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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    edited May 2011
    The Nano really is a perfect car for Indians right now. It is barebones to the max, so more of those billion people can actually afford 4-wheeled transportation. They are not hampered right now by our safety standards. They will get there some day of course, what with their economy growing so fast. But meanwhile, engineering a car that runs, and only costs $2500, was no small feat, so to speak.

    Tata is at least 16 companies, one of which is Tata Motors. Tata makes many other cars and trucks, besides the Nano, and you see them all over India. Tata has big plans for both Jaguar and Land Rover, and the money to bring new ideas to market.

    The LWB XJ is a roomy car, and not quite as low as Jaguars used to be. Their reliability is now on a par with many other good cars. Look for a certified car...they will begin showing up here and there. Probably long before Lincoln offers anything that will interest you.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,676
    As of the redesign of the XJ8 in 2004, the roofline was raised 5 full inches (same height as my Crown Vic)...my buddy had a 2002 XJ8 and even little me had to duck to get in w/o hitting my head...
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,341
    I agree with your post. Living in an area where the nearest dealer and/or independent Jag technician is over 50 miles away keeps my finger off the trigger.

    IMO Ford should have kept the Jag & trained all their dealerships to deal with them. When there is only one Jag retailer in the whole state of OR, there is no competition when shopping for one. :mad:
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    Read a couple of articles this weekend on the "new" Lincoln. There will be a bunch of new model releases over the next few years. Basically, it seems Ford is going to rely on technology to differentiate the new models. It also appears Lincoln's will continue being based on Ford's. While Caddy developed some unique applications, industry rumor is they are going to revert Caddy to platform sharing down the road too in order to conserve cash and reduce expenses. Personally, don't really know about that. Bottom line to me is that Lincoln will really kind of become an upper end Mercury line competing with Buick. I remember studying a case on the Edsel in B school many years ago. One of its downfalls was that it was going to be a technology line except two things: 1) much of it on the '58 like electronic touch tranny were somewhat problematic and 2) the tech image advertised really didn't meet up to customer expectations when the model was released. I hope Ford doesn't repeat. Personally, I'm a bit leery of this approach. Too many midsize cars already offer a lot of tech and upscale options. This is why so many of those old midline marquees like Oldsmobile have vanished. I think they need a standout top line vehicle to draw higher price customers. Even if the customer ends up buying a lower priced model, a sharp top line vehicle can add to a vehicle line's image and reputation drawing customers into the dealerships. Caddy is doing that with the upcoming XTS I believe.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Everybody says this - you need a high end - usually RWD high performance - model to be successful, yet if you look at Caddy and Lexus the highest volume units are the smaller, less expensive models like the SRX, RX and ES.

    It's not just electronic technologies - it's ecoboost engines, fully controllable suspensions, full retractable glass roofs, top of the line materials.

    Ford can't afford to give Lincoln expensive bespoke platforms right now. Maybe after they're successful and Ford has paid off all of the debt they can afford that. Until then they'll do just fine as long as they build great looking vehicles.

    I've heard the new MKZ looks like an Aston Martin. I'd say that's a great first step.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,676
    "Basically, it seems Ford is going to rely on technology to differentiate the new models."

    Not to be a "negative Nellie" but will technology be enough if the cars don't look different???...give it all the high-tech on the planet and if it looks exactly like a competing Ford model and I think it would be doomed...too many buyers ain't "car folks" like us, and if it looks like the cheaper model, it IS the cheaper model, regardless of what is under the hood...
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    I agree that the lower end of lux has better sales volume, but you've got to get 'em in the showroom door. If your info is right, maybe some great looking vehicle re-do's will do that. But that is a tough segment. Selling a MKS right now at $10K more than a LaCrosse has to be hurting the dealers. Lux buyers also like status. Even if you just buy a MB 300 series or a BMW 3 series, the company also has models that cost much more. Olds failed in the upscale, near lux biz despite a last ditch style effort by John Rock (e.g. Aurora). Buick hangs in there primarily because of Chinese sales (personally, I think GM just kept the US part to keep face with Asian market buyers since they have lower end Caddy's like CTS). Ford's biggest problem with Lincoln may end up being trying to keep their dealer network profitable and in business. Personally, I'd like to see Lincoln back in the game, but I think its going to be an uphill struggle with lux/near lux pricing but no high end status and prestige. I know Ford let Mercury die, but maybe they should have revamped it with sporty, import based models or something to keep some foot traffic and volume in the Lincoln dealerships?
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    Lincoln's got to make sure the tech is proven out as well. Synch problems have hurt Ford initial quality scores. Can't afford to repeat that with Lincoln buyers shelling out 10-20 grand more for a vehicle. BMW found that out the hard way a few years back...kind of put a crimp in their effort to pass M-B.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Not to be a "negative Nellie" but will technology be enough if the cars don't look different???

    Good grief - have you not been paying attention? They won't look anything like a Ford - that part has been established for months now. Does a Flex look anything like an Explorer or a MKT? They all share platforms but they're entirely different.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Part of the revamp is fixing the dealers. My theory is they're keeping Lincoln prices high for now to help drive more dealers to consolidate or get out altogether. The ones that are left have to spend big bucks to upgrade the experience. And they have a team of 100 people dedicated to fixing Lincoln from the ground up - most of whom came from other luxury makes like Lexus.

    The plan is solid. They don't need Lincoln profits right now - they can afford to wait it out. If they deliver on the dealer upgrades, drop dead styling and luxury features then they'll be successful. We'll just have to wait and see.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    It will be interesting. I guess Infiniti is still in business and Acura hangs in there despite no real super status high end vehicle. Don't know if Nissan or Honda are subsidizing the dealers though.

    Personally, I've always found the high end car business interesting marketing stuff, but have never had the desire to shell out an extra 20K on a depreciating asset. The great part of all this competition today is that 25-30K can get you a pretty nice car leaving you a lot of change to spend elsewhere or invest. I think the midsize car is really the sweet spot right now and almost everything out there is nice - Fusion, Malibu, Camry. Altima, Sonata - you really can'tgo wrong.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,676
    akirby: Do keep in mind that it doesn't matter what I think, it is what the potential buyers think... ;)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Do you think potential buyers (outside of enthusiasts) who look at the Flex, MKT and Explorer think they share anything? That's what you'll see with Lincoln because they're dedicated to 100% unique sheetmetal AND they have a dedicated Lincoln design group which they haven't had for decades.

    Today the Fusion/MKZ and Edge/MKX share doors and roofs and glass so from the side they look almost identical. That will not be the case going forward (finally) which should make Gregg happy (and everyone else).
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,676
    I hope you're right on this...
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    What makes me happy these days is a loaded 2011 Volvo S60 T6. This car was in process of being redesigned when Ford still owned Volvo and I must say, Ford did a great job with their input. 300 hp, 325 torque in-line 6, City Safety, self-adjusting cruise control, real time traffic information, blind spot warnings, excellent two tone leather seats, three 7" screens, real wood and real aluminum trim, torque-vectoring AWD...I could go on. It is quiet and I have been averaging 27 mpg. Lincoln needs a car to compete with this one.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    At least it can't be accused of being a rebadge. I expect the new MKZ to compete nicely but we'll just have to wait and see.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    I believe the architecture is a distant cousin of that used for the Taurus and MKS (the current S60 being built on shortened S80 chassis). Of course the S60 is smaller and lower than the Ford products.

    I suspect as you do that the new MKZ will compete nicely, but meanwhile, the Volvo is already here, and a bargain for what you get. Funny, I never considered a Volvo and had set out to buy an Audi A4. However, none of the dealers could get me one equipped the way I wanted it, so for sh*ts and giggles, I went to look at the S60. Guess I must have been impressed. ;)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    edited August 2011
    I suspect Volvo isn't on many shopping lists at all. They seem destined to stay a niche brand.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Yes, you are correct. Too bad. Automobile Magazine has been raving about their long-term S60.
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 111
    Let me see, the Lincolns all share Ford platforms and yet they are entirely different. How can that be?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    The Flex, MKT and Explorer share a platform - do they look anything alike?

    If you change every piece of sheetmetal including the glass, roof and doors, put in an entirely different interior with different materials plus unique drivetrains - what would you call it?
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 111
    Not entirely new if Lincoln shares Ford platforms.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    In all fairness, I believe most car companies share platforms. For example, I'm pretty sure the most popular selling lexus, ES and RX, are on the Toyota Camry platform.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Developing an all new platform for a relatively low volume luxury brand would be stupid at this point. Maybe once Lincoln is established and turning a big profit but not right now.

    Lexus' 2 best selling models share platforms with Toyotas. Same for Infiniti. But when they do it nobody seems to care. Talk about double standards.
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 111
    I read in Motor Trend that Mullaly may give the Lincoln brand the 86. Majority of dealers want Ford to drop the list prices on Lincolns between 5 and 10K. Mullaly just does not want to go the Cadillac route with Lincoln. The top people at Ford realize that Lincolns are inconsequential. Nobody would care if it goes under.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    Lexus' 2 best selling models share platforms with Toyotas. Same for Infiniti. But when they do it nobody seems to care. Talk about double standards

    I think the problem is that the Lincoln's look too much like the Ford's inside and out. They are moving to 3.7 engine, now they need to better differentiate the interior and suspension, as well as the outside looks. Although I'm still not sure how a single line dealership selling Lincoln is going to survive? Tough enough for Caddy dealers. A lot of the German's like BMW share dealerships with other makes - sometimes a separate building, but shared real estate. Maybe Lincoln dealers will have to be part of Carmax, Autonation, etc. facilities.
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 111
    edited August 2011
    It doesn't matter. Lincoln is an old person's car. Most old folks are not interested in a CTS coupe and mostly those under 60 are not interested in an old folks' car. Lincoln is gone. It's kaput. Also Caddy is still out selling Lincoln and most of its model are priced higher than Lincoln.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    The SRX is way cheaper than the MkX (it's also smaller). I should hope Lincoln doesn't go the Cadillac route. The CTS is the only thing Cadillac has done right and it cost them billions to get there.

    I believe Ford is purposely keeping the prices high on Lincoln right now and they don't care about sales volumes. They don't need to - Ford is delivering the profits now. When they come out with the new models they won't have to increase prices and suddenly everyone will be saying wow - this is a much better car for the same price as the old one!

    The jury is still out as to whether the public will buy the new vehicles but you certainly can't say Ford isn't making the effort. 7 new or totally upgraded vehicles. When has Lincoln ever had more than 4 or 5? They killed Mercury - it was a distraction. A dedicated team of 100 employees in charge of turning around Lincoln - most came from other luxury brands. Lincoln now has a dedicated design group - first time in decades. They've committed to 100% unique sheetmetal and unique luxury features like retractable glass roofs and electronically controlled suspensions. Ecoboost engines on all models with unique powertrains.

    What else could they possibly do right now?
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 111
    How about making a better Lincoln than making it a better
    Ford?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    So you're a platform sharing snob who doesn't believe that you can build a luxury car from a shared platform. I guess nobody told Lexus.
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