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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    You also speak the truth. On these forums , you always see people saying that they will never buy a GM product, Ford product, Chrysler product, etc., again. What is really going on in most cases is that their dealer did not go the extra distance to fix the problem. All companies times have issued models with poor reliability. However, all of them are capable of building highly reliable products. No company should be written off until it is gone.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    http://www.automobilemag.com/features/collectible_classic/1212_collectible_class- ic_1961_1963_lincoln_continental/

    Lincoln needs to pull off another coup like the remade 1961 T-bird turned Continental. MKZ is a start, but not this sort of splash.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    However, Lincoln needs to amp up its luxury styling to really get noticed as a distinctive and desirable brand. This concept really does it:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/01/07/would-a-mustang-based-lincoln-look-like-this/-
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    Not feeling it. Looks like a SL500 with a Lincoln nose grafted on.

    I would prefer something along the lines of an Audi S5 or Jaguar XKR.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Both you mention are nice designs, but both can get away with being more conventional looking. Lincoln needs to get a look that rivals much more expensive cars...perhaps Rolls, Bentley, or the sinister looking Lexus concept of a few years ago...the name escapes me.

    Maybe this concept isn't it, but something truly dramatic would be a great start. Trying to compete with mainstream has not worked, and probably will not work, for Lincoln. The 1961 Continental looked like nothing else, and took design in a different direction. The 2013 MKZ is distinctive, but it is not going to turn heads for very long.

    BTW, that "grafted on" Lincoln nose is far more dramatic than any Lincoln nose proposed so far. So it is a start, if this motor company ever learns to get bold again.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    edited January 2013
    The '61 Continental is often mentioned as a breakthrough design, and it was. Even though it arguably looked more elegant than the Cadillac, it failed to sell in anywhere near the numbers that threatened Cadillac's dominance of the North America luxury car market (sorry, but I can't site comparative numbes). Maybe the reason the Conti didn't sell better was that it was too diferent. Or maybe it was because it was only offered in a 4-door sedan and convertible, and no 2-doors. The fact that it was very heavy, particlarly for its footprint, and fell considerably short of the Cadillacs in interior room and trunk space may have hurt sales.

    Does anyone know or have any ideas of why the '61- '69 Lincolns didn't grab more market share?
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    I remember as a kid that some Chicago newspaper articles talked about it being perceived as small by luxury buyers. But I think it improved on the sales volume of the prior huge beasts with those canted headlights and breezeway rear windows. Some internet sites put 61 production around 25K which is double the Imperial, but Cadillac was good for well over 100K. The Continental actually improved sales volume when it was squared off and enlarged a bit in the mid 60's to around 50K. But remember, GM significantly outsold Ford/Lincoln Mercury, so the big Caddy lead shouldn't be a surprise.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    Thanks for the information, berri.

    Comparatively good resale value was an advantage that Cadillac enjoyed over its rivals from 1946 through the 1960s, and maybe beyond. Also, I've heard that it didn't cost Cadillac owners any more to trade in their cars every two or three years than it did Oldsmobile or Buick owners to trade theirs.
  • Often the dealer is faced with a factory that is very stingy on reimbursement for repairs. If transmissions for a model fail regularly 10,000 miles after the warranty ends, but the manufacturer maintains a "see no evil" stance regarding the problem, very few dealers can eat the entire cost of multiple transmission repair/replacements.

    I've also read that dealers take note of which customers are regulars (meaning, they bring the car to the dealer for regular maintence and repairs), and treat those customers differently than someone who only shows up with a known, but out-of-warranty defect or problem.
  • keystonecarfankeystonecarfan Posts: 181
    edited January 2013
    Lincoln really reduced its model offerings for 1961. The car was only available as a four-door sedan or convertible.

    These were the years when two-door hardtops were very popular, especially in the luxury market. If I recall correctly, the two-door hardtop was Cadillac's best-selling body style during the 1960s. Lincoln left this market to Cadillac, and, to a lesser extent, the Imperial, and didn't enter it again until the 1966 model year.

    The Lincoln was also available in one expensive trim level, which corresponded with the "Fleetwood" series Cadillacs. There was no Lincoln equivalent of the Cadillac 62/Calais for several years after 1960.

    Robert McNamara wanted to shut down Lincoln after the debacle with the awful 1958 models. The 1961 Continental was Lincoln's last chance, so product planners didn't want to spend too much money on a variety of body styles, as McNamara demanded that Lincoln be profitable.

    He left the company for the Kennedy Administration soon after the 1961 Lincoln went on sale, but no one had any way of knowing that this would happen when these cars were being planned.

    It would be interesting to compare the demographics (age, income, education level) of Lincoln and Cadillac buyers during the 1960s. The Continental always seemed a bit more exclusive than its Cadillac competitors. During these years, a fair number of otherwise middle-class people were stretching to own a Cadillac (which shows the strength of its appeal, but ultimately cheapened its image). Was this happening with Lincoln, or did it draw its buyers more exclusively from the upper crust?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    The 61 Continental sold very well. You have to remember that Lincoln by that time was coming back from the dead, and so the level of sales that this one and only model achieved was impressive. Lincoln did a complete 180. These Continentals were expensive, and they were pre-driven and went through other rigorous testing before sale. They had the longest warranty for that time. Sales grew as the model increased in size later in the decade.
  • Sales of the 1961 Lincoln were up, but not by a huge amount, over the 1960 model year. It didn't help that 1961 was a recession year for car sales.

    Supposedly Ford's leadership was not entirely happy with the sales of the suicide-door Lincolns, even though the cars really did improve Lincoln's image.

    It would take the 1968 Continental Mark III to really boost Lincoln sales and profits.
  • unitedkingdomunitedkingdom Posts: 9
    edited January 2013
    It's really sad when the product has to rely on marketing and advertising gimmicks for its survival rather than the product's engineering excellence. Like President Obama said,"You, can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig." So all of you dreamers keep on dreaming that a tarted up Fusion or Mustang is going to convince the discerning buyer that Lincoln is something more than a boutique brand Ford. Buyers of premium vehicles today are intelligent and are not the buyers of yesteryear when coach roofs and opera windows ruled the taste of the American premium car buyer rather than performance, reliability, workmanship and engineering excellence that the premium buyer of today takes for granted in a premium vehicle. It seems that Lincoln is still catering to the velour seat and coach roof crowd rather than the intelligent modern consumer. It's sad that Lincoln will never be a global premium brand because of relying on panoramic glass roofs rather than premium car engineering.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    I hope it works but I'm not a fan of super bowl commercials in general as methods to improve sales. I think they're overpriced and do little to generate new customers. I think people remember the good ones as good commercials and not necessarily the product that was advertised. Maybe the crowdsourcing angle will appeal to younger potential buyers.

    I would prefer $7M to be spent on prime time shows which would equate to dozens of 60 minute ads instead of just one.

    If they're going to do it, at least make it really funny.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,206
    Like President Obama said,"You, can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig."

    Was that Obama, or was it Palin? I'm thinking it was Palin.

    Given the vast differences between the two people involved, I'm inclined to wonder if the other things you have to say include, well, let's just say equivalent differences between statement and reality.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,622
    edited January 2013
    Oh good grief - that is NOT the new MKC and it will not just have "a new front and rear". Mark my words - it will look nothing like the Escape inside or out and will have an entirely different drivetrain.

    The internet has opened up a whole new level of incompetent "journalists".
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,937
    Ford has their 2013 image gallery up for the Lincoln MKZ.
  • We must be looking at different cars. I don't see any coach roofs, velour interiors or even opera windows on the new MKZ.

    You also apparently don't realize that it's no longer 1975 or even 1985. Regarding premium European cars, for example, "engineering excellence" has apparently devolved to "complication for its own sake," "poor results in various reliability surveys" and "nightmarish maintenance and repair costs when the vehicle is out of warranty."

    "Reliability" is not a word that most of us (well, those of us living in 2013) associate with European cars anymore.
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