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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • Ford Motor wisely consolidated all Lincoln production to Wixom to hide that fact---admitting then that it would be 'suicide' to make Lincolns alongside Ford's and Mercury's, as they are now doing in Mexico, because it would kill exclusivity of the brand.

    Excellent point which jumped out as I had just read a 1965 Car and Driver comparison of six luxury marques (Lincoln, Cadillac, Imperial, MB, Rolls Royce, and Jaguar - who today puts Lincoln in that same category). The author said it was noteworthy that the three American brands are all made in their own, unique factories, and this enabled the manufacturers to maintain consistent quality, one of the hallmarks of a luxury brand.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "When was it ever anything else? Lincolns have always been Fords with fancier seats and gadgets."

    I hope you're not serious with this jab.....

    Up until very recently, Cadillacs were the same.
    The Lexus I-30 was a fancy Toyota, as is the ES-330 today.
    The Infiniti I-30 was a Maxima.

    Everything Chrysler, has always been a Dodge, even the Imperial....

    So, what's the big deal? The Town Car only shared what's under the hood until recently with Fords. The body and interior were totally unique. Well, they still are, they're just not luxurious anymore.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "...if this really IS the last year for the Town Car, maybe I should hurry up and get one - that is if I can really get one for $29K or less! I highly doubt I can get a new one that cheap around here."

    Well, you can sure get one here, Lemko - Findlay Signature Lincoln Mercury, Las Vegas. 702 457 0321. Admittedly, it's not the Cartier or the L, but they're the Signature model, and they have a bunch of them. Sticker on them is $43,000. Sale price, $29,999. ;)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "I wonder what is meant in the article about shifting the focus of its advertising theme away from the vehicle and towards the customer."

    IIRC, this is called "Lifestyle Advertising" in the trade. Personally, I don't like it, and it doesn't work for me. This is what you do if your product won't sell itself, you create an ad that projects a desirable lifestyle, and try to attach it to your product. Thus, getting people excited about how they live, and feeling that getting a Zephyr will make them happy.

    Another goofball decision by WCFjr, IMO. He's driving me crazy.....
  • Sorry, should have phrased my question better. I know the technicalities of what they said. I'm anxious to see how they bring it about.

    Lifestyle advertising doesn't work for me, either. Remember Infinity's first advertising theme? Very out there. Didn't work. I agree one does it when one's product doesn't sell itself, which is why this advertising theme is distressing. Not a good sign.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    to Lincoln since 1990, when I bought my first Continental. It was just so "me". If I were that age today, the LS would be my car. I always thought someday, I'd be a Town Car guy. Now I'm ready for one, and the Town Car has been cheapened to an unacceptable level. It makes me sad to leave, but I had to.
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    ...the loyalty of those who know it best", the tagline once ran in the 1920's. "The exterior prompts the contradictory feeling of a vehicle that looks like nothing special and nothing else."---Mark Hudson of Edmunds Inside Line (EIL) comments about their road-test of Zephyr. Which, they also conclude, they like---though the net affect of the test is telling people to wait for the Mk Z. with the bigger engine and uprated chassis, despite the pleasure of the interior. No doubt the designers were trying to hit the middle mark.

    Asked during the trial with respect to the stolen James Bond Aston Martin DP-216-1, whether or not the James Bond Aston Martin DB5 was the most famous of all cars, Henry Ford Museum Curator Mary Seelhorst testified: "No...I think the most famous car is the Lincoln limo President Kennedy was riding in when he was assasinated."

    That honor accorded to "GG300", the Hess & Eisenhardt converted four door convertible limousine delivered to and used by the White House June 14, 1961 until that day in Dallas, November 22, 1963. GG300 subsequently armoured after its use by the Warren Commission, painted black and returned to White House livery through 1977. After which, the car was placed in storage until JFK Jr. turned 21 by agreement with Jacklyn Kennedy-Onassis, where-upon it was placed on Public Display under the pervue of the Henry Ford Museum.

    Other than being known as the "Car of Presidents"---Nixon going so far as to give a 1973 Town Car to Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev as a gift, which Brezhnev subequently wrecked at his Dacha outside Moscow---Lincoln has found its place quite often in the popular lore and culture of our nation. Even from the days of the Roaring Twenties, both police and rum-runners often preferred Lincoln as the vehicle of choice. Just after the Dearborn Police Department 'test-drove' a fleet of four-wheel braked Model L Lincolns in persuit of their jobs, noted author Erle Stanley Gardner of 'Perry Mason' fame purchased his 1931 Lincoln Model K V8 Roadster with the royalties from the first of his 80 Mason novels. Gardner transferred his appreciation for the Model K to his "Mason"---who drove Lincolns throughout the novels. Thus it came to be when Ford Motor picked up the sponsorship of the program Mark II's and Mark III's abounded...Raymond Burr's "Mason" driving a white Mark III convertible. Burr himself coming to appreciate and drive Lincolns and T-Birds throughout the 1950's and 1960's. The first of dozens of TV shows and even films where Lincoln was prominently placed with the characters---earning a place in our culture for Lincoln.

    The descent of 'Camelot', and all the Kennedy personna providing an irresistible draw which even producers of James Bond's Thunderball used with 007 driving up to "Palmyria" in a gold 1965 Lincoln Continental covnertible, among numerous other Lincolns used throughout the Bond films---including the 1963 'defect' sedan, sans engine, crushed in the film 'Goldfinger'! Or the incredibly rare 1964 Lehmann-Petersen used at the begining of 'Thunderball'...with the bad guy unforgetably emerging in 'drag', which Sean Connery's 007 defeats. A stage moment which was only the tip of an iceberg for Lincoln...all now part of our popular memory.

    While all those able to remember Dallas and the black & white TV era can well recall, the generations which have come long after those days sees a Lincoln as part of proms, livery and funeral services, between the '80's, '90's and the '00's, indelibly trapped living in the world of rental fleets and taxi cabs. That is the problem Mr. Fields and Mr. Ford face in trying to 'salvage' Lincoln, perhaps they themselves see it in a post Dallas, post McMillan & Wife guise. More important than that, these gentlemen will have to create new Lincolns able to inspire a would-be writer like Gardner.

    They might never have to double-declutch their Model K transmissions, nor stuff the remainder of their Cubanos in their jacket pockets as JFK did himself when driving his '63 convertible with Chip Bohlen and their female companions at Palm Beach, but Mr. Fields along with his boss, will have to inpsire. They've added 24 months to the time-table, all while Wixom clicks down. Into the breech must come designs that even EON Productions making the latest Bond film will want to use---Lincolns worthy of public and popular affection, and not derision as EIL's MR. Hudson has cast down. The design staffs waiting for the call and instruction: "Build something bold..."

    In the best 'Perry Mason' tradition, this call is for you Mr. Fields. Will they build: "the most famous car in the world..." as Ms. Seelhorst describes!

    DouglasR

    FYI: the Lincoln crushed in Goldfinger was a 'test-car' made from defective parts, engine removed; editing hides the fact that the car is switched from the '64 Odd-Job pulls up in.

    (Sources: JFK Library; Hemmings Classic Car, July 2006; EON Productions; Motor-Trend Classic June 2006)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Mr. Douglasr
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    ...I saw a 1968 Lincoln Continental limousine that was built for none other than "The Great One" Jackie Gleason.

    Does anybody recall the 1960s Lincoln ads that showed CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and other successful businessmen with their Lincoln Continentals? That would really boost Lincolns image. Even a guy who is a "loser" would like to associate himself with somebody like Bill Gates even if the only thing they have in common is that they drive the same car.

    "Why Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft, chooses Lincoln Town Car" There would be Mr. Gates in an Armani suit, arms folded with serious determined look, standing in front of his shiny black Town Car parked in front of Microsoft's headquarters.

    We could repeat the same theme with Donald Trump, Warren Buffet, Jack Welch, Ted Turner, etc.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Yes, if you could get any of those guys to actually endorse the current Town Car. The 2006 Town Car does not have more than a fraction of the cachet that the Continental of 40 years ago had. Too bad.
  • scootertrashscootertrash Posts: 698
    Warren Buffet drives a Town Car.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    ...a 1989 Lincoln Town Car?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,680
    Well Donald Trump is a media hound (I really what to use another word but not sure if it would go over well), the fact that his face will be seen by even more people will appeal to him. Ted Turner to a much lesser extent, the others most likely won't do it.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The 06 is pretty much a livery car. But Trump does have one, stretched. Don't know about the others mentioned, except Gates, who has a Lexus LS430.

    Gates wouldn't be caught dead in a Town Car.....
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    "Gates wouldn't be caught dead in a Town Car..." as NVB states, but if Mr. Gates dies before his time, or he retires, more than likely he will be: in a Lincoln hearse! One more problem facing Fields & Ford to revitalise Lincoln....

    GWB Sr. did infact have a 1989 Town Car Limousine, which used a special chassis and a 460 engine! I saw the car when I was at the White House the day President Bush returned from Texas, November 4, 1992...and it made an imposing Presidential Limousine with its extended roof and armoured appearance.

    ...yes, even Lehmann-Petersen/Ford Motor ran a series of advertisements showing the various concurrent CEO's of the nation's largest companies behind their recently acquired Lincolns. Gleason, as well as other Hollywood stars as Robert Vaughn, had at least two Lehmann-Peterson's. 'The Donald', among many others following in their foot-steps! But the silly super extended stretch jobs have now hurt Lincoln's image more than it has helped it.

    ...but getting Bill Gates to give up his Lexus, and buy a new Lincoln before he turns over day to day operations of Microsoft to the minions, or takes his "last ride" would be quite a coup!

    DouglasR
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "if Mr. Gates dies before his time, or he retires, more than likely he will be: in a Lincoln hearse!"

    LOL.....sure enough! :P
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,321
    The Lincoln hearse will have both a luggage rack and hitch.

    Gates will figure out how to take some of his billions with him. :)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    If Ford does build Hearses, they'll be Navigators......for sure.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    You like the Town Car ? :surprise: I didn't figure that kind of car would be in your tastes.

    Rocky
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    "I am proud that the State of Illinois has wisely invested in this innovative manufacturing site..." Governor Rod R. Blagojevich commented August 10, 2004 when Ford Motor re-opened their Chicago plant. After an $800Mn investment by Ford Motor and the dozen suppliers at the 155 acre site, 2,300 jobs with an additional 1,400 were preserved at the 1924 Assembly Plant. Mr. Fields taking over North American Operations a year later---commenting in Washington that: "You don't get as much help or credit when you invest just as much money updating existing plants." at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who said at the same gathering, as I may have stated before: "It's a lot easier to build a brand new factory than retro fit an old one."

    By contrast Mr. Fields tells us that up to $160K per job in subsidies are often received, bringing in up to $720Mn for a new factory. Chicago, of course, will become Lincoln's defacto home after Wixom closes, during the third shift. At the time Ford Motor invested in the plant at 130th & Torrence Avenue the State agreed to up to $100Mn in road improvements, spending $25Mn immediately. Additional tax. economic and jobs programs credits totalled $58Mn for the 2,600 workers now at the plant. In toto, Ford Motor received the comparable equivalent in subsidies, credits, tax incentives for the 80 year old Chicago Ford Plant that BMW AG spent to build the Rolls-Royce factory at Goodwood: more than L66Mn Pounds, roughly $85Mn. Ford and its "just-in-time" suppliers located within the economic development zone created for the Chicago plant spent ten times that amount refitting the plant. Yet government expenditures more than tipped the difference for Chicago, making it a viable move for Ford Motor. The same could be applied to Wixom, or a new greenfield site for Lincoln.

    In raw numbers what Mr. Fields states is true, but prior events have nor totally borne out his remarks---Governor Blagojevich and Mayor Daly of Chicago making it entirely possible to uprate an old plant. The announcement of its opening led by the Governor himself, before being officially opened by Ford Motor executives. Not unlike a young Henry & Benson Ford throwing the 'switch' to start-up the Rouge! The Governor and the State of Illinois very much providing for and giving credit to Ford Motor for retrofitting an existing plant, that August 10, 2004. Goodwood was 'up to speed' building the 'Best Car in the World' from scratch.

    Thus it can be so for Lincoln...either in a new factory or a 'retrofitted' old one. What seems less than retro, infact, is Mr. Fields attitude toward long established Ford Motor factories. There are 43 of them in America, let us hope that one of them remains to build Lincolns---exclusively. Mr. Gardner would be pleased.

    DouglasR

    source: Ford Motor company; U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois; Mayer Richard M. Daly, Chicago)

    (NVB: thank you for the kind remarks!!)
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