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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ



  • poodog13poodog13 Posts: 320
    so let's just drop it

    That would be great, supposed to be talking about the Zephyr anyway.
  • Like Ford and GM, You're completely missing the point.

    They might not pinpoint the exact similarities, but they are smart enough to see the design is generic and uninspired and looks like too many other vehicles.

    They might settle for one of these if they get a $3000 rebate and 0% financing or they will just go buy something else.

    What happened to Navigator's market dominance?
    I guess attaching $60k of bling to a 97 Expedition isn't fooling buyers anymore.

    What happened to the Aviator?
    There are lots of successful mid-size luxury SUV's
    This is the only flop I can think of.

    Try to fool the public with old designs and new grilles and you'll have to give them 0% financing, $3000 per unit in bribes or just sell to Hertz and the phone company.

    Respect the buyers by building excellent products and success is guaranteed.

    Or, do what Ford has done and watch what happens to your market share.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I think AK may be right about what many car buyers consciously notice in terms of similarity. But scooter's point is right on. People still get a sense whether or not something is topnotch or not, even if they cannot point out the 1998 body panel. There has been groupthink going on at Ford that has not allowed them to see that the customer's lack of detailed (enthusiast) eye does not mean you can really pull the wool over their eyes and be a winner.

    I still think that 1980 to 1996 run of the F150 may have convinced them that they could. However, the competition then was basically Chevy/GM and a distant Dodge. Now there is a plethora of good fullsize pickups out there--and Ford seems to know it. They did not recycle the 1997 F150 body when they issued the 2004. Apply that lesson to the rest of the line.

    The Zephyr is an example of what both AK and scooter are saying. Lincoln is putting a horizontal trim piece on the grill, and another chrome trim piece in the bumper opening. As a result, some people initially thought there were more extensive front end styling changes (someone in this forum even thought the grill had been slightly reduced in size). But in the end, people will perceive those changes to be about as significant (not very) as when VW added a few bits of chrome to the last generation Jetta prior to the 2005 intro of the new one. It won't hurt of course to tie the look (slightly) to the proposed MKS grill, but any sales increase will likely happen because of the engine change (and greater production).

    BTW, I do not wish to simply trash Ford. I have been a stockholder for many years and that was true in the go-go years when they were thinking overtaking GM was do-able. Buying Jaguar for too much money never made any sense, but Ford did always have four to five of the top ten selling vehicles during that period. The company looked good.

    But a company that is on top of the world just should not recycle the same sheet metal in their redesigns. In the end, Packard had to do it, Studebaker had to do it, American Motors had to do it (no money). Ford had the $$, but they forgot it was innovative product that put them on top. Now all of us that own Ford are reaping what was sown.

    So I mean it when I say that I hope to buy a 2010 MKZ (it is the size I want) that will be both current and innovative. The 2006 architecture with tweaks may still be serviceable for a 2010 re-do, but the body shell will not be.

    One more point: loyal customers (like me) eventually notice and get tired of buying essentially the same vehicle. We will do it--but not indefinitely. I owned 1986, 1993 and 1998 extended cab 4WD Rangers, after which I acquired a 2001 Sport Trac. They all served me well on my hobby farm, but that was the end of it. The 2005 Sport Trac (with some tweaks) had the same interior as the 1997 Ranger. Nothing advanced to meet or beat the competition in those years. The planning was so poor that it has taken until 2007 to give the Sport Trac the 2002 Explorer updates. And then only with a significant production gap (no 2006 model). Dumb and weird and poor business.

    If Lincoln is not now seriously working on the MKZ redesign, then we might as well admit that another grand old nameplate is going to bite the dust.
  • Zephyr name was pretty lame, but I commend Ford for showing some humility and admitting such.

    They are trying to keep the product and name fresh. I hope this quick "product adjustment" and the immediate redesign the Five-Hundred and Freestyle are getting are signs that they are going to start focusing on making good, appealing cars rather than neutering them and dumbing them down to appeal to focus groups.
  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    [i]There are lots of successful mid-size luxury SUV's
    This is the only flop I can think of. [/i]

    Actually plenty of midsizes are flopping.. for one the Ridgeline and pilot as well as MDX are rotting on the lots.. and Honda is cutting production..

    The age of HUGe SUV sales is over... they will b around, but sell many les of them.

  • Take your car in to the dealer...with all those weird things going on you must have a defect somewhere. My fan noise is considerbaly reduced at 3 or 4 speed. The fan Icon appears only when you use it. It does not come on in Auto mode unless you touch it (which is nice to have on the steering wheel BTW). My seats don't get that hot either so you may have a problem there as well. Do you have the heated / cooled seat option? If so it blows air through the seats so it is not like normal heated seats and they turn off automatically after a while. I had to spend some time with manual for this car with all the features but I learned it pretty well. All in all it's a nice car.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    So what you're really saying has nothing to do with whether they share doors or platforms. What you're saying is the current designs aren't sexy enough to attract new buyers. And that I can agree with. However, that doesn't mean it's not a great vehicle. There are many factors that reduced Explorer sales that had nothing to do with whether it's a sexy design or not.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    To some degree, AK.

    But you cannot recycle major parts of the body in a "total redesign" even if the previous iteration was good. Times and fashions march on. Those who ignore it do so at their peril. Like Ford. I wouldn't buy a 2007 Sport Trac, not only because it still has the 2001 body (with the usual Ford interior, front and rear changes), but also because I want a 6, not the 8. Although they have done some running improvements to the old 4.0 liter workhorse, it still has essentially the same hp and mpg, this many years later.

    Many factors reduced Explorer sales. True. And it is a good vehicle. True. And it looks too much like a late 1990's midsize ute. Ford has just got to get past this penchant for too conservative re-do's of their most successful designs.

    It is killing Jaguar too. Now a lot is riding on the new XK. Initial orders look good--but it looks an awful lot like the previous one. That "conservative" approach could once again prove risky for a model they would like to get 8 years out of.

    Lincoln has a vehicle that is selling in the Zephyr/MKZ. Keep the momentum going with a "sexier" body next time around. Not weird, not recycled. Again, like Ford seems to now know they MUST now do with the F150 each redesign.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    It seems like a lot of manufactures have luxury versions of the same car...Honda-Acura, Toyota-Lexus, etc, that all share most of the basic components to the non-luxury version. So what's the big deal with Ford-Mercury-Lincoln doing the same if there's a market for those who want the luxury version.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    OK, I give up. I am writing Greek, apparently. Yes, yes, yes! ALL companies more or less use the same platforms or architecture underneath cars in different divisions and separate classes. NOTHING wrong with that!! Only Ford is still doing what I am/have been talking about. I defy anyone to re-read my posts and point out where I criticize Ford (or anyone else) for platform sharing.

    AK, you are so right. Most people don't perceive the obvious (this forum illustrates that). I will sell my Ford stock and stop harping about it.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    I see much more resemblance between a Camry and ES300 than between a 2005 Explorer and 2005 Mountaineer/Aviator.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Look at the front and rear views, not just the side views.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Those do NOT look like Lincoln Zephyrs or MKZ's.

    I thought we were done with this VERY off topic discussion.
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    This is a little off topic but you can build an MKX at the Lincoln sight now. Price of entry is $33K which is great. Combined with the Zephyr which sells nicely around $27K, I'd say Lincoln stands to make some good money it could invest in future MKZ body styles and the MKS. GO LINCOLN GO!!
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I see much more resemblance between a Camry and ES300 than between a 2005 Explorer and 2005 Mountaineer/Aviator.
    I know you are kidding me, AK, but that is allowed. Thanks for an attempt to lighten things up. :)
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    I took my '03 Mountaineer in to the dealer the other day to get some service and wandered into the showroom while waiting. I really liked the Zephyr and the Milan...I think Ford COULD have a hit on their hands if they don't shoot themselves in the foot as they often do. Changing the name of Zephyr after only a few months on the market totally hoses initial buyers and creates a bad taste right out of the gate. That being said, they COULD do a recall and rebadge those already out there and make everyone whole. The dealer had a Zeph parked next to an LS. They should have made the Zeph the successor to the LS! Because they also have hosed LS owners somewhat by not continuing the "lineage". At little common sense here could have turned two lemon situations into lemonade.

    My only other comment was that the similarity between Zephyr and Milan is can clearly see the luxury upgrades on Zephyr...but why the hell do they use that pole thing to prop up the hood on Zephyr? NO luxury car should have that Mickey Mouse thing. Again, no common sense...
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    "but why the hell do they use that pole thing to prop up the hood on Zephyr?"

    I believe it's called a prop rod. Yes, most cars shouldnt be having them now. Haven't opened the hood of my Camry in a long while, but I dont believe it has that.
  • yes it sounds as if you have some issues

    my seats warm up fine and i have never lose the fan display...take the car in

    my auto set up works with no issues
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Forget the SUVs - let's compare Zephyr/Fusion with ES330/Camry. You tell me which pair is more derivative:


    Now just glance quickly at the two photos below and guess which one is the Lexus and which one is the Toyota.

  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Not a single piece of sheetmetal is shared between the Camry and the Lexus. Not one. They do share a "corporate look," yes. But the roofs are different, the backlights are different. The overall side profile is different (do a side comparison). Yes, that corporate look is very bland. The ES330 approaches homely. No one is buying these cars for the styling.

    The 2007 versions are definitely better looking cars (and the 2007 Lexus is now based on the Avalon, not the Camry).

    On the other hand, the Ford twins share doors, doorskins, roofs, greenhouse (all glass shape and size), wheel openings, as well as the same side profile. Much better differentiation than Fusion/Milan, where the interior differences seem to be mostly finish details--and fine for starting out in a bad situation.

    Next time, maybe Lincoln can afford its own body (i.e., like TC compared to Crown Vic, Continental compared to Taurus).
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    gregg, I think you are getting into something consumers care very little about and shying away from the obvious. The Camry/ES looks more alike that the Zephyr/Fusion.

    The new ES is based on the Avalon BUT still shares a striking resemblence to the new Camry.

    Now don't get me wrong gregg because I am with you. I think the Fusion/Zephyr should be better differentiated but I have to say that Ford did a better job than Toyota did with the Camry/ES.

    It's like the Freelander. It isn't based off a Ford Escape; however, no one cares about those specifics because it looks like it is.
  • The Camry/ES do not share a single common visible piece, Indeed, they should have differentiated them more.

    Try this.
    Hold your hand up to your monitor and cover the headlights/grilles of the "Lincoln" and the Ford- Every part you see is exactly the same.
  • driverdmdriverdm Posts: 505
    Try this.
    Hold your hand up to your monitor and cover the headlights/grilles of the "Lincoln" and the Ford- Every part you see is exactly the same.

    Scooter, the whole hood is different too. How about you just look at the whole Camry and ES and tell me you don't see a significant similarity. Come on Scooter be fair. I am not saying that the Zephyr/Fusion are perfect examples of platform sharing. For that we'ld have to turn to a RX/Highlaner example or the new Escalade and Tahoe or a Mazda 3 and Volvo S40 or even better the MKS and Volvo S80. What I am saying is that the Camry/ES look more similar than the Zephyr/Fusion. To your lay customer and your enthusiast, that is what really matters. When someone says your Freelander looks just like a Escape, do you think it will really give you comfort to break out the supplier listing and have them look at the doors in detail. Anything you have to look at in detail to see, would not be good, because most people won't take the time to do it.
  • There is a big difference between "badge engineering" and platform sharing.

    The Fords, whether we are discussing the Zephyr, Aviator or Navigator, are the exact same body shell, same doors, same windows etc..with some diffferent cosmetic parts to decorate/disguise them.

    The Camry/ES do not share a single visible part. They have enough respect for their product and consumer to make them completely different, yet I do not see why they made them look so similar.

    The bottom line, is the Toyotas ARE different, the Fords want you to think they are different. Ford thinks you are not smart enough to know the difference.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    The Camry/ES do not share a single visible part.

    Now THAT's a ridiculous statement. If you see one of these coming down the road you have to concentrate very hard to tell the difference. If you see a Fusion, Milan or Zephyr you immediately know which one it is.

    You're ignoring the obvious and pointing out minute things that most people can't even see much less care about.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    And as I have started to concede, some people AREN'T smart enough to know the difference. I also concede that the Toyota and Lexus have some similarities.

    The photos shown, however, appear to exaggerate that. I have seen both together in the metal, and there is no way a majority of people would have any difficulty differentiating them from most angles when they are parked side by side.

    That is one of the problems with Ford thinking that a completely different face makes all the difference. If you look at the full-on side views of the Fusion twins, much of the differentiation disappears. And that's the rub: the front represents a much smaller area of the thing.

    When you park a Camry and a ES330 together, the huge headlights going well up into the fenders and hood of the Lexus look way different from the Camry's. The grill is smaller and differently shaped. The hoodlines take different routes. Yes, one can argue they should look more different, given nothing is shared between them. But still, ever since the Lexus first appeared, those two models have shared NO sheetmetal.

    There must be a reason for the extra financial investment this represents, and I think it is increased sales. Nissan tried the body panel sharing with different face and tail lights with the Nissan Maxima and Infiniti I30. Those models did OK, but real differentiation seems to sell better than the perceived or virtual kind. Toyota is on a roll, and Nissan (and most other companies but Ford) has now gone in the same direction of real differentiation. Why do it if it is not worth investment?
  • Aren't you the same guy who said the Explorer, Mountaineer and Aviator don't look at all alike?

    Ok, I'll humor you, which visible parts do the Camry/ES share?

    (Hint: Not the roof, not the glass or doors which all 3 Fords share.)
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    And AK, I believe you when say you have difficulty perceiving the Camry/ES differences, but scooter's statement is NOT ridiculous. It is true...they do not share body parts. It depends on what kind of "eye" you have.

    I perceive the differences among the triplets (as you do), but the average Joe certainly doesn't know immediately what they are. They can read the labels on the trunk of course...and that will help them figure out whether those are the new Lincoln tail light shape or is that the new Mercury shape??...neither one has any brand DNA to them yet. At least Fusion is trying to get on top of that one.
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