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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Time for the Grinch to toss his 2 cents in:

    4 *NEW* models due by the end of THIS year to take on Cadillac, BMW and LEXUS???

    - Well first, I thought Lincoln was supposed to compete with Buick? Have they changed direction AGAIN??

    - Second, 4 NEW models?? Hoo Ha, what BS. They're talking about:
    the MKZ - is that NEW??? A bigger thirstier engine does not a NEW car make does it?
    the Long Navigator. They count that? PUHLEASE.
    the MKX - yep, that's new and ...
    WAIT A MINUTE, the article doesn't mention any more vehicles. I count THREE, and only 1 is really new (the MKX) but it simply replaces the Aviator. So WHERE is the FOURTH NEW VEHICLE? I'll bet they're referring to the Navigator? Well, it has better seats and more (MUCH MORE) chrome. Smae engine etc though. SO does Ford define one new vehicle as a bigger engine and another as more chrome?
    - Next, the analysts are right as MT and C&D have already pointed out, the Navigator and the MKX are not competitive in their markets. (I haven't seen any comparo tests against the MKZ. Has anyone? And what cars would MT say compare it against?)
    - That leaves the Z. And it is becoming a reasonable facsimile of a success and the addition of AWD and the 3.5 V6 will help. But Ford makes it sound like it's selling like a Mustang. They expected to sell 30,000 a year. They've sold 26,000 THRU October, which extrapolates to 31,200 for the year. WOW, thats about 4% better than they guessed. BIG DEAL. And Allen, correct me if I'm wrong but didn't they sell about 56,000 LSes in it's first full year? Correct me again if necessary but isn't that almost TWICE as many vehicles? And more expensive vehicles to boot.
    Al Giombetti, president of Ford, lincoln and Mercury brands said "The great product that we've been talking about for the past couple of years has finally arrived," . I say "HUH? Where?" A bigger Navigator with comfortable seats and a MKX that costs $10000 more than the Edge and tests out worse than a Suzuki??? THAT's their great product? Come on.

    And they're bragging about conquest sales from Toyota and Honda. I say How many? 2, 3? That would allow them to brag. And the Z buyers are "36% more likely to be women". Ah, statistics. That could mean that before there were 9 women buyers, now there are 12 or 13. And that assumes that more women buyers is a GOOD thing? I say "Where did the male buyers go, and why doesn't Lincoln care that they're gone?"

    So we've got 3 (not 4) "new" models this year (really just 1, but I am the Grinch). What about the future? Well, gee whiz, the article says Peter Whoreberry *hinted* that new designs *may* be unveiled soon. WHOA, take that to the bank, eh Rocky? (Can u say fancy box-on-wheels?) And BTW, Rock, looks like u got a little more time to decide on the MKS as your next car: "Horbury said ... the brand's transformation will be complete when its new flagship, the MKS, goes into production in 2009." Going into production in 2009 means it's a 2010 model. And one thing I learned from my old man is "don't buy the first model year of a new car." So 2011 is it, Rock. Whatcha gonna drive til then? A (Bentley) Continental?

    So there you have it. the Z, the X and a long Navigator. Then the "flagship v6-mobile" and MAYBE something else which hasn't even been shown yet and must be released BEFORE the S because the S ends the transformation.

    They say "No news is good news." But in this case, I beg to disagree. THis news IS no news and it is bad news for Lincoln fans. What it's really saying is that Lincoln thinks these non-competitive cars plus the already-panned MKS and maybe a fancy box-on-wheels represents the 'transformation' of Lincoln. Unless the *HINT* means something else is on the way, Lincoln is thru. And even if something else IS on the way, it can't be any big deal since Whoreberry still says the MKS is the flagship.

    Ugh.
  • I KNOW Volvo had an outstanding reputation for many years - that's what led me there to begin with! Unfortunetly, it seems their problems surfaced in the early 2000's (some claim due to Ford in 1999) and their satisfaction and reliability ratings have gone down considerably. If you have those older Volvos, hang onto them - they probably are wonderful vehicles!
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Oh, I just read that the Lincoln Fairlane has been cancelled. No fancy box-on-wheels then? Is that good or bad? Ahh, it doesn't matter.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    I just read that the Lincoln Fairlane has been cancelled.

    Where????
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    correct me if I'm wrong but didn't they sell about 56,000 LSes in it's first full year

    Yes, they did. But 30,000 is all they NEED to sell to make a nice profit. And don't forget the 26,000 was with the Zephyr - 3.0L engine and no AWD.

    Lincoln has already made more profit with the Zephyr in one year than it made with the LS in 7.

    And they're bragging about conquest sales from Toyota and Honda. I say How many? 2, 3?

    45% conquest sales is quite a feat for a new domestic vehicle in it's first year. How many would it need before you would consider it significant? 90%?

    Seriously, George - I think you just need to forget about Lincoln for a few years. They can't make the kind of turnaround you expect overnight. It took many years of neglect to kill Lincoln and it will take many more to build it back. Right now they're just treading water to stay alive.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    BON. A Ford insider.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Allen, I think it is YOU who should forget about Lincoln. You seem to be blind to what's going on and are quite sycophantic about the whole thing. Allen seriously, they have NO PLAN for a turnaround other than what you're seeing now (vehicles that are losing every comparo badly) and the MKS V6 FWD Volvo for gawd's sake. NOTHING. Except a HUGE ad budget and, unless they have a new ad company, that will be a COLOSSAL waste of money. I can already imagine the one about the celebrity chef shopping for vegetables in his new MKX. Yeah, that will resonate. Every celebrity chef will want a MKX. So that's about 200 cars. Where to Next?

    And unless you can point to accounting figures, please stop with the money losing stories about the LS. There is NO WAY they've made more money already from the Z than 7 years of LS sales. Be serious. Jim stopped by here for gawd's sake and said the LS did NOT lose money while he was there and that was for 3 years. Although, given they cut their manufacturing costs by about, what, 3000%, by moving to MEXICO thereby screwing their American workers, I'm sure they're making TONS of money off the Mazda clones. How come the dam things are still so expensive???

    45% from "other automakers". IOW, GM and Chrysler. I'm assuming that does not include Ford and Mercury but it very well might as statistics put out by marketing depts are usually full of lies and distortions. My point was, they claim conquest sales "... including Honda and Toyota" First, well whoopdeedo. And second, gimme a number. 20% of Z buyers used to drive a Honda? Or .00002%? It's just mktg BS. And to claim "it's exceedong all expectations ..." again whoopdeedo. By 4% ASSUMING Nov and Dec sales are equal to previous 10 months.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I wonder how many people know it even exists today? What cars do they have? There is the Lincoln FWD, which is really Fusion with a nicer interior, and big old bulbulous car, far too wide for streets in my town, called the town car. I guess some SUVs in the line up, but those are not really cars. What happened to a once prestigious fine automobile line? Direction to me looks like a dead end.

    If I want a FWD Ford, I would get the Fusion, or Mazda6. If I want an AWD or FWD larger car, and don't mind buying a plain (really plain) looking car, I suppose the FiveHundred is the ticket. Closest thing to a value in RWD luxury in the Vic or Grand Marque. A little too wide and large for driving around here, but at least a great value.

    Where are the Continental, and the Mark cars? I know, on the used car lots.
    :cry:

    -Loren
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    My biggest concern remains the ad campaign. They're still not focusing on the cars - but on the lifestyle. I know this is the staple of Luxury Brands - to try to make you think the car will show your success and your neighbors jealous - but by not featuring the car, it makes you think the car is not worth mentioning.....

    When Lincoln came out with the 03 Navigator - they showed the power fold seats, the power running boards and the power rear hatch, etc. It sold me, I bought one.

    But again, maybe the cars are best left unshown.....?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Yes, Lincoln reaps now what it has sown. Preserving the 1998 Nav body over two more full re-designs was stupid. The MKX looks exactly like the Edge with Lincoln grill and tail lights. The Mark LT now has slightly different headlights AND grill from the F150. Big deal. What are reasonable people to think? Akirby is right about it taking a long time in both directions. But advertising four new models for 2007 when all they really have is an afterthought Ford Edge just looks stupid. The turnaround is not here yet, so why pretend?

    Adding the Zephyr/MKZ as an afterthought made it look like an afterthought. The LS had no Ford version, other than the T-bird which looked completely different (and which was also expensive and doomed). The Fusion will very soon need the 3.5 to be competitive (all its main competition already offers that size), so the MKZ will need the 3.7 for differentiation. Wait...that's the MKS engine.

    BTW, you cannot add the 06 Zephyr sales and the 07 MKZ sales together for a yearly total. The first year LS sales were based on the first model year. It sold well, without a bunch of incentives and for a higher unit price than the Zephyr. Sure, Ford can make money on the Zephyr by taking a Fusion and dressing it up a bit and then charging thousands more. But it cheapens the brand, the image and reputation. If it helps Lincoln limp along toward something better, so be it. But let's not pretend it is world class stuff.

    Killing the Lincoln Fairlane is good news. Tou know they were not going to give it a totally unique look and body (like Nissan did with the Murano and the Infiniti FX, which even though they share architecture look nothing alike and appeal to different people). Until they can make it a Lincoln and not an uplevel Ford, save the development dollars for something better.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "(like Nissan did with the Murano and the Infiniti FX, which even though they share architecture look nothing alike and appeal to different people). "

    Interestingly, the Murano and FX do NOT share the same architecture. I got burned on this same thing awhile back.

    The Murano is a FWD vehicle, but Infiniti wisely made the FX a RWD vehicle. I'm not sure what if any N/I vehicles share the platforms, but there you have it - the cheap entry level one is FWD and the expensive serious machine is RWD. As it oughtta be. Either can be optioned to AWD.

    All that said, I think these vehicles DO look a lot alike and I was surprised to learn the underpinnings were different. They both resemble in shape the AMC Pacer, which I think was a better looking car than either the Murano or the FX. (I guess I better put on my flame-proof suit). I don't like either of the Nissan/Infinit crossovers. Just MHO.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    In the interest of truth:

    I said "I read that the Lincoln box was cancelled."

    Now I have read that is not true, that it has been scheduled to be built in Oakville, not Chicago as previously planned.

    Obviously, I don't know which is true. I do however think it may be true that Lincoln will have a real hard time selling a box on wheels to former minivan owners (the target market for the Fairlane.) After all, how many blue hairs drive a minivan in the first place?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Yes, I should have known that. Infiniti uses RWD now. Those two don't look alike. The FX has exaggerated wheels, small cab and a sort of video game war vehicle look. Slightly menacing.

    The Murano is not menacing at all. It it more along the looks of the Subaru Tribeca, the Hyundai Veracruz, the Acura something-something. But I digress.

    Please, Lincoln, DON'T build a Ford box on wheels. It may do well for Ford (anything will do better than their stupid minvan effort), but would further cheapen Lincoln.

    However, if they can give it some classic Lincoln DNA and flare, well then maybe. The MKX, in addition to being nothing but the Ford with a different trim package (heck, the same fenders front and back will bolt on either one), is also kinda wussy looking. If they can do the box on wheels with more than just changing the grill and tail lights, AND give it a dose of butch (like the FX), it might do Lincoln well. IMHO
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    Just because Lincoln doesn't build cars that YOU guys want to drive they're crap. Fine. They're crap. Get over it.

    Lincoln was neglected to the brink of death. Absolutely no argument there. Given where they're at, it makes sense to share platforms (these are NOT rebadges so don't go there). Lincoln does not have a reputation that allows it to compete with BMW, Mercedes or the more expensive Caddys. They need a RWD platform for a flaship that doesn't exist today.

    In the meantime, the dealers need cars they can sell and Ford needs profits. The MKZ, MKS, MKX and other vehicles will be profitable. And those profits will allow Lincoln to get back to where it used to be and start competing.

    I'm not disagreeing with that you guys want for Lincoln - I just don't think it's realistic to expect them to get there tomorrow and the steps they are taking in the meantime as stop gaps are adequate if not exciting.

    If you disagree, then tell us specifically what you would do if you were in charge of Lincoln.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    OK, thought you'd never ask: If I were given Lincoln to fix, and the money I needed to do it, a free hand, and no Ford decendants to fight, this is what I'd do;

    Keep the Town Car until the new Town Car can be made - in the meantime, give the current Town Car, which isn't a bad handling car at all, a new Interior, that resembles the one in the Navigator, only MORE luxurious. This would be the Signature model - the Executive could remain as is for Livery sales, limos, and cheapskates.

    A New Town car could be built on the Jaguar XJ platform, RWD, large and handling great. It should have a hot engine in it that'll move it. The 300hp 4.6L would do. It needs to look like a Lincoln, maybe resemble the 61 Continental. It again must have that Navigator interior in it, or something equally nice. And leather that is soft and thick like the Lexus has. Not that stuff that feels like vinyl they use now.

    When it comes out, retire the Panther.

    The LS should be revived and updated pretty much as it is, but update the interior, give it lots of options and standard equipment. That car is damn near perfect as it is, just needs to be updated in style all around. If the current engine is too expensive, it could have a powerful 6 in it, like the new 3.5L, but a balance shaft needs to go in it to smooth it out, and make it a Lincoln. The V-8 option could be the 4.6L as in the Town Car. Must remain RWD. Oh, and lets re-name it the Continental, ok?

    All Lincolns must remain RWD, except the Zephyr, which could lumber on as an entry level Lincoln, pretty much as is, with a better engine.

    Then, we need a small pocket rocket. Something you can get a 6 speed manual in, with a supercharged 4 cyl in it. Something fast, reasonably priced for a Lincoln, RWD of course, and very cute.

    The Navigator needs the Hurricane engine at least as an option, and a better reskin, if they can't redesign the whole truck. However, the 78 F-150 guage cluster has to go. All Lincolns will have the electroluminescent guages in them, as glitzy and pretty with colors as possible...

    The MKX will be renamed the Aviator again, and be the smaller crossover utility vehicle.

    The truck - will be renamed the Navigator LT, and look like one as much as possible.

    So, the Heritage model names return, the mission for each is clearly defined, and with hallmark features for Lincoln like RWD, power, refinement, style and Lincoln DNA in each, will attract customers. If not, I'm fired. But the Brand needs 10 years of commitment to see it through. Consistency is the most valuable staple that Mercedes, BMW Lexus and Toyota have going for them, and the missing ingredient at Lincoln and Ford. Fits and starts will not work - the brand has to define itself, and then continually improve. :shades:
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,730
    how many versions are there of the camry platform?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Camry platform is the mother to:

    The Avalon
    The Lexus ES 330
    The Lexus RX 330
    The Sienna Minivan

    Why do you ask?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    And BTW, Rock, looks like u got a little more time to decide on the MKS as your next car: "Horbury said ... the brand's transformation will be complete when its new flagship, the MKS, goes into production in 2009." Going into production in 2009 means it's a 2010 model. And one thing I learned from my old man is "don't buy the first model year of a new car." So 2011 is it, Rock. Whatcha gonna drive til then? A (Bentley) Continental?

    I probably won't wait until 2009' heyjewel, but then again you never know with me. ;) I disagree with your "old man's" thinking and believe it's more a thing of the past to not buy the first year. I've always been a strong believer of buying the latest and greatest to be ahead of the residual curve. I've always found it better on GM products when using my discount to buy the latest product because I could trade in/sell my vehicle anytime without losing my butt. ;)

    The MKZ is getting over 300 hp in 2 years. I'm not writing off Lincoln, like you yet. They got the technology to compete and they are not as over-priced as Caddy's and I love Cadillac's. However Cadillacs are way over priced. The STS should be $56K loaded w/ AWD. The Escalade should top out at $60K w/ 22's Anyways Lincoln, IMHO will give the domestics and imports a run with their new line-up and won't fall apart like some posters predict. :P

    Rocky
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    I've also thought about Lincoln sharing platforms with Jag but there is one problem (other than the high cost) - the big Ford V8s won't fit. The biggest engine that Jag uses is the 4.2L AJ-V8, just like the LS and Tbird only with a longer stroke. This is part of what killed the LS - can't use the cheaper, larger corporate V8s.

    That's why they need a new RWD platform that's similar to the DEW98 but cheaper than the current Jag DEW variant and able to handle the modular V8s.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    The MKS was originally scheduled for fall 2007 as a 2008 model but was moved back to spring 2008 as a 2009 model (not 2009 as a 2010 model). It's late enough as is - no need to make it even later.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    That's the same thing I read. However some people are so negative about the nice products coming out of Lincoln, they will find fault with them no matter what. The only fault the MKZ has is it's power. It needs 320+ hp. to go along with it's AWD. I read within 2 years they will have a new engine for it 3.7 V-6? and that could make it a class leader. The current MKZ, has the styling, interior, technology, right now to be a leader. However the engine quite isn't good enough and that's ashme. Perhaps Ford should of used a supercharger to get the much needed power to have a class winner. If it had the power, I would probably be buying/leasing one right now. :sick:

    Rocky
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I disagree with your "old man's" thinking and believe it's more a thing of the past to not buy the first year.

    Well, I do and I don't. I have purchased the first year out redesigned Mercury Mountaineer, and it wasn't bad. The 04 though, is decidedly better except, it's the 04 that has needed 3 transmission rebuilds - the first model year out 02 did not need any.

    I also bought the first new Navigator in 03, and as much as people like to say it's really the 97 still, I couldn't find any thing but the motor carried over from 02. Again, it wasn't bad, but it had little things that need adjustment shall we say.

    Now, conversely, with amazement I read how bad the new Camrys are this year, with paper mache transmissions, and Toyota not wanting to step up and fix them! That freaks me out, because the two things you could always count on with Toyota, was the bland styling, and bullet proof reliability. No more, it seems, don't buy the 07 Camry, wait for the 08. Honda had this problem in 04 with their transaxles as well. The Japanese are less anxious to fix these problems also - it's just hard for them to believe.

    Then there is Nissan. If you do a little research, you'll see that Nissan has problems with their 3.5L engine going bad around 70,000 miles, transmissions failing about the same time, and lots and lots of other quality problems across the line. Yes, Renault has made their mark and turned Nissan into a Peugeot.

    Right now, even I'd buy a first year Lincoln or Caddy over a first year Toyota, and I'm steering clear completely of Nissan right now.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Why not just buy the Mazda6 or Montego/Fusion? It is not like this Lincoln is a world class RWD car, now is it? Ford has a 300HP car ready to go -- it is called the Mustang. In the Lincoln line, the LS comes the closest to world class performance with the V8. The McDonald's / MKZ is no bargain really. Don't super size menu, just go for the standard Mazda or Montego order, same thing.
    -Loren
  • Nvbanker's original post on subject sounds like a good plan to me. I thought the concept Conti, Mark IX and Mark X were good designs. The Lincoln I remember had the big traditional RWD luxo car (TC), the FWD trimmer car (Conti), the personal luxury coupe (a proper Mark) and the SUV/CUV variants (Navigator / Aviator). I'd like to see that lineup eventually.

    Lincoln needs to incorporate some cutting edge tech into the TC, like bluetooth, adaptive cruise control, etc., while keeping the tech in the background. Tech should be there to serve, not overwhelm the driver, as in BMW's hated iDrive system. Invent or steal Lexus' auto park system. It's introducing technology like that which makes a luxury brand.

    I'd like to see some commonalty among styling cues, like either a waterfall grill or eggcrate grill across the board. I liked the chrome fender caps along the beltline, as in the concepts; it showed some brand DNA.

    All Lincolns will have the electroluminescent guages in them, as glitzy and pretty with colors as possible...

    Just not too many colors - that might look garish! ;)
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "The MKS was originally scheduled for fall 2007 as a 2008 model but was moved back to spring 2008 as a 2009 model (not 2009 as a 2010 model). It's late enough as is - no need to make it even later."

    You should tell Horbury then because he said the MKS "goes into production" in 2009, which makes it a 2010 model or perhaps 2009 1/2.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "My biggest concern remains the ad campaign."

    Who saw the Patriots/Colts game yesterday? The MKZ was advertised several times during the second half. Kind of a silly ad, but not terrible and not offensive. The features of the car were not dwelt upon, more like a lifestyle commercial - guy actually works at home, but commutes anyway cause the Z is such fun to drive by driving in a circle in the AM and ending up back home. (gee, bit of a waste of gas?)
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "I disagree with your "old man's" thinking and believe it's more a thing of the past to not buy the first year. I've always been a strong believer of buying the latest and greatest to be ahead of the residual curve"

    Whatever, Rocky. Belief can be a strong motivator. Don't bother asking folks who bought, say, a 2000 LS as opposed to a 2001. BTW, what's the "residual" curve? :>)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    You should tell Horbury then because he said the MKS "goes into production" in 2009, which makes it a 2010 model or perhaps 2009 1/2.

    I don't think you can tell whether he meant calendar year 2009 or model year 2009. We'll just have to wait and see, but the plant seems to be gearing up for a 2008 product launch.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    I bought a 2000 LS knowing it would have teething problems, and it did. But nothing serious.

    I bought the 2nd Fusion that my dealer received, also expecting teething problems. I've had it for over a year now without a single problem. Nothing. And I'm not the only one. Ford has finally figured out how to build vehicles with top notch quality. Maybe they need to start building everything in Mexico.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    Finally - something we agree on!
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