and Taurus???...aside from a 2% styling difference, who really needs Mercury???...Lincoln, as a potential luxury brand, makes sense to me, but Mercury should have been eliminated when GM killed Oldsmobile...
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, and GM should have also killed either Cadillac or Buick as well. At present, Buicks have more amenities on them than their Cadillac cousins do. It's an upside down situation once again.

    As far as Lincoln goes, IMO every Lincoln should come with an Eco-Boost standard to differrentiate it from Ford.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,719
    Ford already confirmed that all Lincolns will have unique drivetrains and they'll all be offered with an Ecoboost option.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,333
    Buy the Eco boost Taurus and save 12 grand.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    An ecoboost Taurus (SHO) will not save you 12 grand compared to an ecoboost MKS in my area - not by a long shot.

    You also would give up choices in interior colors and a host of features like dual panel moonroof, power moonroof shade, swiveling headlights, power tilt/telescope wheel, more compliant suspension, better weatherstripping/door sealing, lined door pockets, park assist, front parking sensors, drastically better leather, soft trim on lower doors, longer warranty, wide vision exterior mirrors, and styling that doesn't look like a female version of a Chrysler 300.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,676
    Then kill Buick...FWIW, Cadillac still has SOME cachet as a luxury car and the brand name could be "re-built"...to make Buick the top of the line in amenities is foolish...so, we would be down to Chevy, Caddy, GMC truck and Corvette (which may or may not stay part of Chevy)...
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    edited June 2010
    Very nicely said. Ever since they restructured just over a year ago, I have always felt they made a huge mistake getting rid of Pontiac and keeping Buick. At the time, Buick had only 2 or 3 [non-permissible content removed] models and already had a true/more prestigious luxury division in Cadillac.

    GM should have kept Pontiac and got rid of Buick. They could of scraped all the Pontaic models and maybe 4-5 brand new completely different sport oriented Pontiac models. Pontiac could have become their sport oriented division to compete with the likes of Scion. They really missed out on a huge opportunity there I think.

    Now, GM has two luxury divisions, one true/prestigious and more recognized Cadillac division that competes fairly well with its Japanese and German competition and another cheaper, less prestigious, entry level luxury Buick division. The problem now, is that Cadillac is going to always be a ceiling for Buick. No matter what Buick does, they can't get too good as to have better materials, more features, etc that would make them better than Cadillac. Buick is and always will be a poor man's Cadillac, as long as Cadillac is in existence. So to me, its redundant and not necessary to have both Buick and Cadillac. If I had a choice only between these two, I'd be in a Cadillac every time.

    What will be interesting to see is if GM really screws up and actually turns Buick into a division that actually begins competing with Cadillac for sales, mainly b/c even right now, the mid and high trim levels of Buick models intrude into the price ranges for the lower end Cadillac models. :sick:

    Bottom line, should have kept and completely retooled Pontiac and got rid of Poor Man's Cadillac, Buick. GM would have been much more balanced had they had this structure.

    Chevrolet: Fully Mainstream Division
    GMC: Professional Grade Division for Industry/Businesses
    Pontiac: Mainstream Sport Specific Division
    Cadillac: Top Level Luxury Division

    In this structure, they would have had every group of the car market covered.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,234
    I've got to wonder if Pontiac wasn't maintained because Chevy already has Camaro and Corvette. Grand Prix was ruined with lousy rental cars. I think they kept Buick only because of China sales and concerns over eliminating the division here affecting cultural issues there. I think the old management thought they could make Buick near luxury and Caddy upper luxury, but with most import luxury makes widening their price spectrum this concept is kind of OBE.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,333
    The best of the five divisions that should have been retained are:

    Chev - Olds - Cad

    Re: trucks? Make up your mind. Two truck divisions are not needed.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,234
    If there is room for a mid level car these days, that makes sense because in its heyday Olds was a good combo sport and luxury. Unfortunately, GM totally misplayed Olds and blew the brand. John Rock made a valiant effort to resurrect it to its successful market segment, but it was too late.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,422
    Pontiac was a ruined and dying brand. Years ago, they were worth saving, but Pontiac had become little better than Mercury in recent years.

    Buick was saved because it is a very successful brand and very important to GM's bottom line. It is GM's biggest seller in China, and you must remember that GM sells more cars in China than it does here. In China, it has prestige, and it lives comfortably there with Cadillac. Here it is still transitioning from a blue hair car to an Acura fighter. With the Encore, Lacrosse and Regal it is on its way. Lucerne will soon be kicked to the curb, and more new models are planned.

    There has always been room for Buick under Cadillac. Some overlap is necessary for both to have a range of models, but Cadillac has a different focus with its emphasis on rear wheel drive, and V model halo cars that can kick the pants of anything else out there. Chevrolet can cover many bases: economy, quality mainstream, sport, utility as well as style. Ford hasn't the resources to manage more than two brands right now. What they are doing, they are beginning to do quite well. But GM's advantage here is having more brands, brands that are meaningful. Even Chrysler is looking like they have a shot at making it now, and setting aside the European partner brands, they still have Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram.

    Success can certainly be achieved with just two brands: Honda and Toyota (although Scion is a third) certainly have done it. But Honda has seemingly reached an asymptote, and Toyota has stumbled with quality and cannot rely on Lexus to carry it through. Ford may be relegated to being a successful smaller manufacturer now that all brands but two are gone. We shall see.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I don't care what the hell is happening in China, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, etc with their car markets. The last time I checked, the US is not any of those countries. All I care about is the US car market. In THIS country, there was no need for GM to have two luxury divisions. Its all redundant and a waste. No matter what Buick does, they can never pass Cadillac without seriously hurting Cadillac and taking away their sales. They could have retooled Pontiac to have 3-4 unique, sports oriented, affordable models that could have directly competed with Scion and some other sport oriented companies, like Nissan or Mazda, etc.

    GM needs to start thinking like Ford, who actually is making much better progress than GM. Last time I checked, Ford, like all the foreign car companies, only has 1 luxury division, Lincoln. They don't need a poor man's luxury company below that to fill some void that isn't there.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,422
    edited June 2010
    Ok, you are obviously right. Not caring what happens in the rest of the world, or how that might affect GM's decisions about products offered, is obviously the right way to go. So sorry.

    But Ford took over sales dominance for what? A month or two this year? GM, as beaten and bankrupt as it was, is now outselling Ford again. I can't say to them that I know how to do it better. How is Ford's progress, notable as it is (and I am a lifelong Ford man), so better than GM's right now? GM's sales are bigger, and this from a recently bankrupt company.

    Oh, and as for all other companies having one luxury car division...
    What about Mercedes (and their Maybach division), and BMW (and their Rolls Royce division), and Volkswagen (and Audi and Bentley and Bugatti and Lamborghini and Porsche divisions), and Chrysler and Fiat keeping Abarth and Lancia and Maserati and Ferrari around even though all cater to the higher end, not to mention Tata with both Jaguar and Land Rover (ok, LR, though luxurious vehicles, are SUVs for the most part). But you are right and none of this matters as it is mostly not in the US (although Maybach and Rolls and Audi and Bentley and Lamborghini and Maserati and Ferrari and Porsche, etc. are), and VW is growing at a rate that may soon put it at #1 worldwide. I'd love to see an American company do that. But with only two divisions, Ford has an even greater uphill battle to get that prize.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I'm talking more affordable luxury divisions! Almost 95% of the US pop can not afford aa Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, etc and those exotic luxury companies are a far cry from Buick.

    It seems you haven't learned anything from GM bankrupt and almost 30 years of quality/reliability problems. BEING NUMBER 1 IN SALES IN THIS COUNTRY IS NOT A GOOD THING! The companies who have been number 1, have had the most problems (GM, Ford, and Toyota). Plus, GM's market share has begun declining again so top sales means jack squat.

    Ford products are wining more awards and have higher quality/reliability then anything GM is at yet with their products and did not have to take billions in tax payer dollars to stay afloat like your precious GM did or declare bankruptcy after taking billions in gov't loans and bailouts and still not being able to pay the bills and make a profit! Take a look at CR, MT, RoadTrack, or any other car website and you'll see the position of Ford is far higher than GM. Let GM mass market and try to be the highest sales volume, it will just lead them back down the same path as before to ever pending doom. Remember, the more volume you sell, the more quality control things are missed. Remember the Toyota fiasco a few months ago?

    I'm so sorry my opinion of GM's decision in restructuring last year doesn't sit with your almighty praise for what GM did. Its just opinion man, take a chill pill.
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