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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?



  • berriberri Posts: 7,747
    Ford needs to dump that Volvo chassis across the line: MKS, Taurus, Explorer, etc. It's cramped and mediocre.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Definitely dumping D4 for a larger version of CD4 (Fusion, Mondeo, MKZ) for Taurus and MKS. Not sure yet about the CUVs/SUVs but I think those will be replaced as well eventually.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    ALG Residual Value awards are out. The ranking for luxury brands goes like this:
    1. Acura
    2. Infiniti
    3. Audi
    4. Lexus
    5. Mercedes-Benz
    6. BMW
    7. Cadillac
    8. Porsche
    9. Volvo
    10. Lincoln

    The last place for Lincoln is no surprise. However, things can change markedly over a few short years. Hyundai was perennially in the bottom quartile of mainstream brands, but now is second, behind only Honda, while well above 6th place Toyota. They did it by delivering compelling products, while limiting incentives and fleet sales. Lincoln can do that too over time. Let's get the compelling products first.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited November 2012
    Acura must achieve its ranking with a combination of pricing, reliability, and lack of serious deficiencies, but I don't think any of its models is compelling. Of the brands you listed I'd rank Porsche as the most compelling.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    True. But Acura models, which in many ways are laughably like Lincolns in terms of "compelling," do nonetheless manage to demand very nice re-sale.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Note that ALG uses base MSRP only (no options). This will favor cars with more standard features and lower incentives and discounts. You'd also have to look at the actual numbers to see if the difference from 1st to 10th is significant or not.

    Not defending Lincoln - they're certainly not the best for resale right now. Just trying to interpret the data correctly and in context.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,056
    that I'd rather own an Acura than a Lincoln. Oh, wait. . .

    Actually I still own both, but haven't driven the LS on any kind of regular basis for over 3 years.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Not defending Lincoln here either, but...

    The whole re-sale argument is a crock. Those cars with greater incentives and discounts obviously sell for well below their MSRP. When resold, their resale value then looks very bad, when the percentage of value retained is figured from the MSRP, rather than the actual selling price. On the other hand, those cars which do sell at or near MSRP, do command more money as well at re-sale. Oftentimes, it is a wash for the car consumer, when actual money paid at purchase and money recovered at resale are used. In fact, a buyer is often better off dollar-wise with the car with lower retained re-sale, as the overall investment over three years or five years is less with a car that was discounted thousands in the first place.

    That said, high re-sale value has captured the imagination of buyers for generations now. Thus, Lincoln, in order to become a real player again in this field, has to rebuild the perceived value of its products (and their resale) regardless of whether it results in any more actual dollars in consumers' pockets.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    I think we just agreed on something. Watch out for lightning bolts.

    The best gauge of resale value is lease pricing which uses residual values but also takes into account options and acquisition price. Outside of extreme subsidies (like the Volt) the cost to lease similarly priced vehicles should be the same give the same residual value.

    If the lease cost for a 2013 Fusion is the same as a 2013 Accord similarly equipped and similar MSRPs then resale value percentage is irrelevant.
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 113
    Lincoln's resale value should not matter to a buyer because if one purchases a Lincoln , one must understand that resale value will be low because Lincoln will always be seen as nothing more than a higher priced Ford. Lincolns have always had low resale value. The exceptions being the 68 Mark 3 - 74 Mark 4. So purchase one knowing that high resale value is not part of the equation.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    We have agreed about some basic stuff quite a few times over the years. Rather than a lightning bolt, it is more like the tingle of a button battery in my mouth. ;)
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    You make some sweeping statements, Edward, but do not back them up. Some responses...
    1. Acura, number one on the list, does the same thing as Lincoln currently does. All Acuras are gussied up Hondas at present.
    2. Lincoln will always be seen as nothing more than a higher priced Ford? How do you know that?
    3. Lincolns have always had low re-sale value. That is not true for all of Lincoln history, except for Marks III and IV, as you assert.
    4. Lincoln has certainly had its ups and downs. No one denies that, not even Allen :P . Lincolns have not always been higher priced Fords. Going back to the early 50s, Lincolns shared body shells for a time with Mercury, but not Ford. They moved back to more platform sharing, but no more than Chryslers many brands at the time, or the Chevy to Cadillac spectrum.

    Starting in 1961, the Lincoln had a completely different architecture from the big Fords and Mercurys, and that continued through 1979. The 1980 Lincolns shared a bit more with the large Fords starting at that time, but still offered a different wheelbase and a completely different, wider body. That significant differentiation continued until 1998, when the Town Car went to the Panther platform, albeit with a longer wheelbase, and no shared body panels or greenhouse. After that, Lincoln gave up on further significant development of the TC and it eventually met its inglorious demise.

    The Marks shared some bodies with Thunderbird, but it was the Ford model that benefitted, since the cars were designed for Lincoln (e.g., 61-63 T-bird, 72-76 T-bird), and those T-birds were seen as luxury cars.

    Lincoln did rather well with the rebadged Ford that became the Navigator, inventing a new and popular vehicle category. Those brands that jumped on the bandwagon did the same thing: they took an existing SUV and glitzed it up. Re-sale was not bad on those early Navs. However, the brand got lazy and others overtook it.

    The Mark II was not a higher priced Ford. The LS was not a higher priced Ford. It was a lower priced Jaguar.

    Lincoln historically has seen sales in excess of 200K (1989, 1990), and it outsold Cadillac as recently as 2000. The hubris of that achievement led to some very bad product planning that they are still trying to sort out.

    Lincoln wants to become a global brand. They will not do so by simply tarting up some Fords. Lincolns were not always seen as higher priced Fords (as they mostly are now), and there is no reason to believe that what exists now, will always be.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited November 2012
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited December 2012
    "Ford believes Lincoln's rebranding "captures the founding principles of the company and brings them forward to a new generation" of luxury buyers. Print advertisements will touch on the past while reintroducing the Lincoln brand and its principles to consumers.

    But the new vehicles will not necessarily send Lincoln to the top of the luxury segment. Ford executives have said the goal now is quality over quantity."

    Ford rebranding Lincoln in effort to stand out among rivals (Detroit News)

    "Ford CEO Alan Mulally and other top executives are expected to be in New York's Lincoln Center Plaza today to announce a new advertising campaign: "Introducing the Lincoln Motor Company."

    Now if they'll just go back to real names for the vehicles. :)

    Lincoln going back to its roots with its original name (Detroit News)
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I had thought Lincoln Motor Company was going to be the name change. The articles keep mentioning four new vehicles in the next four years. It's a start, but hardly remarkable, given what the other nine premium makes sold here (Acura, Infiniti, Audi, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac, Porsche
    and Volvo) have planned for the next four years as well.

    At least they are making a concerted effort now, and four actual new models are planned, not including refreshes like the 2013 MKS and MKT, which no one sees as new vehicles.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    I agree on the names. This also signals the first round of dealer and service improvements. This is a good start but it's only a start. Hopefully we'll see some new things at the Detroit Auto Show too.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Ford seems content on rebuilding Lincoln without mortgaging the company to do it. Sort of like rebuilding your car a piece at a time as you have the cash. Make small but steady improvements to the entire brand over 3-4 years. The new small crossover will be the first one totally designed by Lincoln so that should give us a better idea what the future holds.

    One of the videos clearly showed a mustang body in the background fueling speculation that they'll introduce a high performance Lincoln coupe which should help quell some of the naysayers.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    It's a start

    Did y'all pick up on the comment to the effect that Lincoln was going to focus on their core group of enthusiasts? Sounds like Ford's first going to try to make their Lincoln fans appreciate sticking with them and let them sell the brand to their friends.
  • edward53edward53 Posts: 113
    Lincoln Motorcar Co. Ha! It's just more marketing mumbo jumbo that implies that Lincolns are genuine Lincolns when it is anything but the truth. The discerning buyer will know that the Lincoln brand is nothing more than a tarted up Ford as long as it shares Ford platforms along every Lincoln vehicle.
    I was informed that Ford is going to discontinue operations in Australia in 2016. Ford is going to export the Taurus to Australia from the U.S. and glue a Falcon nameplate where the Taurus nameplate should be. Ford has no shame.

    More news is that Cadillac is going a head with its exclusive Omega rwd platform that will be used to build its large premium vehicles . Cadillac may keep its Alpha platform for its own exclusive use if the division gets its way. Chevy will then get the Zeta 2 platform instead .
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    So...what motivates you to keep posting here Edward? You've stated your position many times. You to are beginning to resemble a scold. :P
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited December 2012
    " Ford Motor Co. is breaking with its long tradition and buying an ad on the Super Bowl to promote its Lincoln brand.

    "The 'Great Recession' changed people and their view of luxury. Today, luxury consumers make decisions based on what appeals most to their passions and not what they believe will impress others. We know we need to continually surprise and delight these new clients," Farley said."

    Ford buying Super Bowl ad space for Lincoln -- a first for the auto brand (
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Not unexpectedly (since Lincoln had no nothing new in showrooms yet), Cadillac sales were up 30%, while Lincoln was down 9% from last November. What is interesting though is that tiny little Volvo outsold Lincoln last month. And Volvo has had nothing much new in showrooms since the fall of 2010 when the new S60 and XC60 models were released. Wait...maybe the AWD option in the 2013 S60 T5 has actually caught on a bit. It's a nice package and very well priced for a premium car.

    MKZ should reach showrooms momentarily. By January end, we should know if it is beginning to sell.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    If you ignore the Town Car, all Lincolns were up year over year except the MKZ which is in transition. So while it's not great news it's not quite so bad as the overall numbers would indicate.

    I expect the new MKZ to sell at least 50% better than the old one within a few months. If not then that is a bad sign.

    ATS and XTS are doing ok (< 3K) but CTS sales are down. SRX is doing gangbusters. Those new platforms were expensive though so I wonder how much volume they need to break even? At least they're planning to do more platform sharing going forward. You just can't afford dedicated platforms for luxury sedans unless you've got significant global sales. Too many players and vehicles in the U.S. luxury market to get big volume from a new vehicle.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Sort of buried in this pessimistic opinion piece from the Detroit News is this line:

    "And come 2014, the brand will arrive in three of China's largest cities &#151; Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, the first step in demi-globalization of a domestic brand."'

    Maybe Ford will just use the US market to get the bugs out. That's a switch. :-)

    "Lincoln is just starting out on a long journey to gaining luxury car credibility and it is miles behind its competitors," Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at, said in a statement. "Even moderate success will take a long time and significant resources and will require a constant stream of compelling vehicles substantially differentiated from Fords."

    This may be Lincoln's last shot at revival
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    I don't think there is any doubt this is Lincoln's last chance. If they can't make it work this time they'll give up and kill the brand once and for all. But they don't have to make that decision immediately or even in the next 2 or 3 years. They can afford to wait at least 4 or 5 years to see if the plan is successful (unless the core Ford brand takes a big turn for the worse in the meantime).
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,928
    They need to find some data showing the old Chinese royal family had a Lincoln. Works for Buick...
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    Today, luxury consumers make decisions based on what appeals most to their passions and not what they believe will impress others.

    Well, if THAT'S the case, Lincoln needs to build me a new 1986-89 Town Car!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    To begin with, you&#146;ve completely ignored the &#147;enthusiast&#148; press and structured your product line around FWD and AWD mid-sizers. Good for you.

    That is good. Best ignore the internets too

    I like the idea of bringing back a halo Continental.
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