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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,013
    You have to bear in mind though that right now, tactically, GM's logistics train is a little different than these others. The imports never had multiple product lines as you pointed out (e.g. Toyota/Lexus). At Ford, L-M was never a very large portion of their volume and dealership (at least over the past few decades). However, GM has a much larger portion of dealerships outside of Chevy and Caddy. These are the old B-O-P dealers that are now often Buick - GMC. I think GM needs to continue to feed those, particularly in the less urban areas right now which tend to still favor D3 product. If Buick doesn't pan out over time, and as Buick gains acceptance in Asia outside of its US status, then GM may need to phase down to Chevy and Caddy. But doing so right now is probably more likely to just reduce GM sales and cash flow. So tactically, GM is probably where it needs to be with brands and dealerships, but strategically that may have to change over the decade. You don't want change for the sake of change, or because everyone else its doing it. You want change that is tailored to your individual situation and success. Personally, I have my doubts that eliminating Buick and GMC today would save near as much as needed to offset the revenue flows from those dealerships sales. I don't think it takes a lot in incremental costs to run these divisions since most of the product is derived from elsewhere in the corporation. The decision to streamline will likely evolve over time based on sales revenue at Buick and GMC. Just my opinion though.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    You're right, except you are not. Your confirmation bias is showing again. Right across town there is Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/RAM as part of a larger conglomerate of Fiat/Lancia/Alfa Romeo/Maserati/Ferrari. The synergies between all these brands are beginning to pay off. Should Chrysler get rid of Dodge or Ram or both? Should they dump Jeep? All four brands are on a roll, but nonetheless, two apparently should be guillotined.

    Seems I recall an Allen on this thread who not so long ago who envisioned Mercury becoming Ford's niche brand. It likely did not happen for lack of funds and resources, not because other manufacturers do not have such arrangements.

    VW is toying with becoming number one in the world with all their recent growth. Yes, several of their brands are struggling, but several are growing like gangbusters. The bottom line is looking very healthy. Might they make even more profit by dumping some brands? Possibly. But meanwhile, they are already making gobs of profit, and it allows them to field more brands, support more industries and more workers in more countries, and produce a totally non-essential brand like Bugatti that will never make them any money but gives the world a car that is beyond aspirational. VW sells Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche, Scania, SEAT, Skoda, Suzuki (in litigation), and Volkswagen, not VW/Audi.

    Should they eliminate SEAT and Skoda? Arguments can be made. However, it is hard to argue with being able to be the most profitable auto company in the world, while still being able to employ 400,000 employees worldwide.The wide range of vehicles and brands in a myriad of countries provides more choice for consumers.

    Nissan/Infiniti is actually part of Nissan/Renault/Citroen/Chang'an Automobile Group. There are firm plans now to revive the Datsun brand. Are they nuts?

    Seems I recall an Allen on this thread who not so long ago who envisioned Mercury becoming Ford's niche brand. It likely did not happen for lack of funds and resources, not because other manufacturers do not have such arrangements.

    Looking at Kia/Hyundai, a huge threat to American manufacturers, it is clear that both brands will seek to establish their own premium brands before the end of the decade.

    I could also begin to point out examples from China and India, both countries now having many manufacturers and brands, and both with huge populations and growing economies destined to eclipse the North American market.

    So, as I have said so many times that I bore myself, both two brand and multi-brand structures exist successfully. I believe it was Bertrand Russell who said we ought to only entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. Any dogmatic philosophy, even our own, should be taken with a grain of salt. I simply cannot say that I know that Ford's or GM's approach is better. I have thought (knowing we can get in trouble when we begin to believe our own thoughts :P ) that each has found a way that works for them to salvage something from the mess they both created.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    You speak sense, I would wager.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I'm just jumping in "here" for no particular reason. Opinions are varied no doubt.
    Of recent vehicles, I had an 09 Malibu LT2, that is the leather I4 A6. After a short time I noticed Saturn built on the same body. One better than the other? Unfortunately mine was in the shop several times and the loaners were rent-a-wrecks. That is Enterprise vehicles that were not good enough for the airport. And none measured up to the level of mine. Moving to the A6 tranny was definitely a good thing, but then there were the bads. Two major areas of concern. One with steering and that it was difficult to keep in a straight line and others had similar/alike complaint. Driving over a slight road surface change would make the car react. So touchy that taking your eyes off the road for a second could put you in the next lane. But the worst part of it was that about once every thousand miles the electric power steering went nuts and would steer hard right. Because of the sensitivity of my achy old hands I'd frequently wear leather gloves. One occasion, doing 65 on interstate, it did it for at least a full second. Thankfully I had both hands on wheel and was able to hold it. The force was so intense that it made my right shoulder painful for a few days. Downright dangerous and deemed unfixable.
    The other major area was with the braking systems. That is the anti-lock, traction control, and electronic stability systems. Per GM, if you lost control such as in a slide, the system was to automatically cut power, and apply corrective braking at corners if necessary to correct direction in accord with steering wheel position. I learned it was not working, simultaneously learning that the tires were bad on wet road. Per window sticker the vehicle had touring tires, a step up from the cheaper all-season passenger tires on it. I cut power myself when the back end started coming around and did corrective steering. There was no indication of the system doing anything and I did not notice any of the lights coming on. Heart pounding, I dug into it. The logical said it was something to do with electronic brake control module since any of those functions depended upon it. And such was happening with some of the early Olds Aurora. I had a '96. Turned out the module was being eaten by high voltage spikes generated when the cooling fans cut on and off. Mine already had the fix, a short jumper harness that added diodes to suppress those spikes and never had a moment of such troubles. (An aside, I wish they killed Buick instead and that someone was still building with the unusual steering suspension system that vehicle had) I had the dealer check, and sure enough there was a recall for some of the Malibu, but my VIN not included. I checked, no diodes. 13 years pass and they have the same problem with the same exact fix. (Can you say brain dead?) Other issues with the braking were that it acted like a caliper stuck several times and on one occasion called for a red light stop. I stopped in the intersection with the anti-lock chattering away and pulling hard as if a caliper froze.
    Not a cheap vehicle, but not expensive either. Pretty good on gas and reasonably responsive, but lemon.
    Continue in next post so I don't run out of room.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Continued. As part of the buy-back I agreed to buy another GM. That was a mistake because I lost all incentives. And after months of looking, I special ordered a 2011 Buick Lacrosse CXS, all options except glass top and rear seat DVD screens. I did not know electing the touring package forced horrible Badyear Eagle RSX tires to it. That was almost a deal breaker. I immediately drove to two major tire dealers checking on Michelins. One of them offered me $50 for them. A couple of days later I discover a minor crease in left rear quarter panel, obviously in it before the paint went on, and two exterior parts improperly installed. Dealer took care of. That was minor compared to what followed, including it acting like a caliper stuck on three occasions. In both cases the dealer brought up lemon before I did. Both of those GM dealers had nich showrooms, nice repair facilities, and waiting areas. The Buick always put me in a car nearly new and as close a match to what I had as available. I learned a lot about Lacrosse and Regal, none of it I liked and would prefer the Malibu over the Regal, if it worked.
    Now my 2010 MKS. No major issues, only the TSB fix for noisy front brakes, replacing all parts. I considered the Ford dealer because of long ago experience at Mercury Lincoln. (My brother-in-law worked there) Both need major face lifts, the lincoln far more than the Ford. Unfortunately Lincoln also uses rent a wreck.
    So how much did this new guy have to do with the mentioned GM products?
    Can someone tell me what he did with new MKZ?
    Someone said MKS is stodgy. So be it. There is only so much you can do with a body and maintain aerodynamics. The gas mileage is somewhat variable to buyers, but when prices go up they avoid gas guzzlers.
    I've seen the 2013 and it has superficial changes for most part. They may have made trunk opening bigger which is seriously needed. I don't know weight of MKS, but mileage is rather poor compared to 4400# Lacrosse CXS with V6. And the 2010 MKS has far less power in the 3.7L. Better in the 2013 by adding to variable valve timing, but they did not add DI, direct injection, which could seriously up power and likely why the GM 3.6 has more power and better mileage. But then that would put the 3.7 close to the 3.5 turbo, likely. And getting that high powered engine means AWD at a real gas penalty. I understand the usefulness of AWD, but for me it would be an extreme premium, price versus usefulness plus gas penalty. The ugly part is the way they are packaging options. What good is a glass top?
    The MKS seats are a huge step up from GM's relative to comfort, comparing cooled seating types.
    My opinion, add heated steering wheel, blindspot protection, and a couple of other options without forcing 3.5 AWD glass top. Electronic suspension too, if done properly. The Lacrosse called it part of touring package which was a mis-naming. You had normal and sport mode. Normal could be hard with some sway, involved GY tires I'm sure. Sport would stop sway and make it harder. I don't get how they call it a luxury car?
    Areas I consider short on my 2010: Paint not durable enough. Carpet appears very cheap, low density, and not wearable. Wheels seem to be a pain to get clean looking. If anyone know the secret to keeping them nice, I'd like to know.
    I'd really like to see FLM add HUD, heads up display.
    And moving to LED lighting for exterior might be nice. The current headlight system is the best I've seen.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Do you know of the VW introduction to China? A two seater that gets like 65 MPG, diesel. It certainly avoids much of regulation here but likely fits the needs of most Chinese. I heard the price was $650.00. For some here that would mean a new one every month.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,210
    edited August 2012
    are good things, if you want people to actually read what you write. They imply that there's some kind of structure or logic to what you're saying.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,210
    that there would be almost 20 posts in here today, with most quite thought-provoking and interesting.

    I gave Lincoln a shot 12 or so years ago, and I'll be dead before they get back to where I would even remotely consider buying another of their products.

    But that's just me.

    The rest of you can argue about GM vs Ford until the world looks level.

    I'm buying stuff that's made elsewhere.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    I'm buying stuff that's made elsewhere.

    As are most people. ;)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,623
    Just for the record, what I said was that Mercury could be kept but only if they had totally unique products and not just Ford clones. Like a 2 seat roadster. But I never said they should do that.

    I can see where dealer franchises are probably the biggest driver for keeping GMC/Buick. Perhaps the cost of buying out those dealers is prohibitive compared to the cost savings. At least that is a sound financial reason.

    I would feel better if GM wasn't pushing factory financing on Sonics to folks with 500 credit scores. Mitsubishi tried that and it almost put them out of business.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Just for the record, what I said was that Mercury could be kept but only if they had totally unique products and not just Ford clones. Like a 2 seat roadster. But I never said they should do that.

    Way ahead of you, Allen. I know that is exactly what you said, and what I knew you said. What part of what I said suggested that you suggested that Mercury could be a niche brand but not have unique products? You just like to argue, I think, even when there is nothing to disagree about.

    But kudos for acknowledging that GM may have some different problems in downsizing than Ford did.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,041
    edited August 2012
    Seems like a pretty civil and interesting discussion; don't know why you guys seem to be trying to make it personal.

    Ah well, meantime there's more news about the brand, including the "entry level crossover" based on the Escape platform. (USA Today)

    Funny, when I did a Bing search for Lincoln just now, two of the four ads that flopped up were for Mercedes and Acura. The rest were from Lincoln. So someone is paying attention.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,623
    Every few months we forget what we argued about before so we have to argue about it all over again. :blush:
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,041
    Do I know you? :P
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    It is one of the drawbacks of getting old. :cry:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,623
    I'll be the first to admit that I hate the MK naming scheme. But there was no new reliable information in that article. MKD seems unlikely and there is an Explorer sized Lincoln in the works contrary to what the article says or doesn't say.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Good deal. MKD sounds so dumb and I don't even know why. MKC, if we have to have MK* (and apparently we do), is better.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,623
    You don't know why MkD sounds dumb?

    Does this ring a bell?

    image
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    Good find! Maybe you should bring that to the attention of Lincoln's marketing department.
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