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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?



  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Cool. You'd be nuts to buy a Ford when u have a GM discount. Denali is a beaty of a truck. Or SUV. Whatever. Go buy one and use your remaining neurons for some more important thinking. Like which one of the DCs to 4WD over after Natalie. I cant tell them apart myself. Are they clones?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,717
    Let's drop the personal off topic back and forth NOW. If you have something to say about the topic, fine. But let's drop the sniping.

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  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285

    They already have Volvo to be the soft luxury car flagship and have Land Rover to be the Luxury SUV. Aston Martin, needs to be the halo car for the entire brand line-up if they aren't going to sell it. Jaguar needs to be Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes, IMHO

    If you take Aston out, which it's always sort of been from a comparitive state - I think Land/Rover - Jaguar should be combined into one unit, and combined dealers. It needs to compete with Audi, MB and BMW on the British level, pip, pip. Lincoln should be re-invented to compete with Cadillac. Back to the past, I say! Tallyho! Natalie drives an Avalanche with FatNat on the plate anyway.....
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Even if ARM gives Lincoln enough rope to either hang or go, it's going to take them years to catch up to Cadillac in reputation. It took abouty 15 years to kill Cadillac's rep as the standard of the world, and about 10 to resurrect it. Admittedly, everyone doesn't yet know how dead Lincoln is (although the death of the Navigator is a good start on the end) but how fast it can turn around? That's the question....

    TOWN CAR: It can be big, and it can be stately, and it can be a bit ponderous, but it MUST become luxurious again. Big plush seats, tons of standard features, and a few options only, like Navigation or not, moonroof or not, perhaps 2 or 3 trim levels, but they have to be NICE inside, and a complete revamp of the aircraft carrier dash would really help.

    LS: Should be retained, and redesigned probably on a modified Mustang platform, RWD a must and must remain a 5 series sized performance car. IF they must, they could re-name it MKLS.

    MKZ: I guess it can stay, but I don't like it.

    MKS: I think it's a mistake, places the car in Acura RL status - and that car doesn't sell well.

    MKR: Get it out here, BEFORE you drop the Town Car. Call it a Town Car, dammit.

    MKX: I pretty much hate it, and predict it'll flop.

    NAVIGATOR: Make it stately and intimidating like it used to be. Please put electroluminescent guage clusters back in them!! All Lincolns should have them.

    Bring back the Aviator.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Seems that Land Rover and Jaguar are somewhat joined at the hip already. I've been poking around the boards for the new LR2 and have learned that this SUV, well, CUV really, will me made at a Jaguar factory.

    Gotta love the Avalanche joke. I presume it is a joke? These people wouldnt really drive SUVs would they?
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Umm, ... Howard, ... the LS has been killed. It is gone. Replaced by a Mazda. You'll have to deal with it.
  • NV, I don't like the MKZ, either. In fact, with the updates to the 2008 Taurus and Sable, I would rather own one of those than a Z.

    I think the entry level Lincoln should be on the Taurus/Sable platform instead of the Modified Mazda. In other words, I think the MKS should be the entry level model. It will be a V6 and on a longer wheelbase than an ES350 with more room inside.

    The sport sedan model should be just like the MKR concept. Finally the Town Car should be just as you discribed and would be the flagship luxury Lincoln - big, stately, V8 powered.
  • Land Rover and Jaguar are one unit.

    Behind the scenes they are the same company and that is why Ford can't sell Jag without selling Land Rover.

    Many Land Rover dealers are combined with Jag dealers as well.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That's good - I very nearly bought an XJL for my business car when I got the Lexus - it was just a bit low to the ground and small for my needs. I'm still considering a Range Rover Sport for my next SUV.... I hate to see Ford sell the brands....I think they give Ford an edge that GM does not have, and won't be able to acquire.
  • MKX: I pretty much hate it, and predict it'll flop.

    I notice that was before your 2/18 post on the MKX forum, nvbanker. After sitting inside, would you still say you hate it and predict it'll flop?

    I finally stopped by my LM dealer and sat in an MKX and agree with nvbanker's assessment of the interior. It seemed of good quality and functional design. I didn't find the dash too high. Unlike him, I kind of like the exterior, including the front end. It's all a matter of taste as far as that goes.

    The salesman said they have an average on-lot time of less than a week for their MKXs and have sold 9 of them in the last month. Perhaps that portends well for where Ford is taking Lincoln. (Where those 9 sales are, though, I don't know. I haven't seen any but one on the road.)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    No, I've changed my assessment a little, and upgraded the MKX to a "Hold" based on my interior visit. I need to drive one, and if they're a heavenly driver, I may reassess again. Still can't warm up to the exterior view, but maybe it'll grow on me. Looks too "edgy", if you know what I mean...
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    Govenor Granholm of Michigan granted Ford Motor $331Mn in aide to prevent Ford from pulling the plug on 13,000 jobs at six plants in Michigan (January 19,07)

    Ford had refused such aide for Wixom, WCF hell-bent on killing the plant. Fortunately a great many people across the land wrote into Ford Motor protesting the end of the Town-Car and thus its fate was spared and moved to St. Thomas. And even-though a Canadain Railways Strike has temporarily halted production at that site, the future of the rwd platform is not dead. The money given now to Michigan plants is money that Ford can offset for Lincoln.

    The Armsmen should gather forthwith in an appropriate skunk-works away from the prying eyes of the Glass House and hot rod the existing platform. Especially considering that if GM buys Chyrsler, the fate of Imperial is almost certain to be up in the air---as GM would not want a Cadillac competitor. So Lincoln has a unique chance to step in between the market and regain some of its lost position.

    CAD/CAM 4/5 allows a narrow window for producing products from scratch to production within a very short amount of time: six months. W.H. Smith & Sons Ltd. is the finest moulded parts supplier to both Aston-Martin and Bentley, especially custom leather covered parts as door-panels and dash frames. Their designers as Marek Reichmann and Raul Pires able to rely on WHS to build prototype interior parts for examination in less than 30 days. Intier, for example, provides all the interior trim for Cadillac and works with their design staff to supply prototypes. The Aston Rapide prototype was built in six months on the existing DB9 platform.

    Thus the tools exist that Lincoln, and the Armsmen can take a current TC platform, remake the interior and bring its level up three or four notches. Exterior sheetmetal could be changed to bring it up to date. But the important ingredient is the engine. The bay can accept anything that Ford makes. So Lincoln can build anything from diesels to high performance engines. That is what they need to do: drop a Mustang varient 300-50Bhp plus engine into the car. Beef up the brakes and springs/shocks, etc. and viola! A transformed Town Car. Anyone who drives it will be shocked.

    They won't expect a Town Car to be FASTER than a Chrysler 300, but that is what MUST be done. No debates. Simply shock prospective buyers as to the ride/drive of the car. Nor should Lincoln wait for people to come to them, they must caravan a group of cars around the nation offering test drives---from the office or the home. People no longer fly with the same frequency, so the old rental game won't work, thus Lincoln must bring the product to the people. Lincoln has not the time to wait for buyers to come to the dealer. Lincoln can directly engage the customer, and then let the dealer do his job. While the new TC should out-perform the 300, it's interior should put Cadillac to shame.

    Using the existing platform would save $500Mn. Mustang was revamped under Troutman for $750Mn, so Lincoln could use the same amount of money with TC. Roll the new car out to customers first and then announce it AFTER people start seeing it on the street. IN such fashion people will ask: "Hey that's a nice Lincoln, when did they start doing that?" Making the potential customer inquire about the product with no prompting.

    Time frame: Starting Tomorrow, the first cars for customer inspection could see the light of day by December of this year, production starting March 1, 2008.


    (Sources: Office of Governor Granholm, Michigan; BBC World News; W.H. Smith & Sons Ltd.U.K.; WSJ; FT)
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Did either of you note, as I did, that the door panels are hard plastic basically from top to bottom? Dont seem to belong on a $35000 vehicle to me.
  • Douglas, you make some good points, as usual. I have said in the past that I thought the Panther platform was obsolete. However, under the current circumstances of needing better product faster and for less money, I have changed my mind.

    The long wheelbase version of the Panther, as used in the Signature L, would be a good basis upon which to hang new sheetmetal (using some cues from the MKR). Get rid of the huge overhangs to keep the overall length down, and have an "ultimate" model with interior luxury second to none. The long wheelbase model has much better rear seat room than the shorter version. An updated TC on this platform would be welcomed by retail buyers and the livery folks would still have the ruggedness and simplicity that they like.

    As for the engine, the upcoming Hurricane would be great but even the 5.4 with 3 valve heads could easily be tuned for 325-350 HP. They already have a 6 speed automatic for RWD applications that would handle the torque.

    I have no reason to think that Lincoln would actually do this but it sounds like a decent idea to me. I would think it could be done faster than starting from scratch.
  • Yes, the door panels are the one part of the interior that struck me as kind of cheap. I wondered how well they might hold up to kids, dogs, and the rigors of daily use.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    I agree NV on the exterior assessment. Got a really good look at one this morning, all around. Is it me or did Lincoln graft the rear-light treatment from the deceased Continental onto the back of it? OR maybe I'm thinking the Mark VIII? The exterior treatments are funky (in a very bad way) to me. The headlight/grille treatment is definitely old-school Lincoln, but... Will have to review interior appointment up close, not sure if I want to take a test drive in it.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Face's an Edge with an upgraded interior, a Lincoln grill and very cheap talilight extensions grafted on to the tailgate. It's basically an badge engineered job on the exterior. Too bad Mulally didn't get here sooner. He might have insisted on it having its own look, like the Aviator concept did (not one panel shared with the Edge).

    I do think part of the dislike of the exterior expressed here is based on some folks not liking the chunky CUV shape in general. It's a genre that is selling now, but I don't think it's a concept that is supposed to be pretty or sexy or sleek. nor is it brawny like the big SUVs. Maybe some day we will look back and wonder why people were so taken with such chunky-blocky, relatively overpriced and overweight 6 cylinder thing-ies.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    ..I do think part of the dislike of the exterior expressed here is based on some folks not liking the chunky CUV shape in general...

    I think you're right. I got a good look at a couple Mazda CUVs in traffic yesterday. Didn't like them one bit, front - back, side-side. Feel the same about the MB R-Class (I want to say RL?) - prefer the "lunch-box" G-Wagen. But saw a picture of the GMC Arcadia in Auto Week, and kind of liked the front-end treatment. Even though I wouldn't buy one I thought the front end was decent. I actually think the Pacifica, the Ford wagon (can't think of the name) and the like look better, maybe as they aren't chunky-swoopy like the CUVs.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    While the new TC should out-perform the 300, it's interior should put Cadillac to shame.

    And that isn't that hard to do! I drove an XLR today - was very unimpressed with the look or feel of the interior. Your Nissan Altima is as good looking and as good feeling as the $100,000 Cadillac was.

    I agree with your instructions to Lincoln - hope someone is reading....
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,001
    From the pictures at least the 08 CTS has a MUCH improved interior. Still not in MB or Lexus league but much closer than Lincoln or any previous Caddy offerings.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Perhaps Ford's strategy reflects this old saying:

    "If you owe $10,000, the bank owns you. If you owe $100 million, you own the bank."
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    More news from Ford -
    * Yesterday tens of thousands of Ford employees were shown the door. "The engineering offices look like swiss cheese now with all the empty cubicles" said one remaining worker.
    * Ford told employees that its North American turnaround plan already has veered off track. The company missed its internal retail sales goals for January, despite having set its sights low. The February numbers that are due out today are also expected to be grim.
    * In response, today Ford announced they are giving another million dollars to Alan Mulally because he's done such a good job. ;)
    * Ford also announced lots of cash awards to other senior executives for the great job they did getting rid of so many other employees.
    * Ford announced that it will pay for Mark Fields to commute between Detroit and Florida in first class accomodations. More employees to be fired soon to pay for those tickets I guess.
    * Fields had announced he would eschew flying in corporate jets to his home in Florida, now we know why. In other news, Ford has announced that Alan Mulallys' family can fly corporate jets whenever they want whether Alan is travelling with them or not. Meantime, Ford announced that the UAW better be ready to make concessions this year.
    * Ford announced they'll be selling a subcompact soon - it will be made in Brazil.

    In related news, I've pretty much had it with American business in general and Ford in particular. Enough already with Detroit - they've been screwing me for 30 years. I've decided it's time to give the Japanese the opportunity to screw me now.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    "Rank has its privileges"

    To obtain the high rank requires a high education of at least a Masters in some form of Engineering.

    Those high ranking engineers know what they did to earn their positions and the factory workers know what they didn't do to be where they are.

    We all make our own choices in life. Live with them. ;)
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    I have a Masters in Engineering too. I'm living with it. I'm not advocating communism here, just maybe a bit of fairness? A lot of those people who packed up their cubes yesterday had masters degrees as well.

    Meanwhile 'beautiful hair Fields' has free first class accoms to/from Florida. And AMs family has free corporate jets to satisfy their whims. "Life's calling Mrs Mulally. Where to next?" That's not a choice in life, that's highway robbery.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Well, if you hafta get screwed, it will probably hurt less coming from the Japanese...
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    See that kind of enron-ish appropriations makes me hope Ford goes under (and I'm a huge domestic supporter). Here they are on the ropes, and the execs still funnel money into their pockets--money that could be used to help a struggling Lincoln.
  • The corporate excess of the last couple of decades is pretty appalling, and the disparity between the senior corporate ranks and the rank and file is immoral. I'm just not sure it's any better anywhere else. Sorry, but if your company isn't turning a profit, you shouldn't, either.

    Of course, I may just be sour because I'm not sharing in that corporate greed! :cry:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,001
    Sorry, but if your company isn't turning a profit, you shouldn't, either.

    So how does a company in the red get a CEO that's capable of turning the company around if they don't get paid?

    I understand what you meant and I agree there are way too many bad executives making big bucks and not delivering. However...

    If you want to retain good executives (or those you think are good) then you must pay them whatever the market demands. If you don't, then they leave and go to another company that is willing to pay them. Just like free agency in sports. If you can't retain any of your executives then you can't possibly run the company effectively. Ultimately every non union job out there is worth whatever companies are willing to pay for that type of work. It may not be fair, but that's life.
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