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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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AutoNews: Lincoln Sees MKS As Vehicle To Drive Comeback

Lincoln sees MKS as vehicle to drive brand's comeback


Amy Wilson

Automotive News | June 16, 2008 - 12:01 am EST




WASHINGTON —

“Our Lincoln brand health is not where we want it to be,” says Pei-Wen Hsu, marketing manager for the MKS.


With the 2009 MKS, Lincoln marketers say they finally have a flagship sedan that can help rebuild the brand.

The MKS is expected to attract mainly older Lincoln loyalists. But to make the brand relevant again, marketers also want to appeal to Generation X consumers — those born between 1965 and 1981.

"Our Lincoln brand health is not where we want it to be," said Pei-Wen Hsu, MKS marketing manager. Lincoln's new products are "helping us to change that mind-set," she said.

In the past couple of years, Lincoln's retail sales have risen with the introductions of the smaller MKZ sedan and MKX crossover. But total Lincoln sales are near 25-year lows. Overall sales rose 9.1 percent in 2007 to 131,487 vehicles.

  • MKS vs. STS
    Lincoln is targeting the rwd Cadillac STS with its lower-priced, fwd MKS.
    ’09 Lincoln MKS.......... ’09 Cadillac STS
    Wheelbase: 112.9 in........ 116.4 in.
    Length: 204.1 in......... 196.3 in.
    Width: 75.9 in............. 72.6 in.
    Height: 61.6 in........ 57.6 in.
    Curb weight: 4,127 lbs.... 3,973 lbs.
    Base engine: 3.7-liter V-6..... 3.6-liter V-6
    Horsepower: 273 @ 6,250 rpm..... 302 @ 6,300 rpm
    Torque, lbs.-ft:. 270 @ 4,250 rpm........ 272 @ 5,200 rpm
    EPA mpg 17 city/24 hwy.* ........ 17 city/26 hwy.
    Base price
    (incl. freight): $38,465....... $45,290
    *Preliminary

Through the first five months of this year, Lincoln sales dropped 22.5 percent. The MKS is scheduled to be on sale by the end of June, and Lincoln officials expect a sales increase in the second half of 2008.

The MKS does not replace the bigger Town Car, but it becomes the de facto large-car entry in Lincoln's retail showrooms. The Town Car is now targeted at fleet buyers, although dealers still can order it for retail customers.

The basics: The MKS is based on Ford Motor Co.'s D3 platform, which also underpins the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans. The MKS is built at the Chicago assembly plant. Powering the sedan is a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that produces 273 hp and is exclusive to Lincoln. All-wheel drive is optional.

Notable features: In launch advertising, Lincoln touts the technology offerings on the MKS. Features include Sync, Ford's voice-activated vehicle communications system; Sirius Travel Link, which provides a music jukebox and real-time traffic and gasoline price information; and a THX-branded audio system with surround sound.

Design: The MKS showcases Lincoln's new design palette. Signature Lincoln touches include a split front grille. The car's sheet metal is distinctive from its sister vehicle, the Taurus. That's a boon for Lincoln, which has had to share sheet metal on the MKX and MKZ with Ford brand siblings.

Compromises and shortcomings: The front-wheel-drive MKS goes up against competitors with rear-wheel drive, which some luxury buyers prefer. Also, some dealers and customers grumbled when Ford canceled a V-8 engine for the MKS: How could an American luxury brand offer a true flagship without a V-8?

With rising fuel prices and a higher-powered V-6 waiting in the wings, the lack of a V-8 could turn out OK for Lincoln. But that more robust V-6 — a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter expected to produce 340 hp — won't arrive until the 2010 model year.

The market: Lincoln is putting the MKS up against the Cadillac STS, Lexus GS 350, Acura RL and Infiniti M35. MKS pricing starts at $38,465, including shipping, and rises to more than $50,000 fully loaded.

At that price range, Lincoln aims to undercut the competition by $5,000 to $10,000, Hsu said. Lincoln wants to sell about 19,000 MKS sedans in 2008 and around 36,000 in 2009, she said.

The skinny: The MKS doesn't stand head and shoulders above competitors. But it is attractive and well-priced, and it gives Lincoln a chance to make up ground in the large-luxury-sedan segment.




SOURCE: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dl...plate=printart

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: AutoNews: Lincoln Sees MKS As Vehicle To Drive Comeback

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Curb weight: (MKS) 4,127 lbs....(STS) 3,973 lbs.

Hmmm. The STS is 8 inches shorter, rides on a wheelbase 3.5" longer,(Wow, the Lincoln sure has some overhangs, huh?) and has the added weight and complexity of RWD and is still more than 150 pounds lighter.


Who was it here that was lamenting how porky GM products are????

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 01:14 AM
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Re: AutoNews: Lincoln Sees MKS As Vehicle To Drive Comeback

Amy Amy Amy
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Originally Posted by Amy
The market: Lincoln is putting the MKS up against the Cadillac STS, Lexus GS 350, Acura RL and Infiniti M35...
I'm disappointed

those cars are closer in size to the MKZ, even the STS is closer in size to the MKZ, the GS is actually smaller than the MKZ

the article I want to see is when someone figures out there isn't anything else like the MKS (other than the upto'n'over-TWICE-the-price A8L) and turns their laser-analysis to whether it will succeed or fail on its own merits - because there are No direct comparisons
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: AutoNews: Lincoln Sees MKS As Vehicle To Drive Comeback

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Amy Amy Amy


I'm disappointed

those cars are closer in size to the MKZ, the GS is actually smaller than the MKZ

the article I want to see is when someone figures out there isn't anything else like the MKS (other than the up-to-TWICE-the-price A8L) and turns their laser-analysis to whether it will succeed or fail on its own merits - because there are No comparisons
Wow. I didn't realize that. The GS looks so much bigger.

And I can't see comparing it to the A8. C'mon.

As for "laser-analysis", that's impossible if indeed "there isn't anything else like the MKS". If there is no comparison, no analysis can be done. The MKS may be the beginning of a new niche, or a ******* step-child. Time will tell.

I am anxious to actually see one, though. If there are any at all in the Seattle area, they're keeping it a secret.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 01:43 AM
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Re: AutoNews: Lincoln Sees MKS As Vehicle To Drive Comeback

"I can't see comparing it to the A8. C'mon."


Fwd-Awd & same size
everything else doesn't even meet those basic criteria

As for "laser-analysis", it can be done on how the MKS serves the market
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 03:44 AM
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Re: AutoNews: Lincoln Sees MKS As Vehicle To Drive Comeback

I don't buy this phrase: "Mercury is alive and well. It's called Lincoln."

No Mercury in history has ever shown the level of uniqueness or higher quality that is extremely evident in the MKS and somewhat so in the MKZ. Mercury has never claimed to be anything other than a modestly upmarket version of the Ford products that is intended to appeal to different tastes. And that's fine, not a complaint. It has never been a large step quality or materials-wise above Ford. Anyone who has seen the MKS in person quickly sees that it is a very big step above any Ford model (and above the Town Car as well). Some of the reviews have proclaimed its interior the best yet in any American-made car and a match for Audi. Exterior hasn't a single body panel in common with any Ford product, and the availability of standard and optional equipment is unique among all FoMoCo products. So I would say:

"Lincoln is alive and well, and leaping forward with each new model and update."

This is good for Mercury since it has now created a much wider gap between Ford and Lincoln, thus giving room for Mercury to stretch its legs as well.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 02:24 PM
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Re: AutoNews: Lincoln Sees MKS As Vehicle To Drive Comeback

MKS should sell well, and the MPGs will look really good to all those coming in to trade or end the lease on their Navigators. I'm hoping ecoboost gets a good 19/27 MPG. If not, I think the car needs to go on a diet, and offer a much smaller ecoboost with abt 250HP as a base engine.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 03:43 PM
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Re: AutoNews: Lincoln Sees MKS As Vehicle To Drive Comeback

Well, Cadillac uses the Kay Walsh in the CTS spot and now there is quite a few little old ladies driving CTSs in South Florida, hoping that their cars would eventually "return the favor".

A target doesn't always mean a bullseye.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 04:56 PM
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Re: AutoNews: Lincoln Sees MKS As Vehicle To Drive Comeback

Quote:
Originally Posted by emdee View Post
I don't buy this phrase: "Mercury is alive and well. It's called Lincoln."

No Mercury in history has ever shown the level of uniqueness or higher quality that is extremely evident in the MKS and somewhat so in the MKZ. Mercury has never claimed to be anything other than a modestly upmarket version of the Ford products that is intended to appeal to different tastes. And that's fine, not a complaint. It has never been a large step quality or materials-wise above Ford. Anyone who has seen the MKS in person quickly sees that it is a very big step above any Ford model (and above the Town Car as well). Some of the reviews have proclaimed its interior the best yet in any American-made car and a match for Audi. Exterior hasn't a single body panel in common with any Ford product, and the availability of standard and optional equipment is unique among all FoMoCo products. So I would say:

"Lincoln is alive and well, and leaping forward with each new model and update."

This is good for Mercury since it has now created a much wider gap between Ford and Lincoln, thus giving room for Mercury to stretch its legs as well.
Bravo, good post, DITTO!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 07:43 PM
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Re: AutoNews: Lincoln Sees MKS As Vehicle To Drive Comeback

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Originally Posted by megeebee View Post
Hmmm. The STS is 8 inches shorter, rides on a wheelbase 3.5" longer,(Wow, the Lincoln sure has some overhangs, huh?) and has the added weight and complexity of RWD and is still more than 150 pounds lighter.


Who was it here that was lamenting how porky GM products are????
If the STS is 8 inches shorter and narrower and lower...why would it not weight less.
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