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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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Comments

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Laugh if you must, but ARM is doing exactly the right thing in starting to rebuild Ford morale. It won't work overnight, of course, and it may take years to restore pride to the Ford worker, but it has to at least start somewhere, and Bill wasn't working on it. And by the way, I support the resurrection of the Taurus brand as well. The 500 was a bomb - and should be dropped.

    ARM turned Boeing around using some of the same tactics - don't count him out yet.
  • docrwdocrw Posts: 94
    Lincoln had a chance with the LS to establish a beach head in the luxury performance segment. They were ahead of Cadillac at that time, no CTS or STS for another year or two. On top of that it got great reviews. They let that car languish with nary a refresh and not one restyle. I don't even remember seeing a commercial for it after the first year or so. I took one for a test drive in '02 and had a chance to drive the performance version that they never advertised. I thought at the time that it was a great start and in 2-3 years with the next version they would have a winner. We all know that it never happened.

    What people are saying here is true. Lincoln is a joke now. My father bought Town Cars for 20 years. Two years ago he traded in his 8th one for an XJ8L, he didn't want to leave the "Ford Family". He just bought an MKX, which is a nice car, almost as nice as my RX350. I just can't figure out why he had to have the dealer install an aftermarket bluetooth module. Even Nissan Altima's have bluetooth now and Lincoln doesn't?

    Lincoln needs more than a new grill to get people back in the showrooms, they need the equivalent of the CTS or Chrysler 300 in styling with performance and quality even one or two notches higher. Match that with an aggressive advertising campaign and they could yet be saved. I am waiting anxiously on the MKS. If they can give that car 350+ horsepower, I don't care how they get there but a lot of people will only buy V8's, and Lexus level luxury, detail and technology for under 50K, preferably around 45K, I might just bite. Just don't go halfway again. Either make an effort to compete with the big boys, while undercutting there prices, or fold up shop. No one wants a 45-50K wannabe that cuts corners where people notice to keep prices down. Lincoln can't compete in the price range they want to be in now, so suck it up and offer more for less for a year or two until enough people take notice to raise the prices. You can't build up your reputation in the luxury market with an "MKZ plus", you have to go all out.

    Yes, it would also be nice if they leaked a few more details and pictures, even renderings, of this car for public consumption. There's nothing like a little buzz preceding the actual launch to get people in the showroom.
  • holdenguyholdenguy Posts: 145
    Mate,
    the only re-engineering Aussie cars have to have to go over
    there is to be de-tuned to run on your rubbish petrol.
    Be turned butt ugly to suit American tastes.
    Have soft as butter suspension fitted so as you can eat
    your Maccas while talking on your mobile phone without
    spilling your cawfee.
    How is it that GTO didn't work out?
    The US was allocated a small number of Monaros, just to test the waters.
    These sold.
    The Holden Commodore was built from day one with the US
    market in mind.
    It has been engineered so as the car can be built left or right hand drive down the assembly line in South Australia.
    As for Ford.
    Not a huge fan, BUT, they have a car called the Falcon XR6 Turbo here in Aus.
    It's a 4 litre double overhead cam straight 6.
    And it has serious grunt.
    Standard 245 kw.
    With a few tweeks and a bit of re-mapping, up to 500 kw.
    And it looks ok as well :-)
    I'll post a link for you.
  • holdenguyholdenguy Posts: 145
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KgbjMDskNU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWOJR8Pr65M

    Ignore the two door version in the kids video, It does not exist.
    But the rest of them do.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    Of course it's good to want your employees to tout your company. It's just that you should not have to ask them to do it, it should come naturally. And when you do ask them, you should have more than 30% (the current score) be happy to do it. And the 70% who are ticked off at Ford are people who CHOSE to stay there after being offered buyouts. My point is, with a workforce with that attitude, what chance does Ford have to become a winner again? Read some of the postings in response to the article. Many are peeved at Mulally making 28Mil per 4 months. Many are peeved at Fields living in Florida. Many are peeved that Ford is moving jobs to Mexico and India. Many that Ford has cut health care for workers and retirees etc. Read em and weep. Sad thing is, these letters could probably be applied to just about any American corporation.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well if I was a Ford, employee well at times I feel like one with my employer. I'd be very upset and angry if he was cutting what I worked to get after 30 years while he hasn't been on the job 4 months and collect $28 million. I guess I'm the only American, that see a problem with that. Whether he suceeds or fails he gets to keep his money. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Rocky
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I think getting 30% of your Union workers to consider liking their company is pretty good. By design, they are usually told to hate management as an adversary - yet innately, they "want" to like their employer. It's progress, and I admire him for asking and trying. The rest will need to come later, but for now, this is a good step.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I guess I'm the only American, that see a problem with that. Whether he suceeds or fails he gets to keep his money.

    Of course, you're not, Rocky. And actually, you're right. However, the reality of it is, guys like ARM have earned their stripes, and can demand this type of contract. Just like professional athletes. I think it's ludicrous they can command the money they do for playing a game - but they can. Granted, they must perform to stay employed, but they get to keep their money whether or not they win that season too. It's how it is....and it's not going to change soon.
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    ARM has an even greater problem: corporate morale.

    If 70% of the firm's employees at Ford Motor say they will not become a "spokesperson" for Ford, especially if it comes in "edict form" from Mr. Fields, one can only image how demoralised the team must be. If Mr. Fields is making the mistake of putting out such tripe as to ask the employees to propagandize the Blue Oval without such remarks being made voluntarily, then he should read Dr. Goebbels diaries to see how "that" turned out. I've never met Mr. Fields, but making such a move tells me he knows less about cars and even less about management of human resources.

    Another issue relating to the same subject is the sad suicide of Ford designer Jeff Sanders, whose last work was on the Lincoln Navigator for '07. A lengthy article appears by a colleague in 'The Truth About Cars', and he paints a very sad picture in the design studios at Ford Motor. Other than designer Jerry McGovern, few designers are the champion of the Lincoln cause...because of the problems at the top of the Glass House with respect to Lincoln. (In fairness, I should also point out that three engineers/stylist also recently committed suicide at Renault within the last 14 months causing the French National Police to investigate working conditions within the Renault tech center outside Paris, so quite sadly, Ford is not alone.) Mr. Mulally does, however seem to be rallying engineers together in various groups to approach the problems at Ford. Hopefully he will do the same for the design staff.

    No doubt when Mr. Stonach at Magna finds himself a major shareholder in the next Chrysler Corporation, he will push for a top-of-the-line model, as Imperial can be, to represent the company; a firm bereft of association with that slothful luxury car: The Maybach. So while Mr. Lutz goes down under for his V12 Cadillac, Mr. Stronach, if successful, will have an Imperial with which to taunt would-be Lincoln drivers.

    Same thing happened in 1970-74. Lincoln switched from unibody design and approaching the sophisticated buyer to mass-market luxury with chassis/frame and a new direction in product marketing. Lincoln created a lot of customers for Mercedes-Benz, who had just introduced their 4.5 V8 exclusively for the American market in 1969, and for BMW when they shifted gears away from that market. Sure they made a lotta bucks with the bigger Lincolns, but they need now to recapture those kinds of customers they had prior to that. The Town Car can still appeal to the traditional buyer, alongside a new wave of cars....

    ...but where are they? The Shanghai Auto Show opens tomorrow, and Buick is parading their new China-only Park Avenue rear wheel drive sedan, with a rather nice interior and engine package. Point is that GM is using its global infrastructure to appeal to buyers in different markets, all while making traditional products. Where is Lincoln? Cadillac has been building cars overseas now for more than five years, where is Lincoln, yes---now building cars ONLY outside the U.S. once Wixom closes! I could go on...but the point is that ARM needs to move NOW. He has to take the wraps off, not play games with the public or the press, much less their own employees.

    ...if he wants to see how to transform a "team" he should get on the corporate jet, land at Heathrow and take the next train to Crewe. Pulling up to Pyms Lane to see how the Bentley Production System, installed by Production Manager Douglas Dickson, has transformed Crewe from making less than 2,500 cars per year to 9,500 with no loss in quality, (which, actually has improved), and only a minor uprating of the workforce in terms of numbers. The key factor is that more than 4,000 suggestions towards improvements in production and working conditions came from the factory floor: the employees brought about the change. That is what ARM needs now... to motivate staff and treat them decently, so that the revolution comes from the floor up, not the management "field" down. Because if he does not do it, MR. Stronach might beat him to it...

    It's not quite too late for Lincoln...but the loudest sound you hear at Lincoln is the ticking of that clock.

    DouglasR

    (Sources: Automotive Industry U.K.; Manangement.com; The Car Connection.com; Car Design News)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Another issue relating to the same subject is the sad suicide of Ford designer Jeff Sanders, whose last work was on the Lincoln Navigator for '07.

    That is tragic, and I must assume this event didn't have anything to do with the 07 Navigator. Other factors must be involved -

    I would have fired the guy who approved the design, personally, but not the designer.

    Have you all noticed how much advertising Lincoln is doing now though? Unfortunately, it's 90% for the MKX, which doesn't do anything for me, and 10% for the MKZ, ditto. But I think it's good news that they're out there, so much so, I'm tired of the ads....which again, don't feature the car, they feature a lifestyle.

    Gone are the days when you would see the car going down the road from all angles, and the interior would be shown, and the features of the car highlighted. No no, we just give you a glimpse of the taillight, a snippet of the fender, and a full view of 4 girls in wetsuits. Brilliant.

    I would also fire the ad company.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    Yes and the ads feature a lifestyle which includes a mother and her daughters - father nowhere in sight. And the bikini-clad mother is the main attraction in the ad, not the X. Typical. Stupid.
  • I would also fire the ad company.

    And try to steal Toyota / Lexus' ad company. They have excellent advertising.
  • Mate,
    the only re-engineering Aussie cars have to have to go over
    there is to be....


    I sat in several Aussie GM and Ford models when we visited there in 2004. My first thought, almost every time I sat in one, was "why don't they sell cars like these back in the States?"
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "why don't they sell cars like these back in the States?"

    Answer: Lawyers, DOT, Unions....

    The Aussie cars won't pass muster for safety here. The laws are too restrictive - in the States, nobody can be responsible for their own idiotic behavior - you sue to put the blame on the manufacturer. Hence, the lawyer screen on the navigation. (I AGREE) must be pressed before you can use the damn car. This supposedly relieves the car company from liability when you hit somebody while studying the map.

    To adapt the Aussie cars to meet DOT standards here, will cost money, lots of it.

    Second answer: The Aussie cars are not exactly cutting edge - they're rather old fashioned. Cheaper to build, less efficient.

    Nonetheless, they are comfy, handle well, customer pleasing.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,730
    with all the negative stuff that has been going on at ford north america, it makes sense to deliver the message that you need to feel good about the company you work for.
    the business unit i work for has been the top revenue producer per employee for years. a couple of years ago, about 20% of the employees left in about a 6 month period.
    many did not even have other jobs. our group had a new boss every 6 months. the company seems to have figured out that there was something wrong, but it takes time to fix it.
    i'd like to buy a lincoln, but the time is not right just yet. i expect it to still be around, when i am ready.
  • kronykrony Posts: 110
    Agree with firing the guy approving the latest Lincoln front ends.

    Has no-one learned from the Pontiac Aztec? There is a fine line between distinctive and weird...and a discerning group of managers should be able to identify it. Would any of them want to be seen in a new Navigator?
  • holdenguyholdenguy Posts: 145
    Ve Commodore has a 5 star euro crash rateing.
    The car's body stiffness measured in hertz is 31.
    There is not much driving around that is stiffer than that.
    My advice to you is when the G8 is available, take one for a spin and see how well this car drives.
    I'm sure you will change your opinion about "Aussie" cars being "old fashioned"
    Remember, BMW's 5 series was the benchmark for this car.
    The Holden can out handle it.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,205
    You know, HG, in other areas/forums you made pretty decent and informative comments; you must've been hitting the ale when you made this one.

    First, your petrol isn't the "best" on the planet, so don't go there. If our fuel is so bad how do you explain the GM LS-series of engines pulling over 400hp, heck 500 in the LS7. Mother Mopar pulling +500hp with the V10? Or since this is a FOMOCO forum, 500 in the 5.4L SC modulars? GM does not have to detune "your" engines to meet "our" dirty fuel. It's not even "your" engine. Where did you get that "detune for fuel" stuff from?

    Second, we don't want butt-ugly autos, like the so-called GTO was. We want/like stylish vehicles. Apparently you don't read US auto reviews, postings or anything on this or other boards. Do that before you make such bad, uninformed, ill-advised comments.

    Third, there are plenty of Aussies drinking coffee, talking on the celly while driving in the rain. How do I know this, I work with Aussies and they were doing this while driving. So this is not an "America" thing.

    Fourth, Monaro/GTO failed due to bland styling, price, dealer gouging and the like. Those that did not like the vehicle put the bland styling at #1. No one really stated the vehicle itself was bad, in fact if you would have read past comments US enthusiasts have been wanting that vehicle, along with the Commodore and the Ute, for years!! When we were starving for an Impala SS after 1996, many wrote in asking GM/Chevy to bring Commodore over. And don't get me started about the HSVs. We were aware of Holden for decades, not just when the Monaro/GTO was announced. Some people wanted it to be the Camaro, not called GTO. BTW we also know of the Falcon and Fords' Australian facility.

    Again, not trying to stir the pot but your post was very uninformed and just down right strange.
  • ...and quit hitting "return" after every sentence.
    This ain't haiku.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,835
    This is just a friendly discussion - some of y'all sound like you woke up on the wrong side of the hemisphere this morning.

    If you don't care for a post, please just scroll on down.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • "why don't they sell cars like these back in the States?"

    Answer: Lawyers, DOT, Unions....
    :::::
    Nonetheless, they are comfy, handle well, customer pleasing.


    All good points, nvbanker (as usual). However, I wasn't analyzing that deeply when I sat in them, just thinking the interior materials and dash layout seemed better.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yeah, actually I regretted that post as a bit reactionary unnecessarily. I'm just tired I guess, of the endless parade of "Aussie envy" we get in these forums, as if their cars are perfect, and ours are all junk. But I'm back on my meds now, I'll be fine.
  • savethelandsavetheland Posts: 671
    I driven GTO at GM event and I had strange feeling that car is from early 90s, it did not feel modern at all. There was something crude and old-style in interior too, but most irritating was lack of dead pedal so my right foot was suspended on the air. From point of view of external design it is absolutely forgettable.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    scootertrash: This ain't haiku.

    Ford stares at abyss
    Waiting for Alan's magic
    To stop disaster.
  • holdenguyholdenguy Posts: 145
    Ok jae5,
    Of course we don't have the best petrol in the world.
    But our base fuel has a higher octane rating than yours.
    Therefore, the ecu has to be re-calibrated to run on your stuff.
    Yes,I watch the vids and reviews here and elsewhere,I can't prove that to you, but you can't prove that I don't :-)
    GTO was based on the cars you said you have been wanting for years,Comm and ute. Make up your mind about the bland part,the only differance between the sedan,coupe and ute is from the front doors to the back.
    I see VE's on the road everyday, nothing bland about these,though I can't understand why Pontiac change the front so much on the GTO and G8. Sort of makes the cars look blander,if there is such a word lol.
    Being a Ford thread, I'll just add this. Ford here is going slowly out of the large car market as they have no export plans for the Falcon. Shame really as that 4.0 litre straight six,"Barra" engine with the turbo is pretty damm good. It has more punch than the 5.4 litre v8 that they bring out from you guys to here for the GT Falcon.
    Did you check out the 427 Monaro? Nice :-)
  • holdenguyholdenguy Posts: 145
    That is very funny stuff grbeck.
    The only reason I space my writing out is to make it easier to read. Sorry if that's annoying to you scootertrash.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Of course we don't have the best petrol in the world. But our base fuel has a higher octane rating than yours.


    Different rating systems.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating
  • holdenguyholdenguy Posts: 145
    Point taken Bumpy ,(stop following me around,:-))
    The 6 litre V8's here are tuned to run on our 98 rateing.
    They change them down to run on your 87.
    I guess they think you only want to buy the cheaper stuff at the pump?
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    The problems with the GTO were:

    1. It was expensive for a Pontiac. Over the years, the Pontiac nameplate has lost much of its clout. If anything, given the heavy application of plastic cladding to various Pontiacs in the 1990s, and the Aztek, the Pontiac nameplate has a negative image for many potential buyers. People just didn't want to pay that much for a Pontiac. Given the choice between paying for Pontiac and a BMW or Acura, most younger Americans would opt for the BMW or Acura on image alone.

    2. Americans - especially GTO fans - already had in mind what a GTO should "look like." They were hoping for something more "retro" in style (think 2005 Mustang). When the Holden-based GTO appeared, it just didn't look like a GTO to many people.

    3. The dealers believed the hype and initially held out for too much money.

    4. GM has too many brands and too many models, and doesn't have enough money to effectively market all of its offerings.

    One hopes that the upcoming, Holden-based Pontiac G8 fares better in the marketplace.
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