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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?



  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    jeyhoe: So Chrysler cant build ONE luxury car because of CAFE, vs Lexus who makes nothing but luxury cars is gonna make more. I just dont get it.

    Lexus fuel economy figures are averaged in with those of Toyota for purposes of determining CAFE ratings. Toyota and Scion give Lexus a "cushion" that allows it produce heavier, less fuel-efficient luxury cars.

    Agree about the Imperial, really was ugly. Chrysler dodged a bullet on that one.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    "...consider a diesel engine for better mpg, like the MB E320 CDI???..."

    This would seem to have been the perfect solution for the Imperial, no? I mean, with the Daimler connection why not an Imperial with a diesel engine std or optional? A forward-thinking car company would have moved in that direction, IMHO, rather than throwing in the towel.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    "Lexus fuel economy figures are averaged in with those of Toyota for purposes of determining CAFE ratings. "

    Sure, but Lincolns are figured in with Ford and part of my point was that Ford is not building enough small, fuel efficient cars to offset a Continental. Focus, that's IT. And the Focus is old as the hills. In what 3 years they're gonna bring in a small car from Brazil? That's IT on the horizon AFAIK. Too little, too late and not even American.

    And in fact, even the Lexus non-hybrids get better mpg than their Lincoln "competition", eg MKZ 19-27 vs ES350 21-30 (as if the Z competes with the ES.) MKX 18-25 vs RX350 20-25 or vs RX400h 33-28.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    "Agree about the Imperial, really was ugly. Chrysler dodged a bullet on that one."

    If anyone has forgotten what the Imperial was going to look like, check out the pix that are on right now. Eeeooooww. Maybe AE is right and Chrysler cancelled the thing not becaue of gas prices, but because looking at it can give you gas.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    But can ChrysCo still tap Daimler now that they're sold? And what does this decision do to the LY-platform (300/Magnum/Charger/Challenger)?

    Sorry for the sidestep, back to Ford and Lincoln...
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    Damiler still owns 19 percent of Chrysler.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    You were originally comparing Lexus to Chrysler (because Chrysler said that it was abandoning the Imperial because of tighter CAFE regulations - if so, we finally can thank CAFE for something good).

    Ford sells so many F-150s and Explorers (even with the downturn in sales) that it would have to sell something on the order of 500,000 Focuses to make up for it.

    That's a tremendous figure for a small car in this country.

    Honda only sells about 350,000 Civics, and everyone agrees it is one of the class acts in its segment. Now figure that the smaller Ford will probably pull a fair number of sales from the cheaper Focus models, and Ford's challenge becomes even clearer.

    Ford is scheduled to bring its all-new Fit competitor to the country. I thought it was by 2010. An all-new Focus, which will once again be in synch with its European counterpart, is scheduled for either 2010 or 2011. The Fusion gets a makeover - but not a complete redo - for the 2009 model year.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    Yes, this is true, but with that little of an investment, why would Daimler help out on a platform? Granted, even if Chrysler goes the route they did with the current LX, using a past-gen E-Class platform/underpinnings, would Daimler help with a huge investment such as that? I would venture that the "help" would be on a much smaller scale.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,041
    One also wonders if it should.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    Aw, man! I was looking forward to one day buying a "poor man's Phantom!" Those bums over at Cerberus!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ford sells so many F-150s and Explorers (even with the downturn in sales) that it would have to sell something on the order of 500,000 Focuses to make up for it.

    If I'm not mistaken, grbeck, Ford loses money on every Focus it sells here, but does that willingly for the sole purpose of the CAFE advantage they get from that car. Now that it's so long in the tooth, perhaps it's not so much a loss-leader, but that is one reason it hasn't been re-invented yet. Personally, I don't like the Focus, never have. Even when it was new, and had a dozen recalls - not even when C/R made it a "recommended" vehicle, which it no longer does. Mechanically, it seems to be sound, but the body is tinny, the trunk barely fits to close, it's ugly, rough, noisy and reminds me of a Malibu when I drive it - another of my pans in the low end auto club. No Fucos for me, I'd get a Hyundai Elantra instead.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I don't care much for the Focus either, but it should be pointed out that it is selling very well in 2007, especially for a car in the 8th year of its cycle. A greater percentage and actual number of Foci sell to regular customers out of dealerships (rather than fleets) than do Cobalts and Caliburs. At this stage, Ford may not even be losing anything on them. Now, with the investment in that mediocre 2008 update, I don't know...
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    While PAG may well be dismantled or at least parts of it sold off, I just want to toss out a couple of opinions.

    Ford has basically gotten all the "goody" out of Volvo. They have/had good platforms that are the basis of the Taurus, Sable, MKS, etc. They had some safety technology that was useful. Having said that, the current Volvo line-up really doesn't add anything to the Ford fleet. The S80 is nothing special. In Fact, the 3.2 version is barely more compelling than a Taurus. I don't know what they were trying to do with the V8, but at its price point it is not competitive with much of anything. If they were aiming at Audi or BMW, they missed the mark. The other Volvo models may have some merit but are not even close to class leading. Why not sell Volvo since it is profitable and should be saleable?

    Jag/LR, on the other hand, have models that Ford Detroit lacks. They really fill out the higher rung of the ladder. The XF looks like a potential winner. The XK is very impressive. The XJ has huge potential with a major rework of the styling (already planned). Drop the X Type like a rock. LR has a good line-up with more on the way. Jag/LR won't likely bring in much cash if sold so why not keep it and give it one more shot at success?

    The funds from Volvo could help rebuild Lincoln into what it should be - the finest American luxury car. Focus on the flagship Lincoln model first, drastically upgrade the MKZ to be competitive with the Lexus ES 350, and forget about the Mark LT. Jag models should pick up where Lincoln leaves off.

    Lots of business flaws in my thinking, no doubt. The enthusiast in me would sure like to see Jag under the Blue oval, though, and Lincoln return to the glory days.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I agree with most of your points. But Ford has this predilection these past 10 years to make some really wrong moves. Jaguar has been a money pit for them, but much of it has been their own fault.

    The person who approved the styling of the new "Ford" XJ sedan should have gotten walking papers long ago. The S-Type was fine styling-wise when new, but had a cheap interior that needed an instant re-do. And then they planned a 10 year product cycle in a very competitive segment. Good thinking, guys. Can you say stale? And the X-Type? Talk about taking all the current Jaguar cues and making an overstyled but still-not-so-pretty small Jaguar. All Ford's doing again.

    Yes, Audi/Mercedes/BMW/Volvo/Cadillac/Lexus, etc. all have small, medium and large sedans, but somehow the other companies have done a better job of making the small one a desirable product.

    You are right about what's coming from Jaguar. The XK is now very good, and the 2008 XF, as well as the XJ re-draw look terrific. At this point, they will have to pay someone to take Jaguar off their hands, so why not see if the new models and new thinking work?

    Land Rover I am not so sure about. Expensive vehicles, but just barely in the black as a division. Their quality and reliability ratings are abysmal, even while Jaguar rates very high on these scores now. Range Rover is planned to move even further upmarket. The new LR2 is still too much like a fancy, better equipped Escape. The LR3 is no longer burning up the sales charts. It seems to me if LR is saleable, then grab the money.

    The Lincoln Navigator needs to offer a model much more competitive with the Range Rover ilk, and the LR3 could be re-done as a Lincoln using a heavily modified Explorer architecture. Just a thought. But I definitely agree that Volvo is the one which could raise some real cash, and without speeding up Volvo product cycles even more (a very pricey proposition), Volvo will always be struggling to continue to do well against Lexus, Infiniti, BMW, Audi and now even Hyundai in the next few years.
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    Cerberus has put in its bid for Jaguar, along with five other firms. It will be a sad day if it rolled over to Chrysler, on the heels of the cancellation of Imperial. Jaguar then will have taken yet another casualty of the opportunity cost of investment in that brand; Imperial. Having nearly buried Lincoln due to lack of investment, Ford Motor is now struggling to rebuild Lincoln.

    Of course, nothing will ever duplicate the excitement of the 1961 Lincoln Continental introduced in November 1960. The Mark R does not take its place. Neither does the S. Yet the chance remains for the team at Lincoln to bring people back to the brand---not through trucks or suv's. If ever a group of stylists and engineers had a tough task, this is it. Yet the chance remains.

    Wixom is cleared, and will be by the end of August---to make room for a new car---if Ford Motor is smart.

    The sale of both Jaguar/Land Rover and Volvo will net some $19Bn plus for Ford Motor. Enough to refinance the reinvestment in Lincoln. At this point Ford Motor must leak future product to the public, in order to keep potential buyers in the pipeline, and expectations high. Now is the time to promote Lincoln---both to its traditional base, and to people who would never consider the car at all, but can afford it.

    The discussions inside the Glass House both about UAW contract deals with Chrysler, and also the cancellation of Imeprial will figure highly in the corridors at Ford. They can't help but talk about it. Whether Mr. Lutz can hold the day for the V16 Cadillac remains to be seen. With one competitor out of the field, and the potential offloading of much burden at Ford, the chance is now for a new beginning...even while the clock is moving closer to midnight at Ford Motor.

    The danger, of course, is that if Ford Motor continues to drop market share, it will reach the tipping point where it can't stem it losses fast enough---which is what killed Packard before it could fix its product line. Seems impossible that such fate could befall Ford, which is why it is imperative that Lincoln succeed now. The Mark S will not roll out of Chicago until March 2008. Lincoln has eight months to surprise the public....with new product announcement.

    Perhaps then then, they can lead again. Inspire again---a second time round.


    (Sources: WSJ; FT; Automotive News)
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    To put it simply none of your ideas for Land Rover are a good idea.

    Now as for what Ford should do with lincoln...

    I don't know. GM managed to pull Caddy back from the brink but I don't see much in the pipeline for lincoln that is of the level of the new Caddies.

    The alpha numeric naming is stupid as it is too similar to Acura's naming strat.

    The lincoln concept they showed not long ago could be good but because of the Aphanumeric naming strat I can't even remember what it is called.


    he sale of both Jaguar/Land Rover and Volvo will net some $19Bn plus for Ford Motor.

    Whoa 19 billion????? I don't see Ford getting anywhere near that much money for the three companies combined.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I didn't offer any ideas for Land Rover, other than Ford selling it...

    and once they do so, maybe consider some "LandRover-ish" models for Lincoln. Offer Land Rover some competition. After all, if Lincoln stays with big truck production, why continue to just sell Ford clones? How about competing in the true luxury segment, rather than just hanging some Lincoln chrome on an already adequate Ford model?
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    British Rover and Gregg, I don't have any ideas for LR either. I just lumped them into my post about keeping Jag because I see the two somewhat attached at the hip due to the use the the AJ V8, upcoming aluminum construction for LR, dealer network, etc. Also they both are higher end than Lincoln or where Lincoln can go in the near future.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    The person who approved the styling of the new "Ford" XJ sedan should have gotten walking papers long ago.

    Yes, and what about the person who decided that the new 2007 Volvo S80 should look just like the cheaper S60 which has been on the market for several years? Off with his head, I say!!
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,041
    ". . .to people who would never consider the car at all, but can afford it."

    Hey, that's a great idea! They could develop a competitive sports sedan with lots of driving quality touches (RWD, aluminum anti-dive suspension, 49/51 weight distribution, available manual transmission). Something like that would attract someone like me who would otherwise never be caught dead in a Lincoln.

    They could call it the LS, if they had no imagination whatever -- or maybe think up a better name.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    are balanced in their design. Every other high priced Euro and the Orientals forgot about the design of the trunk. They all look like somebody sliced the bustle off.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    That may be, but the balance comes on top of a very boring, old fashioned look that isn't even as graceful as that of the car it replaced.

    Doesn't matter what we think though...the XJ may have high quality and good reviews, but the marketplace has completely rejected it.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    "They could call it the LS, if they had no imagination whatever -- or maybe think up a better name."

    Nice one, cd.

    I think the name would have to be the "MK LS"
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    marketplace has completely rejected it

    Perhaps the marketplace has not rejected it so much as it has not been presented extensively in the market. Out here in the great NW, Jag dealers are very rare, i.e. just one in the whole state of OR & he doesn't even advertise, but for the small ads in the Classifieds.

    I propose the Jag be available to at least all of the Lincoln dealers in the USA. ;)
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    I think the XJ long wheelbase or VDP is a brilliant automobile. I have never driven a car that made me feel more special. The balance of ride and handling, interior, and smoothness is excellent. Even walking into my Jag/LR dealership makes me feel like a king. They are extremely professional and the experience is more like walking into the Waldorf Astoria than into a car dealer.

    However, as Gregg says, the body styling is not as expressive as the model it replaced - the one with poor quality and cramped interior. I think a styling re-do is critical. On top of that, they need to think outside the box a bit more to gain attention. A 100,000 mile warranty would be good to help offset the old "British car quality" stereotype. Free service for 50,000 miles, a free trip to jolly old England for a tour of the factory, or SOMETHING to really talk about is needed.

    I am surprised that more Town Car owners haven't replaced their TCs with an XJ. Perhaps fear of quality gremlins or expensive service stands in their way.

    In any case, this marque should be saved and positioned above Lincoln in the FoMoCo line-up.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    We are way off topic here but I think Lincoln can learn from how Jag runs their dealerships.

    Jag is top in Sales Satisfaction survey.

    Jag is Customer Service Survey.

    Even people that didn't buy cars there but were only looking were impressed with Jaguar. ther-or-not-they-b/
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,656
    There's a Jag dealer just a couple miles from me, paired with a Rover dealer, and next door to a Bentley dealer.

    I rarely see XJs though, they do look like a good used deal.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    When you buy a higher end vehicle, the customer experience needs to be as special as the car. Lincoln seems to be pretty high on the sales satisfaction survey, too. Here in Minneapolis, many Lincoln dealers have merged with Ford stores and I wonder if the sales satisfaction rating will remain as high.

    As for Euphonium's point of Lincoln dealers also offering Jag, is that practical? I suppose manufacturers can encourage dealers to take on another line from the same company, but they couldn't force them to do it, could they? If a Lincoln dealer also had Jag, I would want it to be an absolute top level store - not just any Ford-Lincoln-Mercury joint. I would find it tacky if I was looking at an $80,000 Jag, and some kid that sells Ranger pickups runs up and says, "What do I have to do to get you in this baby, today?"
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