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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    You are kidding, right?

    Every Cadillac vehicle, except the DTS (and the BTS which is not sold here), is rear wheel drive: CTS, STS, XLR, SRX, ESV, EXT, Escalade, and all the V Series.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    And of course, all the Lincolns USED to be RWD except the Continental, which has been discontinued for years -but now that Cadillac has come around, Lincoln is going to be all SH-AWD.... Grrrrrrrr :mad:
  • "The concept did start with Veraldi, and now he's bringing it back to Ford..." James Lewis comments in his managment tome about ARM's reliance on the Taurus Chief Engineers success at revamping product development at Ford. Boeing CEO Phil Condit and ARM met with Veraldi during the development of 777, applying some of his techniques at Boeing, thus saving the company. The head of the Machinist Union also comments with respect to ARM: "An engineer that knows how to fix what doesn't work..." And the other half of Boeing's union the SPEE's Charles Bofferding added that: "Our negotiations....were based on criteria that we all understood, rather than who could force the other to do something they don't want to do..." These are remarks printed among various sources that indicate the tennure of the leadership we can expect from Mr. Mulally at Ford Motor. A welcome and much needed change at Ford.

    As the Ford Motor Board meets today at this hour to decide the fate of the company and the 'Way Forward Plan', one of its chief architects, Ann Stevens, may leave Ford according to Reuters and Automotive News. Stevens, not a fan of Lincoln...given the tennets of the orignal plan, also wants a higher calling in that she says: "I do want to be CEO..." ARM has checkmated her fortunes at Ford Motor. She may well be gone within a fortnight. Leaving the COO's position open for rank and file from Boeing. ARM could bring in his own cadre of "Whiz Kids", just as HF II did bringing in Ernest Breech, and staff from the Strategic Bombing Survey in 1945---one of whom was McNamara, as arbitor of the '61, and set the stage for the revival of Lincoln. Will there be a similar "man" brought aboard at the behest of an ARM's-TEAM? We can only hope so.

    Between 60 cars per hour and 33 cars per hour from Wixom's heights in 1997, the ARM's TEAM will have to reestablish Ford Motor manufacturing to remain profitable between that range, responding to fluctuations in the marketplace without betting the farm. You can bet that Ford Motor under ARM's TEAM will cut employment down to the levels similar to Toyota---meaning that far more than 10% of the current workforce will go. He did that at Boeing, and also installed their first "moving" assembly line to build 777/787/737's---using 60% fewer employees. 60,000 Ford workers may well be bought out or asked to leave. Painful, terrible to watch, especially if you are one of them. Hopefully they will not lose rank and file that have expertise in areas they need. Though it is a foregone conclusion that the competition at the high end of the engineering, design and executive staffs will be very keen indeed. But this is what is being decided at this hour---from the wreckage of Ford today may yet rise, not only a "British Motors Corporation" from the sell-off of assets, but a new, rather more virile and vivascious Ford Motor Company.

    Almost fifty years ago to the day, July 29, that the last Aero Executive took hold of an automotive Company, Curtiss-Wright's Roy T. Hurley taking over at Studebaker Packard, Bill Ford and ARM hashed out what will happen at Ford, and their plans presented to the Board at this hour. But the fact that ARM relied upon one of the engineers who brought Ford a great success in the past as inspiration for the future at Boeing bodes well for the future of Ford Motor. We can only hope that tomorrow as the details are presented to the world, that "Way Forward" is unrecognisable, scrapped, or completely rewritten. If ARM arrives in a blue Town Car tomorrow at the Glass House, we shall know just what kind of a stamp "our man Mulally" will have upon the Blue Oval.

    We can only pray.

    DouglasR

    (Sources: 'Packard, Decline and Fall' James A. Ward,, Stanford University Press, NY, 1999; FT; WSJ; Reuters; Automtoive News; Edmunds Online)
  • Well, the problem is that Lincoln does not have any rear-drive platforms to work with. For one reason or the other they have dropped the LS platform, and other than that or other expensive Jag platforms there is really nothing to build upon. As it appears that Ford is not interested in investing in a rear drive platform for Lincoln the only choice is front or AWD. The key difference vs. Cadillac is that GM beleives Cadillac is critical to their success and invests in the brand; Ford, it seems, has come to a different conclusion concerning Lincoln.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Hello, stranger! Hope all's well with you.

    I'm still driving my 2001 Autumn Red Getrag LS. 76,000 miles and runs like new, thank you very much.

    As for Lincoln now - it's looking like burnt toast to me. Navigator finished dead last in 5 SUV comparo (and is butt-ugly for 2007 in and out) the MK Z has not, to my knowledge, been tested against anything in it's class, but IMHO, it has no class and no reason to buy it over a Mazda 6 so what's the point? The MKX has a nice rear end, the rest is shockingly bad including a go-kart like instrument panel, an AMC Spirit grille treatment and slab sides. THis is gonna compete against the RX330 or MDX? I seriously doubt it. Then in 2 years comes their flagship - a V6-powered Acura clone. Please stop it, Lincoln, you're killing me.

    PS: THe supposed excuse for dropping the LS is they lost money on every one they built. EXCUSE ME but I HIGHLY doubt that. 7 years they built the car and lost money on every one? If that's true, well bankruptcy is the proper place for them. The LS was Lincoln's future, it's path to competitiveness, a base on which to build a brand. Now, Lincoln is warmed over Mazdas and Volvos. Excuse me while I lose my lunch and head for a Japanese car dealership.

    BTW, JR, perhaps you know why the Continental concept was apparently never seriously considered?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,343
    Not kidding because when I brought up the 2007 Cadillac website and being interested in the V8, the most economical sedan is the DTS with FWD. Dut to the price of the STS to begin with, I didn't venture further to learn it has RWD. As there is more than $10,000 difference between the two, it is not worth 10 grand to have a RWD Caddie, IMO.

    Base STS 52185 Base DTS 41990

    As for me, it is bad enough to take 40K out of the market just to buy a depreciating liability. :(
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    " Now, Lincoln is warmed over Mazdas and Volvos. Excuse me while I lose my lunch and head for a Japanese car dealership."

    Evidently you feel like I do, heyjewel. And that's why I'm driving a Lexus now instead of a Lincoln, and it pains me to lose my relationship to the brand I have driven since 1990.

    If they didn't lose money on EVERY LS they built, the margin was too small to justify updating it. Thunderbird was worse. At the Ford and Lincoln price points, you got a real bargain of engineering excellence for the money. With the Jag, you got pretty much the same thing in a British package with a slightly modified engine. But at that price point, it worked.

    But it's all gone now....
  • DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. has told the United Auto Workers Union that it would offer a buyout package to all of its 75,000 U.S. factory workers as part of an accelerated turnaround plan, a union official said on Thursday...The news comes a day before the automaker is expected to announce a sweeping restructuring plan....The long-anticipated announcement, which is expected to include more plant closings and employee layoffs, will be detailed in a statement scheduled to be released at 7 a.m. EDT
  • I just read this and honestly, I got angry.

    Ford Woes

    The dopes that have been running this company didn't just passively watch something occur, they killed it.

    Look at the plants being closed and their products: Town Car, Ranger, Crown Victoria, Taurus and even the Expedition/Navigator Michigan Truck plant.

    Everyone of those one time great products has been killed through utter neglect. The mismanagement this company and it's workers, and (in a nod to Doug) American Industry as a whole, have suffered is so wrong, it seems criminal.
  • I suspect the reason for no Continental is that the investment was simply too great at a time when Ford has had to be very careful with its investment dollars (see recent news). Lincoln, in my opinion, is simply not a priority for Ford, and will be less so in the future given the corporate situation. So what is happening is that those in charge of Lincoln are attempting to come up with a competitive product line with little investment. This is hard to do and remain a real, competitive luxury brand.

    The LS did not, when I worked on it, lose money. However, with recent incentives it might have got to that point--but again that gets down to lack of investment to make the vehicle competitive. Little investment=non-competitive product=high incentives=low profits. The LS was meant to be the start of a new Lincoln but things did not work out as planned...to succeed in the hyper competitive luxury market you need commitment and investment; otherwise you are marginal at best.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "The LS did not, when I worked on it, lose money."

    My suspicions confirmed. Ths LS represents what Lincoln COULD have been. Yes, lots of external forces worked against it, but the buck stops at the door of Nasser and Bill Ford and Daryl Hazel and ... such a shame.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Looks like Mulally's first move is to get rid of the UAW! Now THERE's an idea whose time. All 75000 hourly orkers offered buyouts. Bring in a new labor force working for more typical American wages as Toyota, Honda etc are doing. The road to competitiveness. Unless of course they're just going to build more factories in Mexico.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Rocky, there is much more to handling than figures generated on the skidpad.

    The 1984 Corvette pulled very impressive numbers on the skidpad, and was lousy car to drive in the real world (the suspension was so stiff that even minor bumps would shake the whole car and bruise the driver's kidneys).

    The RL doesn't have the same type of problem (I'm sure the suspension tuning is far more supple than that of the 1984 Corvette), but I still wouldn't take its skidpad figures as proof that it can outhandle a BMW in the real world.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Will Ford replace most of those departing workers? I'm sure that a fair number won't take the buyout offer.

    I thought the whole point of the original Way Forward plan and this new, accelerated version is to shrink the company to reflect a permanently diminished market share. Ford will never have even 20 percent of the market again.

    I've also read that with the cost of this buyout and other changes, Ford's losses this year will be in the $6 billion range.

    Let's hope the company's way forward doesn't take it right over a cliff.
  • The sad truth is that Ford Motor was worth more in 1954, before it went public ($3.5Bn in 1954$, 35Bn 2006$) and spending more money on factories, designs, and engineering, in the words of then Ford Executive J. Emmet Judge: "just to catch up", than it is today---with its 2006 market capitalisation at $13.64Bn. Mr. Mulally (ARM) will have to compete not only with his competitors as Nissan-Renault, Honda, and Toyota, but also the Ford Motor that once was.

    The echoes heard around the halls of the Glass House must not only reverberate with a "can-do" attitude, they must also resurrect the words of Mark II designer John Reinhardt: "It was one of those once-in-a-while things, when the men around a car beleive in it so implicitly that they'd work at anything for anytime to insure its success...". The sounds of the exhaust coming from the engineering garages must also twang with the same spirit that Benson Ford and Bill Stroppe applied to Lincoln in 1952: thus winning the Carrara-Pan-America race that year, often surpassing Ferraris and Porsches with an average speed of 90.98mph! Lincoln would win again in 1953 and 1954. And the design centers must also see the cascades of light revealing stunning designs, even if, in the words of Elwood Engel: "You're lucky you don't have to pay the overtime for this..." when his team worked all night July 26-27, 1958 to create the final '61 Lincoln full scale clay model---making last second corrections. And ARM must empower his team to create something new and exciting, if not for Lincoln than for the whole of Ford Motor.

    So it would seem that what the new "Plan" relies upon now is a restructuring of Ford Motor back to the days when it was a privately owned firm. January 17, 1956 when 3,452,900 Ford shares first traded, and closed at $64.50, raising $656Mn for the company's cophers, seems a distant high point for Ford---having revived itself back from third place, and avoiding near ruin and bankrupcty under HFII. Ford Motor does not merely want to eliminate 34,000 workers, it will seek to eliminate 65,000 workers and bring its employment levels in line with Toyota---at roughly 275,000 employees worldwide. And as stated previously, it should be no surprise if Ford wants to eliminate UAW representation altogether. Ford Motor currently has 103 plants worldwide, but it is clear that 75 will do in a pinch...thus the reductions, and allowing $3.5Bn in write-downs for this year to eliminate those jobs. It will seek to bring Ford Motor out of Wall-Street, most-likely, so that it can speed up investments in product and doing so without having to pay dividends. The Ford Foundation's shares no longer having the clout to drive the company into the stock-market as it once did in 1954---and the shares selling far below par value for an automotive stock. The holdings of the Ford Family preventing a leveraged buy-out of the company in an imagined hostile take-over by Toyota---the company now worth more to the Ford's without Wall-Street.

    Executives who wrote the previous "Way Forward Plan", as Ann Stevens, (also co-author of Lincoln's current predicament), are gone along with others who will not agree with the future direction of the company, or who's career's are checkmated. Only the stalwarts will remain---and they had better be good at their jobs---far better than those of the competition. In short, Ford is returning to its roots---those of the Henry Ford. Where corporate decisions are made within a nimble group of executives, engineers, and designers---away from the baying light of Wall Street. Far more than just a 'Plan', but more-than-likely---a radical shake-up of Ford.

    This is what ARM confronts within the corporation that he now presides over under the aegis of the Ford Family. The losses this year expected to clear $9Bn---the majority of that restructuring costs and write-offs as unprofitable divisions like Jaguar are sold off. The cash raised by selling Jaguar-Astons-Land-Rover used as leverage to remove the burden of Wall Street. The glamor of Ford stock appears from another age and time---cowering now amidst an ocean of red ink and "plastique" instead of profits and the gleam of "chrome". The harsh realities seem now to demand the changes.

    At the end of the day, Ford will return to what it very much was in the 1920's---privately held, and perhaps able to answer at a faster pace to market, leaving Lincoln astride the product line-up as its highest peak. With Mazda's, Volvo's, Mercury's, and the many Ford's beneath the old "greyhound". Amidst the rubble ARM must build a wholly new company---he is in the same position as Henry Ford II was when he took over in September of 1945. Prior to that in May 1943, when a young HFII had been dispatched from the U.S. Navy to return to Detroit upon the death of Edsel, by direct order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ford Motor was in a state that: "...when young Henry came in here, the company was not only dying, it was already dead and rigor mortis was setting in..." then Ford Executive John R. Davis recalled. FDR had considered nationalising Ford in order to garanttee war contracts after the death of Edsel. Prudence demanded the return of Henry II to Fords...ARM does not have the threat of nationalisation to worry about by President Bush amidst our current war---Ford having lost its pre-eminent position, and perilously awash in declining market share. Rigor Mortis has not set in yet, but like HF II, that is what ARM must now do: restore Ford Motor.

    At ARM's length, amidst a wholly reorganised Ford Motor, Lincoln sits waiting---for it must become the talismen of the revival. Unless a new Continental will strike the roads to surpass, and replace the Lexus ARM must quit driving, Lincoln remains.

    With only hours to spare, as Lincoln goes, so goes the nation....

    DouglasR

    (Sources: Ford Motor Company; Automotive News; Bloomberg Report; 'Wheels for the World', Douglas Brinkley, Viking, NY 2003; 'The Lincoln Motorcar', Thomas E. Bonsall, Bookman Publishing, Baltimore MD, 1981)
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I still wouldn't take its skidpad figures as proof that it can outhandle a BMW in the real world.

    Perhaps true, but regardless SH-AWD isn't a lincoln thing like I read on a earlier post, but an Acura thing and it does its job very well if I must say. ;)

    Rocky
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    I am surprised that no one has commented that the Town Car will survive, at least for 3 to 5 more years, as production is moved to St Thomas.

    Also, the MKS will get its own 3.7L V6.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Also, the MKS will get its own 3.7L V6.

    Is that a guess ? What will be the top engine ?

    Rocky
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,343
    St. Thomas Town Car? Good Grief - I may buy a foreign car after all! Especially if there is a 300+ "Power Option" available in the style and design I've seen that has suicide doors. ;)
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I guess Canada, is so much like us and better in some ways I don't consider them to be really all that foreign. ;)

    Rocky
  • ARM's tennure begins foremost with the streamlining of Ford Motor. Ford's share precisely where it was in 1945, the difference now is that foreign competition has taken place of the once "independent" manufacturers like Packard, Hudson, Studebaker, etc.

    Lincoln received the most attention among the various brands in yesterday's announcements from the Glass House. This fact should not be overlooked. Speculation is that the chorus of the many enthusiasts of the marque, ourselves included, must have struck a loud chord within the halls of Dearborn. This fact should not be discounted. Reprieve for the rwd Town Car, and the chance to bring on its replacement, or a top-line car above Mark S, is now in the offing. Very much like the reprise of the Continental in 1945, and the subsequent introduction of the Mark II in 1955. This fact should not be denied.

    Aston's are history at Ford's. Dr. Bez wisely cashing in his chips. Mr. Callum at Jaguar may well get one more round at the table before Jaguar goes away in 2007 to form the new 'British Motor Corporation' under Mr. Nasser at the behest of UBS and Morgan Bank. The number of chips Ford Motor can place on the table diminished but not done. Ford was in far worse shape in terms of its products and market share worldwide in 1945 than it is today. Ford owned all of its assets in 1945, and its vertically integrated structure, especially steel production at The Rouge, saved it during the supply shortages of the Korean War. Today, with the exception of The Rouge, Ford has largely divested itself of many of those assets. Despite that reality, the resources it can draw upon are greater, at a far lower cost, thus giving Ford Motor a chance at revival, now needed.

    All eyes are on the Glass House. ARM has the chance now to set the tone, pace, and grace at Ford Motor. We can be thankful, that even days after his arrival, and the very day of his debut, Ford made him a millionaire---receiving his $18Mn signing bonus---that Lincoln was highlighted to the degree that it was. There can be little doubt that ARM has already taken the wheel of Lincoln. With Lincoln now being made in three countries, can there be any doubt that overseas production is not far in the offing? Even if that does not come to pass, nor being considered, ARM will want to beat Lexus. If Jaguar will not become profitable, it will soon go---having left a very large deposit in the 'cat-box' among the cophers at Ford Motor.

    Ford Motor is slimming itself down to compete against Toyota---and all other takers. In doing so, ARM has the chance now to checkmate the competition---Ford now being, in one sense, where Chrysler was in 1979, having the advantage of the underdog. Chrysler subsequently doubling its market share, and returning to its traditional position. Ford Motor has the chance to do the same in the next five years. Yet the effort will have to reflect the same attitude expressed by Mark II designer John Reinhardt---succeed at any cost.

    That the Glass House has chosen to start with Lincoln is a harbinger of things to come. In this there is no denying. ARM must strike the same chord with his new team, that we ourselves may very well have struck with him.... The old "greyhound" may very well be back in the race. You can bet this upcoming week when he walks in the design studios and sees where Lincoln is going, he will tell Mr. Mays, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Horbury, along with Mr. Fields, "We can do better than this..."

    Striking fast and furious, Lincoln is just an ARM's length away from the world.

    DouglasR
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    Is that a guess ? What will be the top engine ?

    No it's not a guess, the 3.7L V6 for the MKS was reported in the restructuring news yesterday (but I am too lazy to find the links), and it is the only engine reported for the MKS.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,343
    Seriously Rocky, I do agree with you.

    As for me the Best of Canada is their Canadian Rockies and the Best of The Rockies is their ski resorts. Although Whistler/Blackcomb is regarded as No. 1 in America. :)
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    How much power ? Is it Twin Turboed ?

    Rocky
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    How much power ?

    The article did not say - probably between 270 and 300 hp.

    Is it Twin Turboed ?

    No

    http://media.ford.com/newsroom/release_display.cfm?release=24284

    In 2008, we further strengthen the Lincoln brand. In August, I confirmed plans for a new Lincoln flagship sedan the Lincoln MKS. We plan to build it in Chicago and equip it with more technology and features than any Lincoln before it, including all-wheel drive and a new, exclusive 3.7-liter engine.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Only 3.7? I would have bored and stroked the 3.5L V6 to 4 liters, 300hp for the base version, then added a wideband low-pressure turbo, 350hp for the upper-trim model. 3.7's not far enough away from the MKZ unless that one's keeping the old 3.0 V6.

    Save the twin turbos for a 400hp AWD MKZZ :surprise:
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    3.7's not far enough away from the MKZ unless that one's keeping the old 3.0 V6.

    No, the MKZ has the 263 hp 3.5L V6. At least Lincoln will keep one V8 powered car for a few more years.
  • "At least Lincoln will keep one V8 powered car for a few more years. " --Which car is that?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    What a disappointment. The MKS, needs atleast 315 hp. to move all that girth. I can handle a premium vehicle with a V-6 if it has a premium performance enhancement like a turbo or two. I can't understand Fords logic ??? No wonder they are losing money and market share ground. :sick: The MKS, looks to be another Acura RL type failure. :cry:

    Rocky
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