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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?

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  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Nobody can say that this is a rebadged Fusion (and you know who you are).

    I love the rear treatment and the interior is stunning. This is a great first step for Lincoln.

    On the customer service side, in addition to upgrading dealerships Lincoln is partnering with Les Clefs d'Or - the prestigious international association of hotel concierges - to train Lincoln staff at the Lincoln Academy.

    Lincoln is serious this time and they're following through on their long term plans to put Lincoln back onto the luxury map.
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 109
    Yes we can. The car has obvious similarities to the Fusion. The difference is that The MMZ is about 2 inches longer and is about .75 inches taller. If you put the vehicles side by side you will notice that their profiles are similar. Really!
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    You can put any number of vehicles from totally different manufacturers side by side and see similarities if you try hard enough. There are only so many ways you can do a 4 door sedan.

    The difference is that The MMZ is about 2 inches longer and is about .75 inches taller.

    That's one difference. What about the other differences? V6 engine; suspension; wheels; doors; hood; grille; headlamps; taillamps; roof; glass; trunk; bumper; gauges; dash; console; shifter; seats; steering wheel; fenders; quarter panels; thx audio, etc. etc. etc.

    In other words - almost everything.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    Did they get rid of that awful cheap hood prop-rod?
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    Based on the photos and information from Lincoln's website, it seems to me that the MKZ should be at or near the top of the list for entry level luxury cars.

    The exterior looks great to me - with the exception of the C-pillar. I don't really care for the six-window look. The interior looks near perfect. It looks like most of the items one expects from a luxury car are available - except for power tilt/telescope steering wheel and power adjustable pedals. The specs say the tilt/telescope is manual but the pictures appear to have the power button on the side of the column. Otherwise, heated steering wheel, massaging seats, heated/cooled seats are all available. Best of all is the adaptable/adustable suspension. The push-button transmission is cool. No, it damn well better not have a prop-rod hood!

    As far as I am concerned the optional sliding roof is disappointing. It doesn't open very far and automatically closes even more if you go over 45 MPH. Worst of all, it drapes down over the rear window. This reminds me of the cheap-assed sunroofs some GM cars have - where the sunroof just plops up over the roof. A moonroof that neatly tucks in between the roof and headliner is much cleaner. Thankfully, that is also an option for the MKZ. There was a lot of hype about the sliding roof an it might appeal to some but I wouldn't have it even for free. The original retractable hardtop on the 1957 Ford was a masterpiece of technology at the time. This......not so much, IMHO.

    The 3.7 engine should move the car nicely and be competitive with other cars in this class. The turbo 4 should also work nicely - lots of torque - and strong MPG. Of course, I would prefer the 3.5 ecoboost. I also hoped that the 8 speed transmission would be available at launch but that is apparently not the case.

    I look forward to the arrival of the MKZ later this fall. I doubt one will find its way into my garage but it appears to be a great effort and should double MKZ sales.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    I would be shocked if it did not have power tilt/telescope tied into the memory. That would be a major faux pas on an otherwise fantastic vehicle.

    I think you would feel differently about the roof once you see it in person. We have the Vista roof (also known as the BAMR - Big [non-permissible content removed] Moon Roof) on our Edge and it's basically the same. There is not enough room in the headliner for such a large opening on a sedan. It won't be for everyone but at least it's optional for those that want it.

    I expect the 8 speed tranny will show up next year along with a 2.7L Ecoboost V6. And I wouldn't be surprised to see a top end model with the 3.5L Ecoboost within a year or two.

    I still can't believe some people would scoff at this - it's probably the best vehicle Lincoln has done in decades - even though I agree with you on a couple of the exterior styling cues.

    My problem is I want stellar fuel economy so I'll be looking at a Fusion 1.6L EB that gets 26/37. I can't see spending the extra money on a FFH or MKZ hybrid but I'll at least look at both.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    I have only seen videos of the roof so the real thing might impress me more. At least it is different. I like the dual panel roof on my MKS.

    I agree this is the best effort in a long time. With the enhanced dealer experience that has already begun, this should generate more interest and sales. The new MKS coming in 2014 will be welcome, too.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    I really like the 2013 MKZ from what I see so far. However, the rest of the lineup is not competitive, given the fast paced changes in the market. The warmed over 2013 MKS and MKT are stuck with the overall shapes that doomed them in the marketplace in the first place. The MKX, with all its improvements, is still obviously an Edge with lipstick, and the poor Navigator, once the king of the world, is not even a player anymore. That old body with new clips has been around since 1998, and that 300 hp V8 is outclassed by everything in its class.

    I suspect that Ford will continue to pour money into Lincoln now, until it either becomes other than a laughingstock...or until Ford goes down...who knows what the future brings, but things change far more quickly now. Ford likely cannot succeed over the long term with just one marque...I am not thinking of a company right now that has. Two marques can probably do it, but poor Lincoln is such damaged goods. Mercury with its photocopy Ford products still had a better reputation when it died.

    Anyway, I see how GM and Chrysler are now growing like gangbusters. Each has many marques still, although they both have cut their marque lists considerably. GM with Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Holden (the Chevy Caprice here), Opel and Vauxhall. Opel is providing Buick with a lot of help, and Buick is a star currently, given its status in China and growing presence here again. But Opel is a drag on GM overall, and whether GM will be able to move fast enough to compete with athletes like Hyundai-Kia and the newly power-housed VW remains a question.

    VW has taken the opposite tack from Ford and Honda (which also is struggling a bit with its luxury brand), and has now 11 separate marques in the group, plus several more they can re-introduce without buying anything (Auto Union, DKW, Hoirch, NSU (remember the wankel engined Ro 80 from the late 60s)? VW had a major slump for awhile, but in this past year knocked Toyota down to #3 (GM is again #1). VW projected becoming the largest car maker by 2018, but now are on track for 2016. Quite a renaissance. Meanwhile, as many new models as GM has in the pipeline and on showroom floors for all its brands, it could go down in the next few years with all that is happening in Germany, China and Korea.

    It is an interesting time. My long love for Lincoln does not blind me to the fact that they aren't renewing their lineup as fast as other manufacturers have figured out how to do. MKZ is a bright spot, but they need about six more, and within the next 18 months, I imagine, to become a player again.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Ford could rush new Lincolns but there is no need. Ford is comfortably profitable and is investing in long term success, not short term profit. Dealers are upgrading and I think that's just as important as the products in this market. The new design chief is putting his stamp on the new stuff. Apparently he wasn't able to change a lot on the MkZ - even so it turned out pretty good.

    I still think they might have a surprise up their sleeve based on the new mustang platform.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    That Mustang surprise is an excellent idea. The new Mustang itself that is coming allegedly with Evos styling would wipe up the Camaro. A few inches to the wheelbase, and voila, 4 door.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I see how GM and Chrysler are now growing like gangbusters.

    Ya think? Give Ford, (or me) $50 Billion dollars, and I'll go like Gangbusters too! :confuse:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Where else could Chrysler go but up? As for GM - they're still doing the same old GM tricks. Local Chevy dealers are advertising that they'll finance a Sonic for you with a 500 credit score. Chrysler is doing some good things and GM is a little better but they need more focus and to stop trying to be #1 at all costs.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    GM is light years ahead of Ford in China, and it is Asian markets that will count the most in coming years. Ford is wising up and plans to introduce 15 new models in China in the next few years, but in that same time, GM will introduce more than 4 times as many that are designed from the ground up to fit that market. Ford is doing well in the US, and now even owns their blue oval trademark again. Can't fault that. But Mulally gets paid too many millions to do what any number of clear heads within that organization could have done years ago.

    I know, woulda, coulda, shoulda. But to slam GM and Chrysler for actually figuring out how to not toss all the government funds right down the old rathole they were formerly stuffing their own funds into is a bit of sour grapes. These two companies, like Ford, employ a helluva a lot of people and allow a whole lot of suppliers and their employees to exist too. The TARP funds are being paid back, not lost.

    It's anyone's call how laissez-faire we ought to be as a country in order to be pragmatic rather than ideologues, but both Chrysler and GM are prospering right now. Will that continue? I have no crystal ball. Ford, GM and Chrysler could all be gone in 5 years for all we know. I hope not, but Britain used to have a booming car business too.

    The growth in the Korean companies is phenomenal now that they have figured out how to keep renewing their fleets completely every four years or so. Japan is not out, and it is only a matter of time before China finds its niche here. Even if it doesn't, projections are that the US market will become less and less a determiner of a company's success.

    Ford needs to revive moribund Lincoln and find a way to pitch it internationally, or create another luxury brand from scratch without the baggage of the long slow ruination of the once proud Lincoln brand.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    All I was pointing out is that Chrysler is simply getting back to respectability and their huge growth this year is due more to how far they had fallen. I think they are headed in the right direction for sure and have some great products.

    GM is a lot better but they have not cut their overhead and excess capacity as much as Ford has and they put all their hybrid eggs in the Volt basket and "mild" hybrids. They are decontenting chevys so they don't compete with Buicks and they're offering financing to people with questionable credit. They have an expensive Volt but they don't have any EVs or less expensive full hybrids.

    They may do better in China and if so hopefully that will help the bottom line. But Ford simply couldn't afford to go after China before - they were too busy trying to stay in business - without government handouts. And they are handouts until GM and Chrysler pay back every penny they borrowed (which we both know won't happen).
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,540
    Bah, Ford got handouts too.

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  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Bah yourself. Those were loans, not handouts. Ford paid back every penny they got from the government. GM and Chrysler have not. I have no problem with government LOANS as long as they're paid back.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,540
    edited May 2012
    Here's a better link then with a handout grant for $92.7 million to Ford in 2009 for battery research.

    GM, Chrysler, Ford Share in U.S. Grants for Batteries (Bloomberg)

    I bet with a bit of digging I could find all kinds of grants to Ford for infrastructure development and employee training and research. Here's one laundry list.

    Some of us don't think there's a problem with government/industry partnerships. If building a highway exit and putting in a rail spur creates jobs, go for it (that's exactly what happened in Chattanooga with VW). If VW pulls out for some reason, those "grants" won't be repaid either.

    Sorry, I like Ford and own some stock, but I don't think they are any more "pure" than GM or Chrysler for not taking the same bailout offer. Remember, Ford lobbied for the bailout, knowing that if their Detroit competitors went the "regular" bankruptcy route, a lot of suppliers would fail too, and that would hurt their recovery efforts as well.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    edited May 2012
    "And they are handouts until GM and Chrysler pay back every penny they borrowed (which we both know won't happen)."

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that Chrysler had repaid its government loans.

    As for GM, I believe the stock that the government took as collateral has to go to ~53 before our federal government breaks even. Any sale of GM stock below that price represents a loss. Since GM closed at 22.44 on Friday, it'll be a while before the government is repaid, if ever.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Again, I have no problem with government loans. But GM is making a nice profit now while the taxpayers got hosed. Why shouldn't they pay back the difference in the stock value if they're making billions now? A regular loan with full payback would have yielded the same result. What about all of the old GM shareholders that got hosed?

    If GM had failed and therefore was not able to pay back the loans then that's one thing but that's not the case here.

    I think that's part of the reason they haven't changed their business model as much as they should - they believe if they get in trouble again the government will bail them out.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that Chrysler had repaid its government loans.

    Correction follows:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/beltway-confidential/2011/05/truth-behind- -chrysler%E2%80%99s-fake-auto-bailout-pay-back/145552

    I made my point so I'll be quiet now.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,540
    edited May 2012
    Fair enough although you could say the government got what they bargained for (stock in exchange for financial backing). Meanwhile, here in Michigan, us taxpayers see the auto industry as about the only bright spot - the hosing would be much worse if GM and Chrysler had folded along with all the ancillary jobs.

    Investing entails risk. Don't have much sympathy for the stockholders of Old GM. If you want to bail them out, I want to get in line for some of my lousy bets. :shades:

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  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    I'm not trying to beat a dead horse here Steve and I certainly agree that loans were appropriate at the time. But consider this scenario:

    Old GM stockholders were allowed to keep their shares.
    GM was given a loan and protection from creditors but has to pay back every penny.
    GM was required to maintain all of their old obligations (including warranty claims - a whole other nasty subject by itself).

    GM would be in the same place they are now but the taxpayers and shareholders would not be out billions of dollars.

    And it's only an investment if it's voluntary. Nobody asked me if I wanted to invest MY money in GM.

    Chrysler is better - at least they still have to pay back the $3.5B government loan. I just don't like them advertising that they've paid back the loans when they didn't. It's like me having a car loan, refinancing it and saying that I paid it off.

    And I don't necessarily blame GM and Chrysler. I blame the government for allowing it.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,540
    edited May 2012
    My feeling is that if they had been more viable, like Ford was, they could have either hocked everything (like Ford) or obtained private pre-bankruptcy financing (that's the norm in big Chapter 11s). The financing wasn't there so we got what we got.

    In other news, it looks like Ford is looking more to the Australians for revamping the look of Lincolns.

    Lincoln goes inside-out with Australian designers (caradvice.com.au)

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  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Just the fact that Lincoln has a dedicated design team is a huge step. The new C segment vehicles (rumor is both a car and CUV are coming) should be very telling.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    It's not as if Australian Fords, although they still offer rear wheel drive, have won a lot of attention for their outstanding body designs. :P

    Revamping of Lincoln has started again in earnest, but previous re-set attempts were underway 10 years ago. Perhaps like Hyundai, they will be able to start with the mediocre and build a real brand over time. However, their proposals for new models don't now go much beyond the MKZ and an Escape spin-off. Unfortunately, the 2013 MKS piffle of changes means that model will likely be with us for at least a couple more years. It's anonymous at best, like the Volvo S80 and the Acura RL. The MKT is just ungainly, and also destined to be around at least a couple more years. I saw one drive by yesterday, and I must say it is not aging well. The Navigator is an embarrassment at this point, like the Town Car ended up to be. I continue to beat a dead horse of course, but even if Ford didn't have the money to do the number of models GM has been able to do, even in its bankruptcy, why didn't any of those guys earning the big bucks see that they were pouring all their limited resources into non-descript, even homely looking iron?

    Ford will survive as the American Honda--models with good reputations and a luxury brand that seems to be an also-ran for the time being. With its loans, Chrysler has been able to take advantage of synergies with its European brands/owners to get new models to market quickly both here and there. GM is propped up by China: both Buick and Chevrolet sell in excess of 50K units there per month, and with all their joint ventures GM sold 2.5 million vehicles in China in 2011. The stock loss to taxpayers is only real when the stock is sold, and nobody knows what the market will do in the coming years. There were many times when the old GM stock price exceeded what the government needs in order to break even. Stranger things have happened. ;)

    The Honda model has worked for Honda, and may work long-term for Ford. We shall see. Meanwhile, get that new Lincoln team some amphetamines.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    MKS is waiting for a new platform most likely a widened and lengthened MKZ platform (CD4). A new C segment crossover and car are rumored for next year as well as a mid-sized crossover based on the Explorer platform (why doesn't Caddy have a Lambda version?). Navigator and Expedition are waiting on the new F150 platform. MKX is also waiting on a new platform.

    The team and plan are in place - you just have to be a little patient to see the outcome.

    BTW - where is the CTS hybrid to compete with the MKZ hybrid? I bet the MKZ hybrid outsells the CTS-V sedan.

    Lincoln won't be BMW or Mercedes but they can be Lexus in a few years.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,818
    (why doesn't Caddy have a Lambda version?).

    Because the Escalade sells very well and is extremely profitable.

    The next 'slade may be Lambda based.
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 109
    Cadillac is going high end while Lincoln just strives to be while sharing all of its vehicles with Ford platforms. Cadillac's new ATS is rwd with optional awd . It will also have V variants. What does Lincoln have to compete with it besides what will be a vehicle based on a Ford platform? Also I would expect the CTS -V to have lower sales volume as compared to any Lincoln and not just the MKZ -hybrid because the V variants start at over 60 K. And from what I understand is that the MKZ hybrid will be base priced at the same as the 6 cylinder MKZ.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Cadillac is sharing new platforms with Chevy (Camaro specifically) - how is that going "high end"?

    RWD does not equal "high end" luxury vehicles. It does allow for higher performance but in the luxury vehicle game that doesn't always translate to better sales or more profit.

    The 2 biggest sellers for Lexus are the FWD based ES and RX.

    Why is the new XTS FWD based? Why does it only offer a 304 hp 3.6L V6 while the much older MKS offers a 365 hp 3.5L Ecoboost V6?

    What does the XTS offer that the MKS doesn't?
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 109
    edited May 2012
    Perhaps you did not know it but the platforms that are going to Chevy are the obsolete platforms that Cadillac will not use any longer. Gm's plans at least for now are to let Chevy have discontinued Cadillac platforms for the new Camaro and it upcoming Caprice SS will use the present Camaro platform. The present Alpha cannot handle a V8 as would be required for the Camaro and Caprice SS . So Lincolns will get Ford platforms and Chevy will get obsolete Cadilllac platforms. I am not writing that these Ford platforms are bad for Fords, but I am writing that they are not Lincoln worthy. The XTS is nothing more than a more expensive Buick. Buy a Buick and save money.

    Another thing, the all new Mustang is not really all new at all. The platform is the same platform as now except it will have an irs as was originally planned for it.
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