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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    When I went to have my Ram 1500 serviced at Dodge, I looked and looked but the new Plymouths must be in the fenced yard behind the dealership...:):):):):)
  • Why Nasser hated white guys? And how engineers can be fired based on their etnicity or race? Why engineers did not start class action against company? Sorry Navi I can hardly believe in this story, in PC America it is next to impossible. We tried to fire just ONE black guy for a good reason and we had trouble (though we won after spending money on lawyer).
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "Why Nasser hated white guys? And how engineers can be fired based on their etnicity or race? Why engineers did not start class action against company? Sorry Navi I can hardly believe in this story, in PC America it is next to impossible. We tried to fire just ONE black guy for a good reason and we had trouble (though we won after spending money on lawyer)."

    I don't know if Nasser 'hated' white guys. I do know that, in a Ford company meeting, it was published and several people who were there confirmed it, Nasser said "I do not like the sea of white faces I see at these company meetings." Nasser instituted an HR plan which enabled him to force out many white workers. And he did. That was lso confirmed by people in the company.

    savetheland, I don't know what part of the USA you live in but firing a minority, especially a black employee, is next to impossible, as you found out. It's no surprise to me, I've seen it thruout my career. OTOH, firing someone who is white is easy as making toast. That's America for ya. I've heard it wasn't always this way. That we're making up for past wrongs. Well, I say BS. Not one single white person who has been fired or displaced over the last 30-40 years committed any of those wrongs. But it is fashionable to hate and blame white folks cause we're all rich rich rich and we got this rich on the backs of minorities. Just ask them. BTW, when u ask them, see if they have some extra $$$s. I've been out of work for almost a year. I was forced out to make room for another of the new minorities (actually majority in most S/W companies now) - an H1B import from India. I called a couple of employment lawyers. They thought I was joking that they might take my case. There was no case. Cause I'm w h i t e.

    But I digress from discussing Lincoln. I met many smart, dedicated engineers and product managers thru my LS experiences and the LS owners club. I don't know what happened to them. I do know that talented people have been leaving Ford for years - first forced out, then laid off, now they're just trying to get out. (See yesterday's or day before Detroit News.) I am losing confidence that Ford can get out of this mess and perhaps they deserve it? Bill F has done little to turn things around except cut cut cut and promise promise promise. He promised to build a huge number of hybrids. But he backed off that. His head of hybrid development left the company. He put his sister or cousin, whatever, (Elena) in charge of Mercury. Now it's a joke. He put a black guy who was a parts manager in charge of Lincoln. Now look where Lincoln is. Well, at least they've raised their diversity quotient, even if they can't get a decent Mercury or Lincoln designed and built.
  • Did anyone hear the rumor that Ray Nagin will take Robert Rubin's place on the Ford Board of Directors?
  • Thursday's USA Today, Money section, had a front page article about the possible sale and future of Jaguar. What interested me in the article was the following statement by the author, after discussing the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover: "This would leave Ford with two premium brands: Volvo, which has seen sales slip 10.3% this year, and Aston Martin, a low-volume car maker." And this, attributed to UK analyst Michael Wynn-Williams: Ford "desperately needs to be able to move up to the premium market...If it dropped its premium brands, it really would be in trouble."

    No mention of Lincoln at all, anywhere in the article: not as a once-upon-a-time premium brand; not as a possible future premium brand. Lincoln was totally off the radar. I'm not sure what can be done to turn perception around, and I'm not optimistic about the marque's future.
  • Today, Paul Harvey said Ford is shopping Jaguar- so it has to be true.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Excuse me, but what a sorry bunch of over-paid dimwits. Selling off parts of your own body--especially when it is on life support and needs every bit of itself to recover--is going to accomplish, well what?

    It is so difficult to understand how people who have no clue--of the market and the industry and what matters to the buying public--get thenselves into these positions. Witchcraft, perhaps??

    Apparently, Bill Ford is not even aware enough to know that he should be ashamed of what has transpired under his watch. And now "everything is on the table." Like as in "we have no clue, but won't someone always save us?".

    Look, you dolts. You have had every advantage: good sales, good engineers, good concepts, huge market share. You got there with product. You NEVER got it by delaying introductions, cancelling proposals before they tested and by being timid. You will NEVER get to the top by limiting yourselves to what focus groups like.

    I don't think any of this is getting through to anyone who matters at the helm. Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin could have a synergy no one else could touch. Admit you don't know jack--doesn't the market share loss even with those kind of assets tell you that???

    New products, non-pretend updates and more variety to the already existing models may cost you huge amounts of dough, but nothing else will have a chance of succeeding. Selling an arm or a leg will only make you look stupid. Pity poor Lincoln, but as Lincoln goes, so goes Ford.
  • In news I read that Ford is trying to sell profitable Aston Martin without Jaguar. I am not wondering anymore – they lost their way evidently. They had similar problems in 30s, 40 and 80s. Ford was world’s #1 automaker in 20s and see where they ended up. After Taurus there were talks that Ford will be #1 again but you know that Ford is no Toyota – they have to do lot of stupid decisions first and then recover after heroic efforts. And it is even before union inefficiency is taken into account.

    I am in CA. Blacks are considered here as holy cows so I do not even try to argue with them – just staying away from trouble. I did not argue with my cat either :)

    When papers talk about premium cars they mean Europe. Lincoln did not succeed in Europe. Premium Ford sold in Europe was Ford Scorpio but after failed redesign Ford abandoned this sector. Idea to replace Scorpio with Lincoln LS did not fly because of Jaguar.

    Jaguar hurt Ford in many ways. Not bringing Lincoln in Europe is only one episode. Jaguar will probably be around after Ford goes bankrupt and disappears completely being a distant memory and still Jaguar will be unprofitable. May be some Chinese company will own Jaguar eventially. But who needs Ford/Lincoln/Mercury? Ford has to get rid of Jaguar ASAP.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, for now, Ford Credit is on the block first. By the way, it's the most profitable division of the company. So, naturally, that's the easiest to sell, so that's where desperate, short term management looks. Hertz was first - also profitable. Now Ford Credit, next Jaguar, Land Rover... I've been a Ford guy all my life, and my father was one before me. They've had their ups and downs, but I've never seen it so out of control as now. They're on the ropes, and only a real leader could put them back in order. What's Iacocca doing now? Probably gumming his food and playing chess...
  • On the ashes of PAG Group, a new company, perhaps, under Jacques Nasser will for created. For the man has not actually left Ford Motor, keeping an office within the company, will not get his chance to prove the viability of his investment in the British Brands. Astons sale along with Jaguar, and Land Rover might be forced into the breech to sweeten the deal, will provide the centerpiece for the new firm. Outside of Ford, it may well prosper. How many talented executives will follow the example of the un-named Ford executive quoted by the WSJ: "I want to get out of Detroit", and begin perhaps a brain-drain at Ford Motor.

    It was not a mistake for Ford to expand, over-arching with Jaguar was---two thirds the investment, or at least half, should have gone to Lincoln. The whole of the X series Jaguars should never have been built as such, being Mercury's instead. A realistic build target of 75-100K cars would have seen success instead of doubling the chance of failure at 200K. And the style being criticised for being too conservative: "Hard core loyalists loved what they were doing, everyone else was puzzled..." Matthew Lynn of the London Spectator comments. It is sad now that they fixed the car, reliability factors included, that they will not wait for the next S Type, sharing as it does a platform with the Lincoln S.

    Go, and go it will. Bill Ford's "we're not ruling anything out" mantra in his effort to return to profitability, merely tells the public, "We don't know where we are going."---because they do not see where they actually are. The disconnect between top management and the real world seems must greater from this distance. At the end of the day, a Ford Motor without the British Brands will free up billions for Lincoln and Mercury. But an exodus of talent to the new Nasser Motors underwritten by J.P. Morgan Bank, will leave a tougher nut to crack for Lincoln to emerge from the ashes of the mistakes at the Glass House.

    "Good Enough" is no longer adequate. No serious replacements for LS, Town Car, Crown Vic/Marquis, Taurus or even the MondeoSVO have been announced or scheduled. It will take some serious talking and action by Ford Motor to realign itself in the public eye after it off-loads a fair percentage of the company. Selling Ford Motor Credit, even a portion, would make it harder for Ford to borrow in the future---raising its costs longterm. Sitting on $35Bn in cash and credit, and engaging in a "garage sale", means that Ford is losing closer to $2,000 a vehicle in North America. To make a profit outside its finance arm, Ford needs to change its costs $2,500 per car.

    Perhaps that is why there is ostensibly panic at the Glass House, and revisions are being offered ontop of revisions. Where does that leave Lincoln? It will still be 2009-10 before any serious product sees the light of day. Continental is still mentioned within the Lincoln website...though none now exists. So Lincoln has to survive some very dark years until the next decade to see new product worthy of the tradition and name. I would hate to say that only when Toyota passes Ford for '06, or '07 will Bill Ford cede his chair to Edsel II. And only then will someone champion Lincoln. For it is clear that there is no voice at Lincoln urging its cause. Elena Ford, Mr. Fields, and Mr. Leet seem unaware...Bill will only chose between the choices he is given.

    With or without Jaguar, it seems those choices are narrowing for Lincoln.

    DouglasR

    (Sources FT, WSJ, Automotive News, Edmunds ONline)
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    A week or 2 ago I ent my opinion to Lincoln via their contact us email on their website. Today surprisingly I got a response. A pretty-well canned one, but a response nonetheless. While it could be a waste of time, maybe more folks should opine directly to them and *maybe* they'll take notice.

    They encouraged me to send further concerns, so I decided to tell em what they should do, from my point of view. Here is what I sent:

    1) Build the Lincoln Continental Concept with an American V8. That's what a Lincoln should be. Not a warmed over Mazda (UGH) or a Japanese-looking Volvo. Have SOMEONE in Lincoln product planning take a look at the success of the Chrysler 300 and pause and think.
    2) Forget the stoooopid confusing 'MK' thing and change the names to "Mark xx" quick or give the cars back their real names. This MK thing is inane.
    3) Fire your ad agency. And keep that doofus Bill Ford off the TV. Even the laughable Dr Z ads are better than his Al Gore-like drone. And tell him if he makes a promise, he should keep it, duh.
    4) Design and build a Mustang-based Mercury Cougar, ala 1967. Or just kill Mercury quickly instead of slowly. There's no reason for anyone to go into a Mercury showroom except the Mariner hybrid.
    5) Stop marketing Mercury to women only. Mercury means 'fast'. It is a man's car too, or should be. James Dean drove one.
    6) Get rid of those old-lady 'D-L' shifters. NOW.
    7) Get some more hybrid or fuel-cell or Displacement-on-Demand vehicles/technology before gas costs make everything else irrelevant. Nobody cares about 'flex-fuel.' Why in heavens name would anyone buy a 20 mpg Zephyr or Milan when they can get a Camry hybrid at 40mpg for just a bit more?

    That oughtta do it.

    George

    PS: I read today that the Monterey is dead. I could have told you it wouldn't sell when I first looked at it when it was released. It was boring, bland and plain (thus a typical modern Mercury), it had nothing the competitors didn't have but was lacking many things they did have, and the fit and finish was horrible. You folks should put me in charge. :>)
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    You shoule have also given them the link to this thread. You'd think they would monitor something like this where there is actually some activity.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Oh, they monitor us alright. Perhaps not a vigilantly as the Department of Homeland Security, but rest assured there are several Ford employees perusing these threads and commenting under their usernames. I have spoken with some of them myself. ;)
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    ROTFFLMAO :D

    Rocky

    P.S. do you think iluv, is really a Hyundai/Kia executive. :P
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You mean Iluvmysephia? Don't know, Rocky. Have I encountered him around here? But usually, they don't use any clues in their username. Never seen one do that.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Yeah that is who I meant lol. I was only kidding about him. ;)

    Rocky
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Don't know about iluv, but I'm VERY worried about Ford. I guess I never thought Bill Jr. would let it get this bad that they have to start selling off assets to survive. What a travesty! It's Chrysler II. I thought Ford had more substance to it than that, although they suffer from some of the same idiotic inconsistency Chrysler did. It's criminal...anyway, that is how I feel.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I think stream-lining ford isn't a bad thing nvbanker. ;)

    Rocky
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    If that's what it really was. Streamlining in Ford-speak would be Chrysler II, for sure--or worse. Again, all of the Ford brands are good ones with great heritages. The synergy should have been powerful. However, Ford let the Ford brand, and especially Mercury and Lincoln languish. For no good reason, other than overpaid executives did not know what they were doing when they made business decisions...in the past 6 years especially. SUVs and trucks. Brilliant. Nice concept, but the market always moves and changes.

    A whole raft of great concepts would be on the road now, had anyone there with sign-off power had the vision to really use their designers and engineers. Don't get me started...but a 2 seater $40,000 Thunderbird instead of the Forty-Nine which had a back seat and even the potential for 4 doors?? The 500 instead of a 427-based sedan with a range of engines? NONE of the Lincoln or Mercury concepts implemented? (Don't tell me the MKX is the Aviator concept...it's a re-badged Ford Edge.)

    All of the car companies seem to seek Ford's currently considered "solutions" before they either fully die or are absorbed. GM is right to be getting more variety of product out there at great cost. Their sales are already picking up.

    BTW, what is Ford going to counter with when GM produces a hybrid Tahoe in 2008 at only a $2,000 premium? This will be a big rig with highway mileage in the mid 20's, and even the non-hybrid Tahoes offer more power and better mileage already.

    Oops. I got started. I am angry as a lifelong Ford admirer and stockholder. Dumb overpaid dolts! And rather than get to work with the cash they have and get more innovation out there sooner, they dither with potential sales that will only stave off death a short while--or change a powerhouse company into a shadow of itself.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I thought the GM hybrids were pushing low 30's hwy mpg ? Well that is what edmunds was getting in the Escalade hybrid mule ;)

    Rocky
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I agree with you, gregg. Check my carspace - you'll see I've been driving a lot of Fords most of my life. I liked my Fords the best of what I've owned. Today though, I have so many issues with the way the company has been systematically ruined, and the product they're putting out, trucks excepted, I am losing my passion for the brand. That Fusion, which seems to be a good car, should be a Taurus, the car that changed the world once upon a time. I still remember the first time I sat in an 86 Taurus. The feel of the sculpted supportive seats, the ergonomically perfect dash and door panels. The quality feel of the switchgear and handles. The firm, tactile ride and quiet cabin. For the time, the car was even pretty quick. It was the perfect sedan at the time, and frankly I'm not sure it's ever been surpassed. Certainly, Ford has never replicated it. And they thrifted and decontented the Taurus every year until the 96 redesign, which eliminated the high seating position and low cowl, destroyed the character of the car with the catfish look and oval to death design. The car ran ok, but was so ugly, I'd never own one. Now, the 500. Nauseating on the outside, the inside is a great design. The seating position is good, but the el-cheapo dash just kills it for me. And LIncoln, don't even get me started. The Brand that once took me away from Cadillac, now has me driving a Lexus, and looking at Cadillac......
  • In a memo to all Ford Employees, William C. Ford Jr. stated, 09-02-06: "We have aligned Ford-Mercury-Lincoln product development much more closely with Mazda and Volvo to achieve greater efficiency and produce more exciting vehicles. We have achieved similar success with Ford of Europe and P.A.G...." And MR. Ford adds: "Over the past few months I have made it my business to become more passionately involved in the detailed operations of our business..." In his bromide on 'Leadership' he stated: "These should not be days of 'fear', as one headline put it recently...". The memo outlines the strategy emphasizing the 'Way Forward' plan, Global Structure, and Leadership are the key factors that the 'team' is now focused upon.

    Lincoln sales dropped 2.2% for the year to 82,132, and down 9.5% for August at 8,979. Town Car sales down 16.6% for the year as the model winds down at 26,989; LS crashing 48.8% with its discontinuation at 7,922; Zephyr the only bright spot selling 21,938 cars for the first eight months of 2006. 35,000 cars in its first year is not unrealistic for Zephyr. Jaguar sales continued its precipitous drop, minus 30.4% for the year at 15,350 with only the XK increasing 106.5% for August selling 393 cars, and 69.2% for the year at 3,043. Come the end of this month, Lincoln will have very few cars to talk about at the Paris Show...Mark Z & S being the only thing remaining...as Wixom will close far sooner than next spring. If you don't want a remaindered TC/LS, you have no choice but to pay more for a new "Z", or buy what is left of Zephyr stock. It's getting harder to buy a car called a Lincoln....and MR. Ford seems to have ensured that holds as what is left of Ford Motor automobiles are being merged toghether into a single car line with minor variation between the brands.

    With the competition moving very fast, and Mr. Nasser putting his chips on the table, one wonders what details will be left for Mr. Ford to "pay attention to" by the time the dust clears. Fear is not the word I think I would use to characterise what is now happening at the Blue Oval. Mustang sales shot upwards 64%---one speculates that people might be getting nervous that Ford will move to bankruptcy and begin to curtail production of cars they want, so they are buying them now rather than later.

    Mr. Ford pushed Wolfgang Reitzle out the door four years ago July 1, 2002, and he was the last publicly acknowledged Ford Executive that had a plan to invest in Lincoln..."I think the strategy is a convincinvg oneand this principle is independent of the people proposing it...the Lincoln brand is not sharp enough and is not consistent enough..." PAG his bailiwick, and when his Lincoln plan was rejected, and its offices moved back to Detroit, he left going to Lindt AG in Germany, which just merged with BOC to become the largest natural gas supplier in Europe. Landing Mr. Fields his job, from which he as quickly promoted again---bringing him to Detroit to hold sway over Lincoln. Now the whole of PAG may well be gone...and still no plan for Lincoln has been announced, much less hinted at, other than ubuqitious comments about 'luxury for the blue-jeans set., beyond 'merging' platforms together. At the end of the day there will just be different flavors of the same platforms...unique cars at Lincoln will be gone, as is the chance for them seemingly dimming---if we take MR. Ford at his word.

    DouglasR

    (Sources: Ford Motor Company; The Car Connection, Mike Davis interview with W. Reitzle, April 12, 2001; WSJ)
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    1) 15 Billion barrels or more just discovered in Gulf of Mexico! Rev up your SUVs.

    2) Bill Ford just stepped down. Ex-Boeing chief taking over. Maybe Ford/L/M will take flight after all?
  • Wow, good article.
    Sadly that pretty much sums up the situation.
  • "Wow" is right. It is a good article. It nails FoMoCo management.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    It takes a lot to send a guy who bleeds Ford Blue out the door, but Bill Jr. finally did it to me....He's clueless, Nasser fired all the "car guys" because they were white, I guess, and so what you have left, is Accounting. Make a hellova car don't they?
  • "It's the best car in the world"---Alan Mulally said of his Lexus 430. "It's being keyed right now..." Bill Ford Jr. said at the press conference introducing Mulally at the new CEO of Ford Motor to Bill Ford's 'promotion' at Executive Chairman. No different than the arrangement in Germany whereby Bernd Pischetsreider reports to Dr. Piech at VWAG.

    Hopefully Mr. Mulally will not prove to be the 'Roy Hurley' of Ford Motor---Hurley representing the 'Management' Curtiss-Wright brought to Studebaker-Packard in 1958 that led to the demise of the company. "The reaons he called was not to restructure, not to get rid of stuff, not to sell it off...He called because he wanted to make the finest cars in the world." Mulally said yesterday at his appointment of CEO of Ford Motor.

    "I think the U.S. can compete...there's no reason why we can't be the best in the world..." He added.

    Mr. Mulally must now buy a Ford Motor product. If he is smart, he will arrive in a new Lincoln when he drives into the Glass House when he starts his tennure October 1. Though there are fewer competitors within the aero industry, the stakes are higher. He may know nothing about cars, but by making tough choices saving Boeing and bringing the 777/787 and checkmating AirBus, means that the various brands now might have a chance as resuscitation at Ford. Palace Politics aside, being that WCF Jr. could not convince another auto executive to run the company, this might be the best bet.

    Jaguar and Astons will go...Land Rover might form the last triad of Mr. Nasser's new company. Ford and Mulally can use that money to regain what they lost.

    DouglasR

    (Sources: WSJ, FT, Ford Motor Company, Detroit Free Press)
  • has lots on Ford's management change today as well as a serious look at what needs to be done immediately with Lincoln. Ford news in both the 'Rants' and 'On the table' sections found at the link below are good reading.

    Seems like Ulrich Bez is putting together an employee buyout of Aston Martin. He wants to continue managing A-M as well as being a major shareholder.

    http://www.autoextremist.com/index.shtml
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    ...if Mr. Mulally really thinks the Lexus LS430 is the best car in the world, perhaps he should try to get Lincoln up to that status. I would love to see a Lincoln with 1961-65 styling with a Lexus quality interior and workmanship.
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