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Would Ford Ever sell Lincoln?

2

Comments

  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    Ford needs to let Mercury die. Mercury is a re-badged Ford. Add a few more chrome pieces here and there and you have a Milan rather than a Fusion. Kill Mercury, give the money to Lincoln. Build Lincoln into what is once was, a great American luxo brand. Lincoln needs to become what Acura has become to Honda, and Lexus to Toyota. Plain and simple Ford. Are you listening?? :shades:
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I agree, Mercury should go. Mercury has existed for years just to give the Lincoln stores something else to sell, to keep them alive. A new vision for Lincoln is necessary if Ford wants to even have a Premium brand anymore, and Mercury doesn't help.

    Now, OTOH, if Ford wanted to go back to the roots of Mercury, and make some performance models that would be different than Ford, with some more powerful engines, and some style differentiation, they might have a reason for Mercury to survive, but I seriously doubt there is money for such a concept at this point.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    The problem is that when I look at the MKZ, MKS and MKX, I think, "Those are reallly nice Mercurys." They are what a Mercury should be - Fords with different fronts and tails; nicer interiors; and bigger engines. They share enough components to be cost-effective, but have enough distinction that there is a sufficient reason for buyers to step up from a Ford.

    What they aren't, however, are Lincolns.

    All Lincolns should then be only rear-wheel-drive, and fairly large. Ford should use the combined Lincoln Mercury structure as an advantage - dealers will have the MKZ to sell to buyers who want something smaller and more economical during tough times, but also have the larger vehicles (MKS and MKX) and luxury cars to sell when times are good.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    All Lincolns should then be only rear-wheel-drive, and fairly large.

    I tend to agree with this statement completely, and don't disagree with your other comments about the current Lincoln lineup being true Mercurys as well. We've been saying similar things for years though, and Bill Ford (who hated Lincoln) didn't care. There has not been consistent leadership at Ford since Red Poling and Don Petersen retired. If there had been, the LS would have been a bigger hit, and further developed, and Lincoln could have taken over the Luxury market ala BMW American Style, and Ford may not be in such dire straits. But, if ........
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    not just close Lincoln AND Mercury, instead focusing their efforts on Volvo and Mazda, both of whom have an international presence?

    Any former Lincoln/Mercury dealers could be given the chance to switch to a Volvo or Mazda dealership, if they'd like, or accept a small buyout for closing up shop.

    Then Ford wouldn't be saddled with too many brands and could focus on reshaping Ford, utilizing the expertise provided by Mazda (small cars) and Volvo (safety).
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    Every state has franchise laws that protect dealers - it cost GM a fortune (more than they expected) to get rid of the Oldsmobile brand. Lots of Lincoln/Mercury dealers seem to also sell Fords, but still, it'd be a big, expensive chore to cut those brands out of the dealer network. Maybe with a bankruptcy court's permission it'd be feasible.

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  • Three Ford dealerships in our four county SMSA just went under, so the market may take care of eliminating dealers.
    Mercury was a made up brand when introduced in the 1930's and its purpose has long since expired - let it die a decent death.
    Jag and Land Rover had the worst reliability and maintenance costs of almost any cars even after Ford pumped millions (billions?) into them. Good ridance.
    Lincoln was a respected car with decent sales up until the late 1980's. Go to any parking lot and see how many you still see even though they were expensive when sold. It never was meant to be a huge seller, but something to add cachet to the Ford company, increase profit margins and do battle with Cadillac. It succeded at that because it was not a Ford clone.
    Ford needs to design and build truly separate luxury vehicles for Lincoln and maybe have a couple of low price models that are based on Fords. Lower level Lexus' and Acuras are based on Camry and Japanes Honda.
    BTW, have you noticed the trend for there to be ONE GM dealer per area, handling all brands?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    BTW, have you noticed the trend for there to be ONE GM dealer per area, handling all brands?

    I don't hit the dealers in Boise very often, but it's confusing - the two big guys have shops that cover the gamut. We're talking standalone Pontiac/Buick/GMC, Nissan, Mazda, Suzuki, Kia, and Isuzu showrooms all owned by one chain and another chain has a Toyota shop, a BMW store, a Lexus store and a Chevy store. (Actually I can't swear that all those are standalone shops).

    A third guy has Ford, Honda, Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep, Subaru and Mitsubishi stores, but there are three other standalone Ford dealers in our area, as near as I can tell. It looks like two of the three sell Lincoln/Mercury with the Fords.

    You make a good point about the economy consolidating the dealer network, at least in the bigger towns.

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  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Even with those franchise laws, though, simply being able to get rid of Mercury and Lincoln could be a good thing.

    Plus, the costs could be lowered by offering many of those dealers a Mazda or Volvo franchise, especially since both brands don't have the large dealer network that Ford has. I'm not saying it would be cheap, just that it might save some cash in the long run.

    A bankruptcy filing, however, could make dumping the Lincoln/Mercury nameplates far easier; people with existing Lincoln/Mercury cars could just go to a Ford dealership for maintenance/repair work. The two brands are essentially useless without a huge cash infusion, which Ford doesn't have...
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, killing Oldsmobile was yet another monumental mistake the General made, after ruining the brand entirely by letting the MBA eggheads convince management that they needed to take their best selling nameplate after Chevy, and completely revamp it into a Nissan, which would never sell to Nissan fans, and completely alienated Oldsmobile fans. After the brand was totally and completely wasted, then they tried to eliminate it, which cost them billions to get out of their dealer franchise agreements. Only to bring yet another "totally different" brand out, (Saturn) and then completely lose sight of the business model of Saturn, making it essentially a replacement for Oldsmobile.

    It's hard to find a major corporation that can be more self destructive than this.

    They need to get rid of Buick, Pontiac and Saturn, and sell SAAB and Hummer and get to core business again, but they have to find a different way than the way they got rid of Oldsmobile......they don't have the money to make that mistake again.

    Ford OTOH, has Volvo up for sale and it looks like BMW may be a likely buyer. Their stake in Mazda is also up for grabs, so adding those brands into L/M dealers is off the table.

    Somebody here had the best idea I've seen so far - make the current Lincolns (except Town Car) Mercurys, and bring up a new line of RWD, high performance engine Lincolns that will at least compete with Cadillac again. Do they have the money to do that? No.

    Last one in Detroit, please turn out the lights, please......
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,205
    Jag and Land Rover had the worst reliability and maintenance costs of almost any cars even after Ford pumped millions (billions?) into them.

    And it looks like Tata is going to have to do the same. Was watching Bloomberg earlier in the week and it was stated Tata may have miscalculated on what it's actually going to take to make them two viable. Rumblings is at least $1B U.S.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Jag and Land Rover had the worst reliability and maintenance costs of almost any cars even after Ford pumped millions (billions?) into them.

    You are behind the times a bit. L/R was still very unreliable despite Ford's efforts, but they had just finished production on the BMW designed Range Rover with this last iteration that has a Jaguar engine in it. JAGUAR otoh, had acquired one of the best reliability ratings per JD Power, in initial quality as well as 3 year reliability. Ford completely turned that around. The problem was, they never got a product out there that would sell enough copies to make a profit.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,187
    It was reported last week that, with Mercury being phased out, that Ford management is reviewing the Lincoln brand, and that all options are being considered. Don't know what that means, other than anything is possible.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,321
    " Is there a Lincury in your future?" ;)
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,145
    What a Lincoln Should Be!

    image
  • berriberri Posts: 4,159
    Who'd buy it? I don't think the Chinese or Indians are that dumb. They've already got enough models to steal the western auto technology.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,159
    Totally agree Lemko. People forget that Lincoln's used to be unique and very well built cars deserving of their old luxury reputation. Now they are a Ford with a little different sheet metal.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    They won't be selling Lincoln. The question is more will they shut it down like they will Mercury. There is nothing for a would be buyer of Lincoln - no models that aren't fancied up Fords.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,145
    ...I would seriously consider purchasing and it's going away:

    image
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Yeah, I could definitely see you in one.

    Here's one I could see Andre in.

    image
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,561
    I could see either Andre or Lemko in one of these :shades:

    image
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Oh, absolutely!
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,321
    The Genesis of this design appeared in 1997. 14 years later the same 4 speed and 4.6 engine. Whoopeeee! :P
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    At the top of an hour this afternoon, the radio news came on, and I heard that Ford has finalized the decision and that Mercury will be phased out. What will this mean for the Lincoln-Mercury dealers? Will they become Lincoln-Ford dealers? Could the typical L-M dealership get by on Lincoln alone? I really doubt it.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669
    They'll either make it as Lincoln only (with more products) or they'll combine with Ford dealers or Ford will buy them out.

    Lincoln gets 7 new or updated models in 4 years with unique engines and other features.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    With the Automotive magazines harping on the "over priced" nature of Lincoln, I doubt that the division could stand alone for long without Fords in the showroom. :shades:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669
    They only harp on them being overpriced when they're rebadges like the MkZ and MkX. That will change and while they will share platforms you'll see unique sheetmetal and interiors plus Lincoln exclusive features and powertrains to further differentiate them from the Ford models.

    This will show up over the next 4 years as each model is introduced or redesigned.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I hope you are right!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I am an old Lincoln guy. Bought my first Lincoln in 1990 (A Continental) followed by 3 more Lincolns over the next 13 years. I loved Lincolns. However, I left them because they had nothing to offer in a Sedan anymore, as the LS was too small, and the Townie was too old. Have been driving Lexus since.

    I still think fondly of Lincoln, and respect the product they are bringing out as better than they have had for a while, nevertheless, I see them as a Buick competitor now, and really feel they have fallen a notch from where they used to be when they were competing with Cadillac at least. Although Cadillac's new SRX is really a Chevy Equinox under the skin, and of course the Escalade which is a Tahoe, the rest of their lineup is pretty much unique.

    I don't think Lincoln can win me back, as much as I'd like to support Ford. They don't have an "outstanding car" for me yet. Hope they will change that.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,669
    They *just* started the Lincoln rebuilding. It might take them longer than 2 weeks to come up with the new stuff!

    It sounds like they are now committed to Lincoln and killing Mercury was actually a good sign. I think they'll continue to get better over the next 4 years and hopefully get a new RWD flagship platform in the process.
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