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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    edited May 2013
    You just don't seem to get it, Allen, but that is ok. You apparently do not have any influence at Ford now.

    For pity's sake, I cannot imagine anyone would make an outcry if Ford used the Mustang chassis as a basis for a Lincoln model. People have been crying for that for years. And it would only improve the Mustang. Further, I don't think anyone would confuse a Camaro with a CTS, even when they eventually share some of their architecture. Same with Mustang and Lincoln.

    You say the darnedest things sometimes trying to illustrate your point that Lincoln is doing just fine now with their plans. Yes, in fact the only thing that Lincoln needs now is good luxury vehicles that are nothing like Fords. They do not have that now, and the MKZ is not yet an example of that.

    Reputation is important, and it is built. Lincoln squandered its reputation, and intends to build it back.

    If Lincoln could differentiate its vehicles from the Fords sharing the same architecture, as much as the ATS and 2014 CTS are differentiated from each other, that would be terrific. But even so I predict that if Lincoln survives, they eventually will have at least one model that Ford does not offer...unless of course it is related to the Mustang...in which case we will all cheer.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,193
    Excellent summary and commentary!
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,672
    If the MKZ is a "tarted up Ford" then why wouldn't a mustang based Lincoln be the same? You're either sharing a platform or you're not.

    The MKZ is only about 80% of where Lincoln wants it and it needs to be. But even so it seems to be selling very well with minimal capital investment compared to what Cadillac has spent on the ATS and CTS to date. That's a win by any stretch of the imagination and it tells me that they're on the right track.

    What if the MKZ continues to outsell the ATS and CTS?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I got asked if I wanted to trade, after I was told they did not see a problem. And this was with another dealer after multiple issues with bad workmanship from the first and this problem likely evolving from bad service at previous. Not just me also. Grandson bought used truck with warranty. Transmission starting to slip, kept it nearly two weeks and then told him they did not see problem.
    I'm at this different dealer because previous worked on rear brakes and then it started veering to left with brake apply. Mechanic said he did not see problem. Service writer drove, said no problem. I showed him and told me I had to talk with service manager. Service manager drove and said not a problem, blamed it on road. Then they are testing on wrong road for all vehicles they take in. Luck happened, Lincoln repshowed up, he drove. Yes there is problem, but not brakes, must be alignment. All within green area except toe. They aligned and I paid. Still goes left with brake apply even though straight handling has improved a bit. NOTE: anytime I ask for align at tire shop they bump all settings toward nominal. Not this bunch of clowns and now my steering wheel is crooked. Also for any further work I need to take back to previous shop, the ones that resulted in hard pedal and weak brakes after working on front brakes. Service like this can kill you. Then I learn son-in-law is having issues with this dealer as well on a new powerstroke 4x4.
    These situations roll down hill from Ford so don't bye the buck passing. And if you've got some dream vehicle, you need to have someone else build.
    I told sales they were daft. You can not fix, why would I want another.
    Lincoln rep comment on first bunch of clowns, "they're withering on vine."
    I conclude FL is and so is the rest of Detroit.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Allen, you are incorrigible. I did not say the MKZ was a tarted up Ford.

    You also state that "you're either sharing a platform or you're not." Well, let's go back a few years to when you claimed that buyers could not tell that the Explorer and Mountaineer shared the same body. Well, I begged to differ on that, and I beg to differ on your black and white thinking now.

    The 2014 CTS and ATS will share a platform, but no dimensions. Different wheelbases, length, width and height. Two different sizes and classes. Yes, they share a platform, but not in the way Fusion and MKZ do.

    If the Mustang and a Lincoln sedan share a platform, you will also see completely different cars for different buyers. Ford will not put a Lincoln sedan on the same wheelbase and dimensions as a Mustang coupe.

    The VW Phaeton, Audi A8, Bentley Continental coupe and convertible, and Bentley Flying Spur sedan all share architecture. Nonetheless, they do not share dimensions or much of anything anyone can perceive. The A8 uses aluminum architecture. Yes, they all share some underpinnings, but they are not perceived to be related like for example the Sonata and Optima are (which incidentally don't even share a windshield).

    The next Camaro will be based on Cadillac architecture, not the other way around. The next Mustang could easily be based on Lincoln ideas of what that architecture should be. There is long precedent for that within Ford. The 1961 Lincoln was accompanied by the 1961-63 T-bird. The later Mark coupes were issued with luxury Thunderbirds.

    Even within Ford now, there is platform sharing that spawns some really different creatures: Taurus and Explorer, and Flex and MKT with a longer wheelbase. Setting aside that the MKT was not one of their better ideas, no one confuses it with a Taurus (or MKS).

    So you can do what Cadillac does at great expense and develop platforms that are RWD and not much shared, or you can use a good platform in many different and creative ways.

    Or you can do what Lincoln has been doing with MKS, MKX and MKZ and hope for the best, i.e., "what if the MKZ continues to outsell the ATS and CTS?" Stranger things have happened. (Witness the Camry still near the top of the mid-size charts, despite its excellent competition.) But it is not a good bet in this fiercely competitive premium market.

    I don't think many people notice at this point that the Fusion and MKZ do share a windshield, front door glass and all hard points. They did a good job differentiating the bodies. But I do hope this is the last time they cheap out details like that.

    Fords have gotten better, much, much better, and the performance and level of equipment you can get on a Fusion Titanium is little different from many MKZs. Ford has moved many of its models upmarket.

    I think that is why current Lincolns strike some people as Mercurys. They are not as different from Fords as when you compare a Malibu and a CTS. The difference is more like comparing a Malibu and a Regal, or an Impala and a Lacrosse.

    So there is platform sharing and platform sharing. Ford has already proven it can completely differentiate vehicles using the same architecture as a base. Heck, no one would ever think unless you knew that the previous Volvo S80 and Taurus shared architecture. Ford did it then (unfortunately, neither model for different reasons took the market by storm.)

    So, do it NOW, when you intend to offer a real premium car. Dedicated platform, shared platform, hybrid platform, who the hell cares if the resulting premium vehicle has its own personality, and even better can run with the best?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,672
    Once again you totally missed the point. First I was simply correcting your statement that ATS/CTS wasn't sharing a platform with Chevy. And if you read my earlier statement you'll see that I think platform sharing is actually good if executed directly. I never said that ATS/CTS platform sharing was bad. Quite the contrary - they should share a platform.

    However - using the same platform for the Camaro would either result in a less than perfect Caddy platform (if it's cheapened for the Camaro) or a far too expensive Camaro platform (if it's not cheapened). Both can work but there would have to be compromises somewhere and the same would apply to mustang/Lincoln.

    Personally I don't care about platform sharing as long as the vehicles are different enough and both are well executed. I was simply responding to those folks who always say that platform sharing is terrible when Ford does it but have maintained Caddy was better because the platforms were not shared. Now that GM is sharing even the Caddy platforms they can't really say that any more.

    BTW - my comment was about the Explorer and Aviator because the Aviator had a unique interior and I stand by it.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Well, to be perfectly correct, the Camaro and Cadillac do NOT share a platform. The plan is for the future Camaro to do so. The current Camaro and the 2014 Chevrolet SS sedan share a platform. Again, I don't think anyone will see those two as the same or similar either now, or when they are both renewed. That flexible architecture is going to be used a lot in years to come, for Cadillac, Chevy and eventually a flagship Buick.

    The ATS platform for a future Camaro will NOT be a "far too expensive Camaro platform." It's a better size for a Camaro than the current Holden platform. It is obviously a very adaptable platform. Lincoln could execute a similar plan at some point. Whatever compromises you think are necessary could be handled with varying lengths, wheelbases, height, width, suspension tuning, even unique front subframes (Hyundai's solution to creating the Sonata and Azera).

    But bottom line, everything is a compromise, even deciding to build a unique platform with its inherent costs and possibility of killing other potential models. It just depends on how much compromising you are willing to accept as "acceptable."

    Also--you previously did make the same claim about the difference between the Explorer and Mountaineer, as you did with the Explorer and the Aviator bomb.
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 109
    Cadillac is to start to engineer the new gen ATS platform next year to be used on the next gen ATS-CTS in 2018. It also continues with the Omega premium platform supposedly produced using carbon fiber components to lessen weight while making the platform the most rigid uni-body presently available. The next gen Camaro is to be introduced as a 2016 model with the present Alpha platform which would be obsolete to Cadillac in a few years when the new Alpha is introduced. However, Cadillac division is trying to thwart the sharing of its platforms . The division believes that to compete with other premium marks Cadillac platforms should be used exclusively on its products. Some GM executives are open to letting the Camaro contiue with a Zeta2 platform as well as its use on the limited production rwd Buick Riviera. So who knows what the future holds. But Cadillac is really doing some exciting engineering once only done by the the European premium marks. The sad thing is that the further Cadillac moves ahead ,Lincoln moves backward. There was a time when Lincoln produced a better engineered or product than Cadillac.

    I went to a Lincoln dealer to inquire what is meant by value pricing . It was comparing prices of similarly equipped Lincolns against similar BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes, Audi, Hyundai Equus. The comparable Lincolns beats them in price by at least 7K. Now to a premium buyer , I'm wondering why are these other makes more expensive than a Lincoln. What is the Lincoln Lacking?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,672
    I admit Cadillac has good engineering. The question is whether they can make any money spending all that money on all those different unique platforms. Makes for great magazine comparisons and technical accolades but at the end of the day it's about selling cars for a profit. Why do they need ANOTHER new platform in 5 years? Is the current one that bad?

    Nobody is implying that Lincoln will be world class. Lexus ES and RX aren't really world class either but they sell a heck of a lot more of them than anyone else and since they're based on cheaper Toyota platforms they're making tons of cash.

    I'll take the Lexus model for Lincoln right now (and the profits that come with it). Caddy can have the magazine comparos.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    And that pretty much sums up why Lincoln is in toilet.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,672
    It's a good thing that they're planning something totally different going forward.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Lexus ES 350 sales are down with the new model.

    Yes, Lincoln can adopt the Lexus model...except, oh yeah, Lincoln forgot to design 3 sizes of rwd sedans, as well as the fwd based sedan and CUV. Oops.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    BTW - my comment was about the Explorer and Aviator because the Aviator had a unique interior and I stand by it.

    As do I, stand by Allen: Having owned both a Navigator and Aviator simultaneously, I'm completely conversant with the complexities of the two. The Aviator totally emulated the Navigator, inside and out, and only a "car guy" would notice the Aviator was an Explorer under the skin, albeit with a hot 4.6L 32V engine - but that person would likely also note that the Navigator is an Expedition under there, except for the 5.4L 32V engine.

    Those were two genious vehicles and sold well. The Navigator has now been "Taurused" like a dog-tired rental slug - so sad.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,244
    edited May 2013
    as many people who post here do so is of some comfort to the Lincoln faithful, all 11 of them.

    Most could give a rip less, and yet there are the lengthy treatises. It's nice that there's actual passion for the brand. I'm sure those who share it could fit into a fairly small venue, larger than a phone booth (remember those?), but not by much.

    It's all about selling (or, more likely, leasing) to the masses. The actual enthusiasts are directed to the exits, at which the door may or may not hit them on the way out.

    Ask Ford if they care.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,672
    You keep the sales and profits from Lexus RWD vehicles and I'll keep the ES and RX. That's such a red herring. Nobody who buys an ES or RX gives a rats behind about the IS, GS or LS being RWD.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    I will keep all Lexus profits, thank you. They have a business plan that works. No one gives a rats [non-permissible content removed] about Lincoln anymore.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,672
    And it took them a couple of decades to get where they are today. I think Lincoln can get close in 5 years.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ask Ford if they care.

    I think they do - but in Corporate America (or family held businesses), survival is all about profits - if Lincoln can generate profits - they'll care. It was Bill Ford (and probably still is) who didn't give a rat's [non-permissible content removed] about Lincoln, and let the brand languish in it's own blood. Reviving it will take time, but Cadillac was worse, and they did it. It just takes Capital, a great design theme, performance and a little time to do all that. Most of all, it takes a sustained plan - and that has always been Ford's problem. Consistent sustainability.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,324
    Lincoln showed consistent sustainability when they produced the same Town Cars from 1990 to 1997 and again from 1998 to 2011.

    How well would their latest design sell had it contained a 5.4 V8 with a 6 speed tranny? We'll never know.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,590
    I dislike the Lincoln ad that shows the 90s style TC as an unwanted relic - they'd give their right arm to have something that sells so well, today. I always kind of liked those cars, especially the 95 (?)+ cars that were decluttered a little. They had some class, and were no doubt durable.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    How well would their latest design sell had it contained a 5.4 V8 with a 6 speed tranny?

    The 4.6L was capable of producing SO MUCH more HP & Torque than it was tuned to put out, it would have more than done the job of making that T/C a hot rod Lincoln - of course, MPG would have been sacrificed. The InTech version got 300 HP in the old Continental and Aviator. The 5.4L wasn't necessary.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    So true, Fintail. The 97 T/C was the high-water mark to me. Most beautiful, had an actual luxury interior, and beautiful stylilng. Everyone I know thought the 98 was ruined, inside and out. It was purposefully made for the livery market, with plenty of room for the taxi meter in the middle of the front dash, (that long ugly dash). The leather in the seats was pathetically cheap compared to the 95-97, well, I could go on about the de-contenting that went on, even as far as eliminating the keypad on the door, which Ford has tried to do countless times, to the protests of their loyal customers. (Although, other than my wife, I don't know anybody who uses the dang thing anymore).

    Yes, they would give a lot for a car that sold like those old T/Cs. However, I don't look at that ad as portraying the 97 as a relic - notice they don't show a 98 + in that Ad, even they know it sucked. I see it more as an evolution from their best "effort", to the new iteration....
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,590
    At my first real job out of school, my boss had a 96-97 or so TC (was only maybe 5 years old then) that had very nice plush seating - not a fun ride for a younger driver, but it had an air of class about it. It was also a pretty silvery blue, which probably gave me a favorable impression. Modern Ford leather seems to be paper thin and not premium feeling.

    You might be right about the commercial, maybe I saw the fire breathed on the old car as negative. Those refreshed 90s TCs were a modern pinnacle, IMO. The whale models that followed were a step down, especially the later variants. Earlier TCs were improved as the design aged, the last was not.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ford started turning the Lincoln Leather around in 2010 and 2011, Bridge of Weir I think it's called, and it's a HUGE difference - as it should be. It was pathetic before.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,672
    The Town Car and Crown Vic were fine vehicles in their day but the market changed to unibody vehicles and no amount of updating would have fixed that. The people who really liked them would buy them used anyway.

    I think the new MKS (on a stretched CD4 platform) will finally be competitive but there simply isn't a very big market for large sedans. The market is moving to small and mid-sized cars and crossovers.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I think the new MKS (on a stretched CD4 platform)

    Please elaborate???
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,672
    Rumor is they are going to stretch the CD4 platform (Fusion/MKZ) and possibly widen it as the new platform for the Taurus and MKS replacing the current D3 platform that just isn't well suited to sedans. So MKS becomes a slightly bigger version of the MKZ just like ATS/CTS.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    I dunno. I use that keypad when the battery in my remote gets weak. Yes, I did like the 1997 Lincoln Town Car as well and believe it was the high-water mark for that model. They similarly deconted the Mercury Grand Marquis as well.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    The leather in my Grand Marquis might as well be thick vinyl. I can see a vast gulf between the quality of the leather in the Grand Marquis vs. my 2007 Cadillac DTS. Heck, even the old leather in my 1989 Cadillac Brougham seems richer though it feels wafer thin.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    edited May 2013
    ...from the 1960s showing captains of industry alongside their Continentals. The Lincoln was once truly a rich successful man's car. Heck, one could feel like a CEO in one of those Continentals even if one was just a cubicle dweller. Today's Lincolns make one feel like a cubicle dweller who paid too much to lease a gussied-up Ford even if one actually was a CEO.
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