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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ



  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437

    The new MKZ is so much better than the 2012. Yet it competes in a 2013 environment that reasonably can expect more, given the competition.

    If you drive a car for awhile as these testers did, and conclude that there is little to be gained for that $20K over the Fusion Titanium, that is a problem. For Lincoln it is a big problem, because this car cannot be redone for at least five more years.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    I don't think the $20K comparison is valid because it includes features not available on the Fusion like THX stereo, LED adaptive headlamps, retractable glass roof, 3.7L V6, Lincoln ride control.

    I priced a MKZ and it was about $10K more than a comparably equipped Fusion Titanium. For that you get a longer warranty, free maintenance, upgraded materials, Lincoln Ride Control, LED headlamps, heated and cooled seats, push button shifter and lots of smaller upgrades.

    Whether those extra things are worth $10K is really a personal decision. For some it is and others (like me) it isn't. But at least you're not getting a rebadge job.

    I also think the MKZ will get a major facelift for 2015 with a new front that's closer to the MKC concept and engine upgrades. They're not going to wait 5 years.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Engine upgrades good. Money spent modifying front clip--w which already resembles the MKC clip--probably a waste of resources. Put it instead into more luxurious feel to the push button transmission, or upgraded door panel trimmings.
  • I really like this car. And I am thinking of getting one. My biggest pet peeve is that the pricing out of this car seems to have mastered the greedy art of making the buyer pay for lots of stuff he doesn't want in order to get one simple thing he DOES want. Case in point, I really like rain sensing wipers. But the only way to get these in this car is to buy a technology package (costing thousands of dollars) that I do not want in order to get them. What on earth do rain sense wipers have to do with all the electronic gadgetry? These should be standard on a vehicle purported to be a luxury vehicle anyway! I will wait until the 2014 model comes out to see if Lincoln has rethought hits option packaging.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    Don't count on it. This isn't just a Ford thing. If you make every option a la carte that's great for someone ordering a vehicle but it sucks for the dealers who have to maintain inventory.
  • Was planning on looking at the MKZ but when the date kept being pushed back I began to wonder if they were having problems. Also if I waited much longer the 2014 would be out. I also started getting nervous about trade in value when I wanted to trade it in so I went with the Lexus ES-350. Bought it in December. Love it. Very pleased that I bought it instead of the MKZ. Lexus just seems to have a better name & reputation than Lincoln.
  • jerrys2jerrys2 Western massachusettsPosts: 189
    My experience exactly ... I purchased the 350 in Oct. With all the hype beginning in 2012, I anticipated 2013 MKZ would be available by Sept. Suspect there were labor and/or production problems in Mexico. Love the 350 and the dealership Lincoln has a long way to go to catch up here. As I said previously In many dealerships Lincoln seems to be an afterthought to Ford cars and trucks. Miss my 2008 MKZ but not the dealership experience. 350 is great and will consider the RX to replace my SUV.

  • Ah, the dealership experience -- to me that is Lincoln's Achilles heel. I am on my 3rd leased MKZ, have always liked the room, the quality -- and getting all the bells and whistles for much less than similar AWD cars. But on my second and third Lincolns, I came close to gettng another brand simply because of the dealership. And as someone else said, I got the idea that at this dealership, Lincoln was a poor stepchild. In fact, with all three MKZs, I started taking them to another Ford dealer for service and warranty work; much more pleased with them and their customer service.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    Lincoln started working on revamping the dealer experience 2 years ago. I think part of the delay is that they were trying to force out some of the dealers - they had too many. The ones that remain are expected to do major upgrades to facilities including Lexus like services. Obviously some dealers will make the changes sooner and some may resist but at least there is a concrete plan to address the issue as soon as its feasible. Lincoln understands this is a big gap and is required to compete with Lexus and the other luxury makes.

    The MKZ launch is a fiasco as was the Fusion launch at the same plant. I think they cut too many corners on the schedule and ended up with too many problems. They seem to be resolved now and dealers are getting shipments but they probably should have waited and done a March release on both vehicles.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    edited February 2013
    And they should have called both 2014 models. As for having too many dealers, BS. Cutting dealers will cut sales. That is a fact. Look at other brands that have severely cut dealers.

    What they need to do is educate dealers as to what will engender more sales in 2013. Dealers can change, or cut their own throats...but forcing out a certain percentage will not fix what is a culture that hasn't figured out why the Lexus dealer down the street has more business, even though the product isn't obviously superior.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    If they had known the MKZ would be delayed so long they would have made it a 2014 model, no question. But that wasn't the initial plan.

    They absolutely had too many dealers for the modest (and more realistic) projected sales volume since Mercury was cancelled. Mercury volume (mostly fleet and employee sales) kept the dealers afloat but that's no longer there. They're simply trying to size the number of dealers to the number of vehicles they expect to be sold. It's a lot easier to justify the upgrades that they're asking the dealers to make if there are fewer dealers with more volume available per dealer.

    It doesn't solve the poor service - that's not the intent.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I understand what you're saying. However, without a lot great new product, fewer dealers don't usually translate into more saes per dealer...just less sales. Lincoln's numbers bear this out.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    I don't agree that fewer dealers equals fewer sales. We're talking about having one dealer in a large city instead of 4. If a customer wants a Lincoln they can go buy one. Regardless of whether Lincoln is selling 10 vehicles per month in one location or 1000 - more sales per dealer helps offset the

    The sales drop is due to poor products and Ford's unwillingness to throw large sums of cash on the hood. Not dealer contraction.

    By contrast - do you think that Lexus - who doesn't have very many dealers to begin with - could increase sales by adding dealers? Of course not.
  • Lincoln has a terrible customer service. I had ordered my 2013 Lincoln MKZ in October 2012. I was among the first ones who did so. They informed me in April 2013 after waiting 6 months due to the production delays that they cancelled my order by mistake. Imagine that. They ordered another vehicle for me and offered $900.00 incentive for their mistake. I waited another 8 weeks to find out that my car was damaged in transit and needs repairs. My repeated attempts to find out from my dealership and Lincoln Customer Service when finally I will be getting the car did not bring any results. I walked away from this joke on June 7th. 2013 after waiting 8 months and never got the car. Meet a new Lincoln Luxury.
    I want people to know that Lincoln's ignorance and total disregard do not translate into extra they charge. If people are willing to go with Lincoln, they should understand that they will not get Lexus or Audi type service. They will not get it, period.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    Every Lincoln dealer is an independent business so results will vary. Some are great and some are terrible. Unfortunately Ford has very little recourse with bad dealers due to state franchise laws.

    The problem with the MKZ launch is that it was a totally new vehicle and inspection process that had not been done before and when they decided to send the cars to Michigan for inspection to clear the backlog they found out their tracking process wasn't able to handle it. Not an excuse - just an explanation that this was a unique situation that probably won't happen again.

    It will take Lincoln several years to get most of the dealerships upgraded .
  • jerrys2jerrys2 Western massachusettsPosts: 189
    I agree ... see my post #3012,
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    My daughter has a 2006 Zephyr and its the most beautiful car she ever had comparable to the Mitsubishi gallants and Jeep, pathfinder and more, I have driven this car and its just a comfort to drive. the MKZ took its place yet looks the same except for the grill and tail lights same interior. If Lincoln loses it line because of inspection problems it will be a true shame
  • Yes, I read it. Thank you
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,896
    Ford/Lincoln had a disastrous launch on the MKZ, that's for sure. Couldn't have come at a worse time for them. I had no problems with my 2011 MKZ hybrid purchase, or since. Hope Lincoln gets back on track.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    Based on MkZ sales they're already back on track and the botched launch is nothing but a distant memory.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Really? July MKZ sales are nothing to write in a blog about. Demand has faltered already, even as other brands are making sales records. The MKS is up though. helping Lincoln stay almost even with 2012 July sales.
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,896
    edited August 2013
    MKZ is doing fine:
    "The Lincoln MKZ posted its best-ever June sales, with 3,180 vehicles sold. In addition, the second quarter represented MKZ’s best quarterly sales performance ever and its first time to exceed 10,000 cars in a quarter, with 10,682 sold."

    July sales were down 7%, true, but that's off a best-ever June.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    There is big demand for MKZ hybrids (over 40% of production). The Hermosillo factory is maxed out making Fusions and MKZs right now. When Flat Rock comes online making Fusions that will free up Hermosillo to meet the actual MKZ demand and we'll see what that looks like by end of year.

    MKZ is not a home run but it's a solid double and big steps in the right direction.
  • red0624red0624 Posts: 5
    I'm now the happy owner of a 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. But I almost wasn't. It took 6 months (from Sept-March). I looked at Lexus (already owned one and loved it), BMW, Volkswagen, Buick & Cadillac. Got angry, stomped my feet, made phone calls and threatened to take my business elsewhere. They certainly overpromised and were inexcusably late on delivery. Right hand and left hand not very well informed.
    But right now, there's no doubt in my mind that the car was worth waiting for. Since March, I've put on about 7600 miles; today I'm getting 41.5 mpg (best day ever was 43.3). People stop me in parking lots and at traffic lights, asking about the car. It is a hot, fun, eco-friendly luxury car. And it is surely not my grandpa's Lincoln. It has had a couple of minor quirks - probably won't be as trouble-free as my Lexus was.
    But I'd pick it again because every time I see makes me smile. :shades:
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Your definition of "doing fine" differs from mine. The best ever June appears to have been due to pent-up demand from so many months of very limited production.

    That 7% reduction in July is not from June sales. It is from July, 2012 sales. Thus the new one did not sell as well in July as the old one did last July. Sales would have to pick up in order for the 2013 to outsell the 2012. This is not what Lincoln (or Allen) had hoped for.

    Meanwhile, the MKZ Hybrid is doing very well as a percentage of overall MKZ sales. However, this market is still quite small.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    Mkz inventory was back to normal in March. If you have a higher than expected sales volume one month there is less to sell the next month. See fusion sales for reference.

    If sales stay low after Flat Rock is online and they are no longer production constrained then its time to worry a little.
  • You should be happy that you did not receive one of the original MKZ's. I was unlucky enough to receive one of the first 100 produced (drove it home in April). In the first 1000 miles of ownership there was a failure in the adaptive suspension and one of the adaptive headlights. There was also a persistent engine error code that could not be resolved. In addition, there were several nuisance items (rattling head liner, SYNC issues, etc.) that were not resolved. Another bonus to the early MKZs was the defective/leaky fuel delivery module (fuel pump), and spares were nearly impossible to obtain (took 7 weeks for the dealer to get the new pump). I have owned the car for five months, of which three of those months the car has been at the dealer.

    After several conversations with Lincoln Customer Care, and a threat of Lemon Law, I was referred to the Ford Re-acquisition group. The Lincoln Customer Care representative that I dealt with was condescending, rude, typically took 3-5 phone calls over the course of multiple days to get a call back. The sad thing - I asked for his manager's name and number, which he gave me, and he was even more rude to me.

    I was basically told that I was "lucky" to get a buy back and that "the company is only obligated to fix your vehicle, not buy it back"... even though after 4 attempts they could not resolve the issues with my car.

    I can understand quality, supplier, and assembly process issues... But, to then be treated horribly by the Customer Care individuals representing the company that provided such a defective product, be subjected to rude, demeaning comments and banter, is inexcusable.

    I owned an Audi for nearly 12 years and got 220,000 miles before the transmission gave up the ghost. There were minor bumps along the way, but the Customer Care that Audi provides is amazingly good, and even better now that I compare it to the poor excuse provided by Lincoln. I wanted to give an American car company another shot... apparently Lincoln was the wrong choice.

    I have written letters to four of Ford/Lincoln's VPs and one of the Executive VPs. Perhaps one of them can treat a customer like a customer and not push them away.
  • Thank You for writing to me. As I am thankful by now that I never got the car, I am terribly sorry to learn that you have to deal with this disgrace. So much for new and redesigned Lincoln luxury. It must be in a working culture that prohibits people in this country to come anywhere close to their German and Japanese counterparts. Though there is always a hope somewhere in the air...
    I cried a little and moved on. I got myself an Audi instead and cannot be happier. It is truly a pinnacle of an automotive technology, luxury, comfort and prestige. And then their Customer Service is just a strawberry on the top. :-)
    Lincoln should give me a call. I will let them testdrive this spaceship. Perhaps this will wake them up.
    I am wishing You all the very best in resolving the problems with Your car.
  • jerrys2jerrys2 Western massachusettsPosts: 189
    Looks like Lincoln customer service is on a par with their dealerships. Lincoln has a long way to go. I am sooo happy I purchased a Lexus. Doubt if I will ever consider a Lincoln (or a car made in Mexico) again.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    A reporter is looking to talk with a car shopper who participated in Lincoln's "Date Night" promotion ( If you'd like to share your experience, please reach out to by the end of the day today, October 8, 2013.


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