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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,804
    Of course, there's a butt for every seat, but IMO Lincoln won't be able to compete in today's market with a BOF offering (or rebadged lesser cars and weird variants). Caddy made a go of it with some fresh material.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,826
    edited May 2011
    All the more reason to retire the Town Cars. Get some fresh stuff in the showrooms.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,804
    I agree. Sadly, there's no really fresh stuff in the showrooms.

    That crossover van thing they have has one of the most ungainly rear ends in the industry. That can't help.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    The MKT's rear end is not what is holding back sales. It is because it looks like a station wagon. Wagons sell great in Europe, but most of the luxury wagons are no longer imported here, due to lack of interest.

    Americans for whatever reason want their CUVs to look more like SUVs than the traditional wagon. Never mind that they all ALL tall wagons! What does logic have to do with any of this? Perception is everything, and just as the Chrysler Pacifica, the Taurus X, the previous Cadillac SRX (they went for the CUV look this time around and sales have taken off), and even the Ford Flex looks more wagon-y than CUV-y...every one of these has suffered poor sales.

    The MKT also looks like a portly station wagon. Had they had the balls to introduce it in the controversial shape of the concept car that preceded it, the MKT may have had a chance at building a certain following. This was Lincoln's first clean sheet car under Mulally, and it turns out they would have been better off to just skip it, rather than issue such a watered down, slab sided design.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    At least it was available to take over for the Town Car livery buyers.

    I'm really anxious to see what the new designs look like. This will be the first time in decades that Ford has made a concerted effort to make Lincoln competitive without other things getting in the way (Mercury, Jaguar, etc.).
  • berriberri Posts: 4,202
    All the more reason to retire the Town Cars. Get some fresh stuff in the showrooms.

    I agree once new product is out. In the interim, since the tooling was paid for long ago, keeping the TC and its fleet business would have provided a nice, steady cash flow.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,826
    Well, the tooling was there, but they haven't been sharing parts with the Crown Vics since 2007 (or the Mercury Grand Marquis). And the 16 city/24 hwy wasn't helping them meet CAFE I suppose.

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  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    STAP wasn't selling enough vehicles to pay for the entire plant, not to mention the cost to meet new gov't requirements.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    There's no big old BOF Fleetwood anymore.

    If there was, I would have one and a new one would be at the pinnacle of my car shopping A-list! :shades:

    Still have my old BOF Cadillac and it's staying with me for a long, long time!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    Wagons sell great in Europe, but most of the luxury wagons are no longer imported here, due to lack of interest.

    BMW has a very nice wagon, but what do we get? Ungainly monstrosities like the X3 and X5.

    image
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Because "ungainly" sells here. As long as it doesn't look like a wagon. It truly is weird. The only company to go against that trend here is Subaru. The Tribeca has been re-styled to look like a mainstream CUV, but they struggle to move any of them, while the wagon-y looking Outback is selling like gangbusters. But Subaru has always been able to capitalize on a certain weird factor in a way that other companies cannot.

    But back to Lincoln...what is needed are pretty and very distinctive designs, not cautious elements of Japanese and German mid-luxury design language as contained in the MKS. If they introduce just one model with some wow factor (no Lincoln today has any), sales will begin to stabilize and turn around.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    I keep hearing Aston Martin when insiders describe the new MKZ, so I'm hopeful.

    Ford has given Lincoln designers the green light for 100% unique designs - they're allowed to change everything including the green house, glass and roof lines in addition to Lincoln unique features like retractable roofs.

    With PAG and Mercury gone the only question now is execution.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,804
    That was my last rental car in Germany

    image

    Now I want to go back even more.

    The American market is so dumb...is anything more of a douchemobile than a X6?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,804
    edited May 2011
    If they could somehow make it traditional yet modern, it might even sell. Same for any new TC. The previous one just got old - but not in a good way. Not much nostalgia out there for the style and substance of 1998. And the MKT...something about the rear of that thing is still really off-putting for me.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    On the contrary, I like the rear end of the MKT. It is somewhat daring and controversial. It is good that some folks like yourself are turned off. Polarizing elements are good. They draw attention and that is one thing Lincoln needs. However, the existing back side is a watered down version of the concept. On the whole though, it is hard to ignore the looonnng, boring side profile that could have played up Lincoln design language more, but instead just added in a rather ungraceful hump near the rear door. And those rear doors--awful. They look like any run-of-the-mill station wagon doors.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    I'm aware of how obsolete the TC was because I drive it's poorer cousin the Mercury Grand Marquis. I had a 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis LS back in the day and it seemed so plush I called it "the poor man's Town Car." By 2005, the Grand Marquis can best be described as a taxi with leather seats.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Yes, Ford did some really goofy things througout the late nineties, and early to mid aughts. Seems like they decided they could just update front and rear clips on old designs and reap profits. Then they started their "turnaround" with the Year of the Car--producing the forgettable Five Hundred and a redesigned Explorer that didn't seem all that different from the one introduced in 1990. Bill Ford wante to kill Lincoln, and almost did. Then Mulally came along. He has had to work with and improve upon a whole range of drek. And Ford has popped. All the other luxury brands are gone (though still living). Mercury is dead, and at this point, no one cares that it is gone.

    Lincoln is going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat. And Lincoln will be needed soon. Looking at VW for example...their two biggest brands here are VW and Audi. Although Audi sales have grown remarkably, they are held back by limited capacity. Audi sales are a small fraction of VW sales. But they don't need to use any incentives to move them, and consequently, Audi contributed just as much money to overall VW profits last year as VW did. The other interesting thing is that Audi buyers do not tend to see their cars as fancier VWs, and in fact often do not even know that VW owns Audi.

    So Ford will likely need Lincoln to keep pace long-term. But bringing this moribund brand back from the dead in the face of well-established brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, Cadillac, even Jaguar now, not to mention Hyundai with new versions of Azera (Cadenza?), Genesis and Equus...and all expanding and updating their lines continuously...well, let's just say it won't be easy. Look at Volvo...they have a really good line-up now (and finances for new designs again), but building back is a real struggle for them.
  • xluxlu Posts: 457
    edited May 2011
    Ford did some really goofy things througout the late nineties, and early to mid aughts.

    Remember Lincoln had been trading the best selling luxury brand title with Cadillac back and forth until 1998? The best selling luxury cars were the Town Car and DTS. The market has changed dramatically since then and Lincoln did not change with it.

    But Lincoln did recognize the change and did one effort to lure the younger drivers with the 2000 Lincoln LS, a car with a lot of BMW influence in it. It won the Motor Trend Car of the Year in 2000, and was the top selling model in the first 2 years, before Ford abandoned it.

    Year BMW 5 M-B E Lexus GS Lincoln LS
    2000 39703 xxxxx 26705 51039
    2001 40005 44445 24461 57164
    2002 40842 42598 17246 39775
    2003 46964 55683 13306 33581
    2004 45584 58954 8262 27066
    2005 52722 50383 33457 19109
    2006 56756 50195 27390 8797

    This is a proof that if Lincoln can set their minds and resources to something new, they can make it happen.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    edited May 2011
    However, even the LS--remarkable as it was in its time--was a flawed effort, as Allen has pointed out (and I believe he happily owned one). The architecture was too expensive to be profitable, and other Ford engines besides the the small Jaguar V8 did not fit. It shared some of its structure with the Jaguar S Type, a car that didn't take off for Jaguar. Of course it was the dismal failure of the Ford designed 2004 Jaguar XJ--a really good car in its time, but it looked too much like the previous generation, but perhaps not as graceful looking--that led to Ford to kick its multi-billion dollar loss to the curb.

    It would have been difficult to update the LS without starting anew, and by then there was no money to do so. It had all been spent paying way too much for unprofitable luxury brands and UAW contracts that put Ford at a further disadvantage to the domestic "foreign" brands now kicking its [non-permissible content removed]. That's why we got things like the Zephyr and Aviator. Unfortunately, those sorts of efforts are no longer worth the money put into them either.

    The sad part now is that it will be years before Lincoln turns over its current models to more competitive ones. I remember Audi rebuilt itself after disaster, but it took many years. Lincoln could do it too, but meanwhile too many former Lincoln buyers will have developed new allegiances by then. Or they will be dead.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Somebody has to buy them new.

    That's true, and they do. Hertz, Enterprise, Dollar, Thrifty, police departments, cities, counties, and Livery services buy the new....and the public buys them second hand. At half price, by the way. Nevertheless, I liked the Panther cars because they were tougher than rocks. You could drive a Town Car over a median, up a curb, and through a ditch, and never hurt it, not even knock it out of alignment. There isn't a tougher frame and platform in production without a truck on the top of it. They got actually good mileage, especially for their size, with excellent power, comfort, quiet and room. That's not all bad..... I admit their time is probably over, I guess it actually is, but I had great respect for them.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    And the MKT...something about the rear of that thing is still really off-putting for me.

    I agree, the MKT is "butt ugly"... :P

    Also, for the record, I HATE the MK soup names.... I hate them so badly, I have bought elsewhere even if I liked the new Lincoln. If anybody out there is listening, I've never met anybody who was warm to the MK names. Not that fond of the _TS names Cadillac uses either.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    But at least the Caddy naming system makes sense: ATS, the (now defunct) BTS, CTS, DTS, soon to be discontinued STS, and XTS. Putting the identifying letter at the end as Lincoln does, along with having no discernible sequencing, makes it very difficult for any other than Lincoln aficionados (and there are damn few of them remaining) to remember which one is which. Still, actual names are better.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    True. As the owner of a 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis, you can beat the heck out of them and they keep going and going and going. They're great cars for the city. Lincoln lost me forever as a potential customer when they got rid of the Town Car. Their puny truncated MKS with its lopped-off trunk and little V-6 is no match for the Town Car or any of it's foreign or domestic competition. I'll take a Chrysler 300-C before an MKS.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    I hate the _TS names too. I'd have rather they named my car a Sedan DeVille or a Fleetwood versus DTS. I loved the old drawn out names like Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    As the owner of a 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis, you can beat the heck out of them and they keep going and going and going.

    You do like those old style aircraft carriers, don't you Lemko! I don't blame you, I like big cars too, which is why I drove Caddys and Lincolns for decades. Then, they went the way of the environmentalists. I like the looks and interior of the MKS, not really fond of the 6 cylinder motor, but the turbo and the AWD take most of that annoyance away. My problem with the MKS is the PRICE for a 6 cylinder FWD car. Sheesh!! I think they are way overpriced for what you get.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,333
    I don't recall your opinion of the Jag XJ8 L. Or does the Lexus fit you more comfortably?
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    That's one reason the Acura RL is off my list. It's just too much for a mere V-6.
  • xluxlu Posts: 457
    it will be years before Lincoln turns over its current models to more competitive ones

    It did not take very long for Ford to turn around its Ford lineup to be very competitive; Ford could do it to Lincoln if they decide to do so.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    They decided last year. We won't see the results for another year or so.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I love the XJ8! Especially the way it drives. And now, the new one, OMG, it's the finest looking car on earth, to me anyway!

    Why don't I own one? I considered it not too long ago. I liked that Ford had fixed the cars to a great degree, better more reliable engines and electronics. I loved the drive, liked the looks, although dated, it had pedigree. However, it's low and a little tight for me. It's hard to get out of because of my bum left knee. And, when it goes out of warranty and DOES need repair, it's a fortune. The Lexus drives like warm wallpaper paste, but it never breaks, and it's cavernous inside. Features are superior in the cabin. Now that TATA owns Jaguar, I'm a little skeptical of where they will go. At this time, they are still using the Ford designs I think, but that will go away, and I've seen the NANO. That worries me.
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