Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life? - Ford Inside News Community
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post #1 of 111 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?

Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?
Written by: Steve Abrams on December 3 2012 5:13 PM
Read more: http://blogs.motortrend.com/lincoln-...#ixzz2EEa4cMRw



Whatís next?

So why didnít Ford terminate Lincoln at the same time as Mercury? When Mercury was euthanized, there were only a handful of stand-alone dealers, with the rest paired with Lincoln. Because the bulk of the dealers still had product to sell, Ford didnít have to deal with the sort of massive payouts that GM had when Oldsmobile was put down a decade ago. In the last two years, Ford has pressed the remaining dealers to spend money on upgrades. With limited Lincoln sales, a number of dealers have opted to sell out, further thinning the ranks.

In recent months, Ford has announced plans to begin selling Lincolns in China, and marketing boss Jim Farley has been given overall responsibility along with his Ford duties. While Cadillac has always had its own executives who were focused on the brand, Lincoln has never had the equivalent of a general manager totally dedicated to promoting its interests. Unfortunately, changing the letterhead on the press releases doesnít seem likely to be a particularly effective strategy to convince BMW, Audi, or Mercedes shoppers to choose an MKZ instead.

There are a couple of possible future scenarios for Lincoln. Farley could decide to go all-in and give the brand some dedicated, world-class products designed to compete with the most successful import competitors and Cadillac that arenít shared with the Blue Oval stores. Sales could jump to their highest levels in more than two decades, justifying the continued investment in unique products and marketing. But that doesnít seem likely given the recent pronouncements.

The more likely scenario is that the brand hangs around for another four to five years before being quietly shuttered if sales from the revamped lineup do not turn around Lincolnís fortunes. In the interim, Ford brand vehicles will continue to improve to the point where they can justify the same premium sticker prices demanded by Lincoln. At the same time, weíll probably see even more attrition among the dealers, leaving only the strongest stores in place.

Sometime around 2015-16, Mark Fields, now as CEO of Ford Motor Company after succeeding Alan Mulally upon his retirement, will announce the completion of his predecessorís original plan as Ford Motor Company becomes totally dedicated to one brand. The remaining Lincoln dealers will swap out their signage and begin selling Fords.

Those upgraded stores will be the benchmark for the rest of the dealer body. From the base Fiesta S to Taurus Titanium and F-150 Limited, Ford will cover the same product spectrum that General Motors hits with four brands with lower costs and higher margins.

This is, of course, all pure speculation, and Lincoln could veer off on an entirely different path ó especially if the Chinese take to Lincolns the way they did to Buick, but I doubt they will. Henry Lelandís legacy will probably be carried forward exclusively by Cadillac, which appears to be doing the right things to compete as a 21st-century luxury brand.

- By Steve Abrams

Story continued after the jump above.

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post #2 of 111 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 09:30 PM
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Re: Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?

Ford is just not serious enough. My God, they have Farley leading this reinvention. There's their problem. He's a goof just like his cousin Chris.
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post #3 of 111 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 09:37 PM
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Re: Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?

If Ford were to seriously close Lincoln, what would they do with that new design studio? OR that new office they setup in NYC for marketing? Or Lincoln Financial Services? I seriously think everyone WANTS Lincoln to fail and keeps posting about how Mulally will do it.

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post #4 of 111 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 09:40 PM
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Re: Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?

I agree with you
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post #5 of 111 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 10:31 PM
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Re: Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?

The kicker here is that as I scroll through the blog post on Motor Trend I am struck by the fact that I still, to this day, like the LS better then anything currently offered.
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post #6 of 111 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 01:08 AM
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Re: Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MT View Post
...This is, of course, all pure speculation...
speculation withOUT all that much thought behind it IMHO

Quote:
Originally Posted by MT View Post
...and Lincoln could veer off on an entirely different path...
shame MT couldn't bother to think of a different path...
...of course WE at FiN have Mission:LINCOLN! and dozens of other IDEA threads


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew L View Post
...keeps posting about how Mulally will do it.
I reached my quota of reposts
LINK to why I don't believe Mr. M. is seriously considering anything but SUPPORTING Lincoln
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post #7 of 111 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?

You have to admit no matter how positive your are that Lincoln will succeed that Ford who have an easier time with closure if the brand does not move in the right direction than many times before. Ford's toughest competition for Lincoln will not be Cadillac, BMW or MB it will be the notable Titanium level offerings for less money right next door at your local Ford dealers.

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post #8 of 111 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 08:03 AM
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Re: Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?

I don't believe Ford would ever be dedicated to one (Ford) brand. No full line manufacturer is.
If Lincoln doesn't turn around Ford will could decide she's damaged goods and put the brand down. But they'd likely then either launch a new luxury brand or rename Lincoln for a fresh start. They won't walk away from the luxury market.
A titanium level Ford doesn't provide the same prestige as a luxury brand name.
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post #9 of 111 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 08:10 AM
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Re: Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew L View Post
I seriously think everyone WANTS Lincoln to fail and keeps posting about how Mulally will do it.
Nope...you have it backwards. We want Lincoln to succeed and to succeed with vehicles that are aspirational. We just don't see that happening yet. The task becomes harder when the head of the company does not seem fully commited to a long term Lincoln brand. I would rather Lincoln prove Mulally wrong.

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post #10 of 111 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 04:40 PM
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Re: Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by germeezy1 View Post
You have to admit no matter how positive your are that Lincoln will succeed that Ford who have an easier time with closure if the brand does not move in the right direction than many times before. Ford's toughest competition for Lincoln will not be Cadillac, BMW or MB it will be the notable Titanium level offerings for less money right next door at your local Ford dealers.

1) I thought you only hate on Ford on GM Inisde News and Toyota Nation. What's-up-with-dat-dog!?

2) If GM can have Chevy, Buick and Cadillac, IMHO, I don't see why Ford can't have Lincoln, its about product everyone knows that.

3) I don't think Titanium takes sales from Lincoln, I think it pulls (another $50/month payment) out of people that were already looking at a Ford. If I want a Lincoln, or think I want a Lincoln, I'm not at the Ford Store.
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