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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,320
    did either one of you buy your cars brand new from the dealer or did you buy them used?

    I don't understand what difference it makes, but the 2nd Crown Vic was purchased used. The other four were purchased brand new from dealers. So what? :confuse:
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,320
    Very few people would choose the Town Car or Grand Marquis looks over the MKS

    This three time NEW TC owner would choose the Taurus Sho over the MKS & would special order it with no other options than the Red color. I can read maps and save $12,000. Accessory bundling is not respected by thinking buyers. ;)
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Very few people would choose the Town Car or Grand Marquis looks over the MKS True enough. The TC and GM look like the very old designs they are now. But the 1990 Town Car and 1998 Town Car designs stood out in the marketplace at introduction far more than the very conservative, Asian-flavored and vaguely bulbous MKS. And the marketplace has spoken. Lincoln may not be losing money on the MKS, but it has inspired buyers about as much as the 2005 Five Hundred and the 2008 Taurus did.

    I remember Ford execs being confident that even though the Chrysler 300 was getting all the attention in 2005, that the Five Hundred would win the styling war over time as being more "tastefully" rendered. Those same deluded types must have been the ones who approved the 2009 MKS design. Once again, it is a very decent car, but why did they figure they needed to make it look slightly lumpy and dumpy to capture new sales? It is a mystery that will likely never be solved.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    I don't understand what difference it makes, but the 2nd Crown Vic was purchased used. The other four were purchased brand new from dealers. So what?

    Simple - most of the really vocal panther fans who whine and cry about the lack of updates and about them being cancelled only buy them used at huge discounts. Ford doesn't make any money off of used car sales. If you're not willing to buy new and support the mfr then you don't have a right to complain about what they make. If you bought 4 new ones then that doesn't apply to you. But buyers like you are few and far between in the world of panthers.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    We all know the MKS basic design was already "in the can" when the new regime took over and all they were able to change was the nose which had to be grafted on after the fact.

    The upcoming MKS refresh will be the first "clean sheet" design although it's still riding on the same platform. I expect a much more dynamic and appealing exterior (although I don't have a problem with the current one) plus new powertrains (305 HP 3.7L and a 400+ HP 3.5L EB) and a host of Lincoln exclusive features like adjustable suspensions, glass roofs, etc.

    It will also distance itself from the Taurus which I agree is a minor problem right now. But that's because they went all in on the Taurus and they have yet to do that on the MKS.

    At last check it still outsold every other luxury sedan in it's class outside of the E-class and 5 series which almost nobody can touch, and it's doing it without huge incentives. If you think MKS sales are bad, go look at Lexus GS or Infinit M.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    "The Lincoln Town Car is going out of production in the fourth quarter of 2011. Lincoln has done little in the way of promoting the Town Car in recent years.

    The outgoing Town Car is available for fleet customers and individual customer factory orders only through the end of the model year."

    Meanwhile, there's going to be a spike in demand.

    image

    No Product Placement Deal for The Lincoln Lawyer, Says Lincoln (Inside Line)

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    "Lincoln knocked Porsche off its perch as the most dependable of 34 brands in the 2011 J. D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study. It was the first time Lincoln has topped the list, which has been published annually since 1990."

    Lincoln Tops J.D. Power Dependability Survey (NY Times)

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  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,669
    nice if Lincoln freshened up their appearance a little, as Caddy did to some of its models...
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    ...seem to be so barren and decontented these days, their slogan should read:

    "Lincoln: What a Mercury Should Be."

    With the demise of the Town Car later this year, they have absolutely nothing that appeals to me. Their current lineup consists of a handful of truncated peculiarly-styled anemic six-cylinder cars and stupid rebadges of Ford cross-overs, trucks, and SUVs. I'd sooner buy a Hyundai Genesis or Equus over anything Lincoln now offers. It's a sad end to a once-proud marque that once produced glorious cars like this:

    image
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    If you want a new Town Car them the new Lincoln won't be for you anyway.

    Ford only started the Lincoln rebirth last year and the new chief is putting his stamp on the future styling before it's released.

    The plan is for 7 Lincoln vehicles with totally unique sheetmetal, interiors, drivetrains and features. No more rebadges. Plus an upgraded dealer experience (with fewer dealers).

    There are also rumors from insiders about global RWD making an appearance. It has potential but we'll have to wait at least 2 years before we see the fruits of their labor.

    In the meantime Lincoln is keeping prices high, incentives relatively low and only producing the cars they're able to sell at those prices. Many believe this is being done on purpose to force the marginal dealers out of business or forcing them to merge. With dealer franchise laws this is about the only leverage Lincoln has in that area.

    Not sure what you mean about barren and decontented though - the MKS has more luxury features and way more power than any previous Lincoln.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    I test drove an MKZ at the Ford Carlisle show last year and the car seemed to be decontented from the previous year. The previous MKZ, (liked the Zephyr name much better) had nice light wood interior trim and an instrument panel reminicent of the classic 1961-64 Continentals. The one I drove last year seemed like they took the old Mercury Milan and slapped Lincoln badges and styling cues on it. The car stickered for $42,000 yet barely seemed like a $28K car to me.

    Lincoln also has to come up with better names than the confusing alphabetic goobledy-[non-permissible content removed]. Everybody knows what a Town Car or a Continental is. Who can keep track of an MKS, MKZ, MK...whatever. I hate that Cadillac has gone this route too.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    I hope they go back to names also. I don't think they decontented or cheapened the MKZ over the Zephyr - I think they just made it different and without the light colored wood it may seem cheaper. The problem with the MKZ is they couldn't really afford to change everything like the doors and greenhouse because it was a mid cycle refresh. The new one, being designed now on the new CD4 platform, will be a clean sheet design and the first all new Lincoln under the new plan.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,669
    "Who can keep track of an MKS, MKZ, MK...whatever. I hate that Cadillac has gone this route too."

    At least with Cadillac, I can keep up because I knew what the models were before the change...DTS was DeVille Touring Sedan, so I can handle the abbreviation...STS was Seville Touring Sedan and CTS was (according to what I read) Catera Touring Sedan...so those I could handle...

    But the Lincoln ones make no sense to me at all...

    But no one uses me for a standard anyway...:):):)
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,320
    Caveat emptor, Bob
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Not sure what you mean about barren and decontented though - the MKS has more luxury features and way more power than any previous Lincoln.

    I know what he meant, and he's wrong. The MKS actually has a couple of features my Lexus LS460 doesn't have, the Sync is better, the My Lincoln Touch (stupidest name ever) is amazing, they literally have everything available in their car. Even the MKZ, the cheapest Lincoln you can get is very well equipped. So that's just bogus! I agree with the comments about the 6 cylinder engines, althought he Eco-Boost is a wonderful driving motor. Hope it holds up like the old 4.6L did. I believe the FWD platform being all that is available after the Town Car dies, is the deal breaker for many, certainly is for me. If they build a car similar to the Lexus LS, I'd be interested in Lincoln again.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    edited March 2011
    Well, the MKZ sure LOOKS decontented. I liked the old Zephyr much better, though cheap tricks like a hood prop-rod sure detracted from the car. If Lincoln builds something like the Lexus LS, I'd give them a look again.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    And the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Lincoln sales remain very poor, and decreasing, while most makes are seeing healthy increases. The MKS, MKZ and MKT may be good cars, but the designs are nondescript to dowdy, and the marketplace has spoken. Good thing that Ford sales are so goosed right now, because they have missed the mark with every Lincoln model in the past few years. Wait...there is something better coming is the story. Well, that was supposed to be true with the MKS and certainly the MKT. Whoever oversaw bringing both of those to production had no real clue what would actually sell. Probably focus group cars.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,669
    an off-the-wall guess, if the Lincoln models just look like Ford models with a better wax job, and add $10K-20K to the price, maybe folks are seeing that the Lincoln just ain;t worth that much more money for better-waxed paint and slightly better leather...

    Maybe Cadillac looks more different from Chevrolet than Lincoln looks from Ford???
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,320
    Exactly why I'm more interested in the Taurus SHO than the Lincoln MKS.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    Or maybe they're just keeping prices high to maintain profit levels at lower volumes while they get ready to relaunch the brand with a new dealership experience and new vehicles that are much more than rebranded Fords. They could easily throw a few grand on the hood to maintain higher sales, but that's not what the new Ford does any more - they're leaving that trick to GM.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,669
    Is that truly a marketing strategy, or are you just a Ford rah-rah trying to make excuses for Ford???... ;) ;)
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    Have you examined them closely and driven them back to back? I guess the choice depends upon the buyer's tastes, how fussy they are about particular features and details and how important price is in the final decision.

    In my particular case (yours may vary), I wanted to get away from a dark interior and go to a lighter color. Not an option with the SHO.

    I don't care for firmed up "sport tuned" suspensions. No choice with the SHO.

    I like wood trim and don't care for metal or fake metal. Not an option with the SHO.

    When driving in traffic, I like to see the other cars in all the lanes and not just flashing lights in the mirrors. The 2010 SHO that I drove did not have the "mirror in mirror" feature like an MKS. (2011s might - not sure)

    After driving the MKS, I found the forward sensors to be great when pulling into a parking space. Not an option with the SHO. Ditto the dual panel moonroof, the lined door pockets, the dual armrests, the soft-touch door panels below elbow level and the rubber sealing around the leading and rear edges of the front doors. I also much prefer the appearance of the MKS - particularly the front end and the roof line.

    I prefer high quality leather and don't care for fake suede upholstery that looks like mouse fur. Not an option with the SHO.

    I am not an audiophile but the difference between the THX system in the Lincoln versus the Bose system in the SHO is clear - even to my ears. Speaking of ears, the difference in road noise favors the MKS, too.

    Does this mean that the MKS ecoboost is worth more than the SHO? To me, hell yes. The SHO wouldn't have even been my 2nd choice. However, if the things I mention are not as important as saving a few thousand dollars, the SHO is a better choice.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    Sorry, Allen...My last post was a reply to Euphonium and not you. I hit the wrong "reply" button....
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Nice reframe of the situation, Allen. And we can always count on you for that! :P

    Relaunching this brand has been going on for years. How are we to say that the next re-launch will be any more successful than the last? After all, the MKS and MKT are not just re-branded Fords, but few buyers appreciate them. I suspect current styling is a big factor, but beyond that, there are just too few of them around for most people to even know what it is when they see one.

    Lincoln has been big on issuing concept cars (well, not lately!) that look nothing like the production models. The MKT concept really hit nerves (both good and bad). The production model, once you get past the grill, looks like a bloated station wagon. How is this brand going to make the leap to producing models where people say "wow" as they go by? Not a one of the current lineup look like the MKR concept that was supposed to have the new Lincoln DNA. A grill does not make a car (or truck), but I am not sure that this lesson has been fully learned.

    GM has come back from the dead. They still have a long way to go. But all four brands are at least growing in the right direction, and Buick's success, with so few models (this is being remedied quickly), is especially notable. A Buick looks and feels nothing like a Cadillac (with the exception of the soon-to-be buried Lucerne) and vice versa. When Ford gets that distinction down, things may change.

    Meanwhile, Ford is going gangbusters. But all of Ford's success will have to be invested back into the Ford brand, or they will fall behind. Lincoln has to make its own way. Selling few cars at a real profit may not drain the bottom line right now, but I wonder. How is maintaining the whole Lincoln shebang from production to dealerships going to be sustained over time, if there is no breakout model or runaway success in reputation on the horizon? Just thoughts.
  • savethelandsavetheland Posts: 671
    edited April 2011
    They should not discontinue Mercury, it was wrong decision. It actually turned me away from Ford because Lincoln does not worth what they ask for it. But I would agree to buy Mercury if it had slightly better materials than Ford and was less blue-collar and more elegant outside and inside. Mercury-Lincoln model was working okay. Mercuries were nicer than Fords - they should make it more expensive, may be one grand more. In fact what they should do - call current Lincoln lineup Mercury (and decontent it - make it more affordable like Buick or even cheaper) and make no excuse luxury for Lincoln and price it higher. I mean Lincoln is in no-mans land. It is not as good and luxurious as Lexus (even as ES) but costs almost the same. GM made right decision - Buick is less expensive than Lexus but more premium than Toyota and Chevy and Cadillac does not need to make any excuses and compete directly with big guys. That is why Buick and Cadillac sell well while nobody cares about Lincoln anymore. And note that Lincoln was best selling luxury brand not so long ago.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    The new regime has not been rebuilding Lincoln for years. They spent the first 3-4 years rebuilding Ford, totally ignored Mercury and only gave Lincoln table scraps. And they said that's what they would do because they had to get Ford fixed first.

    What makes me think they're serious? They killed Mercury. That was a huge step that previous regimes weren't willing to do. They're committed to reducing the bloated dealer network. They're requiring remaining dealers to make a large financial commitment to improve the dealer service network. They've hired a large team of 85 folks to oversee the transformation process. Half of them came from Audi, Lexus and other luxury mfrs. They've committed to 7 vehicles - more than Lincoln has had since I can remember. They've committed to distinct vehicles and distinctive features and unique drivetrains.

    What else can anyone ask for at this point?

    They don't need Lincoln to be profitable right now - Ford is taking care of that nicely. Given the vehicles they have right now they have 2 choices - reduce prices/increase incentives to get more volume or keep prices high for the few that do value what Lincoln is offering (like Bruce) yielding more profit on fewer units. If you cut prices now then that makes it harder to raise prices to where they should be when the new ones do come out.

    You say Rah-Rah'ing - I say logic and sound business decisions. Ford is positioning Lincoln for 3-4 years down the road - not trying to win a 2011 sales contest.

    Contrast that with GM's strategy - pumping up volume with huge incentives. And Ford STILL outsold GM last month - without the new Focus and Explorer.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,320
    Agree on all points mentioned except after considering the comparative costs of each, the Lincoln MKS is (with more Sales Tax) not worth an additional $12,000 to the prudent purchaser. ;)
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    Real world transaction prices may be different now but when I purchased, the difference was around $6,000. My local dealers wouldn't deal on a SHO as willingly as they would on the MKS. Also, I suppose a prudent purchaser could also consider a Fusion Sport instead of an SHO and save another $12,000. ;)
  • savethelandsavetheland Posts: 671
    If you are not able to design and build luxury cars just do not call them Lincoln and artificially inflate price. Call it Mercury Milan, put lower quality leather and fake wood, but price it reasonably and it will sell. When real Lincoln is ready - then call it Lincoln. Cars like MKZ do more to damage to Lincoln's image than than help FMC. Mercury was a perfect channel to put underdeveloped premium cars on market.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,668
    If all they wanted to do was sell more cars then yes, keeping Mercury would have been better. The current Lincolns aren't bad and all it will take is one or two great new vehicles for people to take notice again.
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