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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?



  • 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: 3,661
    Then kill Buick...FWIW, Cadillac still has SOME cachet as a luxury car and the brand name could be "re-built" make Buick the top of the line in amenities is, 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: 4,018
    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: 3,304
    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: 4,018
    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: 2,419
    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: 2,419
    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.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    The jury is out as to whom needs to take a chill pill here. Fortunately, this is not an important topic, and neither one of our opinions holds much weight (nor needs to) in the scheme of things.

    In fact, I have little praise for GM overall...just noting that from some perspectives, the Buick move made sense, and the company itself seems on the mend. Of course only time will tell. I don't dismiss the many new GM models as failed efforts, and neither does the auto press (nor do I think that you do). Cadillac's planned move upmarket may not work out well, but it certainly could. For Buick to cover the Acura and Lincoln competition may not work here either. But it is working so far in China, and it is possible here.

    Meanwhile, Pontiac was a more damaged brand than Buick. Could GM have rebuilt Pontiac? Sure. But they still would have had to keep Buick, or risk losing the larger market they now have in China. And like it or not, we need to sell more goods to the Chinese.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    Buick doesn't bother me as much as GMC, although I think GM could kill both in the U.S. and be better off in the long run. I think GM is keeping Chevy on the lower end and using Buick for the higher end whereas Ford is using one brand to do both.

    Can anyone justify GMC? I just don't get it. Give the GMC dealers the same vehicles with a Chevy badge (sorry - CHEVROLET) and be done with it.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    If Buick is catering to the higher end what the hell is Cadillac catering to then :confuse: the other other high end? c-mon, just simply ridiculous
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Allen, GM kept GMC, due to GMC sales. Now, you and I know there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the Silverado and the Sierra, but many consumers apparently see it differently. There are those who will buy a GMC product, but will not buy Chevrolet. Chevy sales would pick up if GMC died, but apparently not enough to cover what they both sell together. And going forward, you will see more differentiation, as well as a great use of the Denali lineup.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    I've heard that argument, and if there was more differentiation I might actually believe it. But just like those who say they'd buy a mercury but never the Ford equivalent - I just don't buy it, at least not in enough numbers to justify keeping a separate cloned brand.

    As for whatever new they're planning - the question would be whether the same thing applied to Chevy would work just as well. Witness Ford and the Titanium/Platinum F150s.

    How many people cross shop the GMC and the Chevy and pit the dealers against each other? Remember the camaro and firebird? Ford only had one pony car while the GM dealers undercut each other to the point both got cancelled.

    For all of Ford's past sins, not having 2 truck brands was one of the smartest things they ever did (or didn't do).
  • berriberri Posts: 4,018
    I'm thinking the main reason GM kept GMC was to add some truck volume to its relatively low volume Buick and Cadillac franchises? Doesn't Ford recycle a lot of truck/cuv's as Lincoln models?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,624
    But they can just as easily change the name from GMC to Chevy Trucks and sell exactly the same vehicles they do today just with a different grille and badge.

    The analogy would be for Ford to rebadge the F150 and Expedition as a Mercury and Lincoln.

    GMC exists for the same reason Mercury exists. Ford bit the bullet and killed Mercury. GM needs to do the same for GMC and Buick if it wants to get serious.

    Look at Ford and GM's sales volumes, then look at their plant capacity and employees. Huge difference.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    edited June 2010
    Ford did do such rebadging with Mercury and Lincoln (and still offers the 1997 F150-based Navigator), but it hasn't worked as well for them. ;)

    You fail to point out, Allen, that GMC sales by comparison to Mercury are large. Chevrolet would indeed pick up sales if GMC closed, but not enough to equal Silverado and Sierra together. Further, GMC has plans to introduce models that are not shared with Chevy. Already the Acadia and Terrain do not share styling (not even greenhouses) with the corresponding Chevrolet models, and that differentiation will grow. GMC is actually going a bit upmarket from Chevy, which Mercury failed to do in comparison with Ford in its last years.

    You may be right of course. But if GM can maintain four brands (instead of eight), they still have greater potential (if not the reality...time will tell) to attract more and different kinds of customers. Like Buick and Cadillac for example. Buick will cover the $25,000 to 45,000 market pretty well using front wheel drive (and some AWD). Cadillac will be more the $40,000 to $90,000 market, using mostly rear wheel drive and AWD.

    There is always overlap of course. Ford and Lincoln overlap. Some people will prefer the Volkswagen CC, and others will go for the Audi A4 (I am a CC person and would not buy the A4, but that is another story). VW sells more cars overall by having both available.

    Finally, you know darn well that if Ford had the money and resources, they would have kept and developed Mercury. That was the plan, but it just could not be sustained without hurting the core brand's chances of success. Ford went it alone, and kudos for that, but to make it work it did mean making some severe cuts (in ways other than the past methods of delaying new models and giving short shrift to quality).
  • berriberri Posts: 4,018
    I'm thinking whether GM could sell the same number of trucks using just Chevy is moot, because I think it is more about making sure their non Chevy dealerships have enough volume to keep afloat. Most GMC is sold through combo dealers with Buick or Cadillac.

    Most of, if not all, Lincoln is just plushed up Ford so I don't think there really was a place for Mercury any more.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    I think that companies should immediately "cease and desist" in attempting to reach #1 in market share...GM had #1 and lost money...what they need is PROFITABILITY, pure and simple...Honda never tried to have the volume of Toyota, but they have usually been profitable (I think I am correct on this)...

    Take ANY business...why be #1 in volume, what does that means to customers who think??? say I go to the #1 volume plumbing supply house means nothing if they aren't there next year due to too much overhead...I want a profitable company (altho I would never know what goes on behind the scenes, what I want is a business owner who understands about profitability over market share)...

    Why anyone would want #1 market share is beyond asinine to me
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