Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup? UPDATE post#136 - Page 12 - Ford Inside News Community
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post #111 of 146 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 08:42 PM
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Re: Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup?

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Originally Posted by Bloggin View Post
Trying to have a name for upwards of 12 different actual models(not including trim levels or convertibles) creates a marketing nightmare. That's why none of the major automakers have gone down that route.

Before traveling down this name only concept road, just look at the Audi product lineup and imagine if each model has it's own name, with no association as to which class or if it's a sedan, coupe, CUV/SUV.

A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8 the consumer knows they are cars and get bigger/more expensive the larger the number

Q3, Q5, Q7, the consumer knows they are CUV/SUVs and get bigger/more expensive the larger the number

For Lincoln currently, MKC, MKZ, MKX, the consumer sees one CUV(MKX) and two cars(MKC, MKZ), but have no idea which is the the upgrade or downgrade model.

Names could work for Lincoln while they have just 6 products. But once the portfolio expands as it needs to be competitive globally, names could only work for flagship models for each segment, like Continental and Navigator. The current naming convention of MK? is illogical.

Rolls Royce can use names because they only have 2 cars and 2 coupes in the lineup.

To be relevant on a global scale, Lincoln will need to convert to a logical alpha numeric naming convention, that clearly defines the sedans from the coupes from the CUV/SUVs.

Lincoln has some name recognition with MK, so expanding on that in a logical way, differentiating between cars, coupes and CUV/SUVs

Here is what MK? for cars and MKX? for CUV/SUVs could look like.....

Cars:
MKC (new RWD sports Coupe)
MKS (new RWD sports Sedan)
MKZ
Continental
Grand Continental

CUV/SUV:
MKX3 (MKC)
MKX5 (MKX)
MKX7 (Aviator)
Navigator
Grand Navigator

Side note......don't you think it's curious that what is now the New Continental, was actually to be the New MKS? This was not the original plan. Meaning that Lincoln was NOT going to switch from the MKS naming for this new vehicle, until it was 'mentioned' that Continental could be used and had broader marketing appeal, especially in China. Which for me is odd in a way, because there is to be a new 'large sedan' and new flagship, and it's not going to be the Continental. The car that drove presidents. SO Lincoln will have a new flagship above the car that drove presidents. What just happened????

Personally, I think Lincoln jumped the gun with using the Continental name, just get get better traction with marketing, instead of holding that name for their actual flagship new large sedan. This new car should have remained the MKS. Unless....the new large sedan is something like the Grand Continental, or Continental and Continental Presidential.

I think Lincoln will have hard enough time trying to buck the Performance/Luxury standard, that is the well grounded expectation of luxury customers.....with Lincoln, Quiet Luxury. Which already is confusing the luxury consumer, but to also toss in a random group of names across cars, coupes and CUV/SUVs, does not sound like a plan for success on a global scale.

I see Lincoln not playing the Performance/Luxury position with the competition, simply because Lincoln does not have a RWD performance sedan platform, but currently only FWD platforms available. But I expect Lincoln to begin to change it's tune, once they have a RWD platform to work with. But for now Lincoln is doing well with what it has to work with as it rebuilds into a global brand.
I don't really see the new Continental as "would have been the MKS", as they mentioned that the designs were completely different & uninspired until they mentioned they were going to work on the Continental instead of the MKS, then there were completely different designs.


I do like the name "Grand Continental" actually! I'm not sure how I'd feel about them using "Town Car" again for a car above the Continental. If anything, I could see them taking the Continental even more up market once the new platform arrives, I don't think a whole new model above the Continental is necessary. Then move the MKZ/Zephyr a bit more up market as well, and then put a new sedan below it.
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post #112 of 146 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 10:06 PM
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Re: Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup?

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I don't really see the new Continental as "would have been the MKS", as they mentioned that the designs were completely different & uninspired until they mentioned they were going to work on the Continental instead of the MKS, then there were completely different designs.


I do like the name "Grand Continental" actually! I'm not sure how I'd feel about them using "Town Car" again for a car above the Continental. If anything, I could see them taking the Continental even more up market once the new platform arrives, I don't think a whole new model above the Continental is necessary. Then move the MKZ/Zephyr a bit more up market as well, and then put a new sedan below it.
My guess (and hope) is that the next-generation Continental will be the upsized and (CD6) RWD-based, the MKZ will replace this generation's (D4) FWD-based Conti and an S650-based sports sedan will slot in below/next to the MKZ.

IMO, there will be no S650 coupe for Lincoln (let the Ford Mustang reign alone) but a flagship coupe might slide in with the next-generation Conti, perhaps called the Continental "Mark (fill in the roman numeral blank)." I'm probably wrong about this but I can dream.
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post #113 of 146 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 11:06 AM
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Re: Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup?

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I don't really see the new Continental as "would have been the MKS", as they mentioned that the designs were completely different & uninspired until they mentioned they were going to work on the Continental instead of the MKS, then there were completely different designs.


I do like the name "Grand Continental" actually! I'm not sure how I'd feel about them using "Town Car" again for a car above the Continental. If anything, I could see them taking the Continental even more up market once the new platform arrives, I don't think a whole new model above the Continental is necessary. Then move the MKZ/Zephyr a bit more up market as well, and then put a new sedan below it.
Hm. I don't like the "Grand ___" (Grand Continental) designation at all.

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post #114 of 146 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 02:04 PM
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Re: Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup?

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Originally Posted by Bloggin View Post
Here is what MK? for cars and MKX? for CUV/SUVs could look like.....

Cars:
MKC (new RWD sports Coupe)
MKS (new RWD sports Sedan)
MKZ
Continental
Grand Continental

CUV/SUV:
MKX3 (MKC)
MKX5 (MKX)
MKX7 (Aviator)
Navigator
Grand Navigator
No, no, no, no, O... M... G.... NO!

MKC cannot suddenly become a car after spending 6 years as a CUV. I get what you're trying to do, adding an X to all CUVs, but no, it'll just be a sign of a complete lack of leadership at Lincoln.

Next, MK(letter) for cars, MKX(number) for CUVs, seriously? Sounds like you want to cover all bases in terms of being wrong!

My problem with names and alphanumerics is you set up dichotomy among Lincolns, those that are deemed worthy of names, and those that aren't. If you're saying Lincolns with names are special what are you saying about alphanumeric Lincolns? All Lincolns must be seen as special within their segment, embrace one naming paradigm, eliminate the other.

Re: Grand Continental, I don't like it. I think Continental is the storied name within the Lincoln brand and it should always and forever stand at the top of the sedan lineup. They need to come up with worthy names for their midsize sedan once the Continental moves up in size, assuming it does so. The Continental's purpose is to set the tone for what Lincoln is, if done well it will cast it's halo over lesser Lincolns without having to water down the name by using it on multiple vehicles.

*Finally, let's leave the Town Car name to RIP as a stand alone vehicle. While it was a well known Lincoln, and much loved by some, it still says Lincoln Taxi to me!

* I know bloggin never mentioned Town Car, so that part wasn't aimed at him!
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post #115 of 146 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup?

^......"No, no, no, no, O... M... G.... NO! " lol

True, renaming cars is a challenge. But that's an idea if Lincoln could have used logic in the naming of cars vs CUV/SUVs. Today it's all mixed up.
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post #116 of 146 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 04:38 PM
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Re: Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup?

I agree. Continental should be at the very top. I think Lincoln is in a great position right now to rename all of their cars. They're still rebuilding their brand, so I don't think too many people will be upset if the MKC is renamed the Cosmopolitan or Capri.


And I agree with SP1966, I wouldn't be a fan of mixing alphanumeric and names long term. I genuinely believe that if Lincoln switches to all names and you couple that with some amazing designs that the general public will be a big fan of them. I'm honesty heard nothing but negative comments about Cadillac's naming system. Their new one actually makes a lot of logical sense, but it doesn't ring "Cadillac" to me. I can betcha that they'll eventually follow Lincoln's lead in renaming their cars into real names after they see how successful Lincoln is.


My question for you guys: are you alright with them coming up with completely brand new names for some of the current/upcoming models? Every list that I've seen only mentions previous names that can be used. Navigator and Aviator are actually relatively "new" names as we know, so as long as they can come up with a very cool and iconic name, I don't mind if they stray a bit from some of the classic names that might not sound as popular today.


I personally would love if all of Lincoln's model names going forward had a "Land, wind, and sea" theme. Zephyr means a soft gentle breeze and that = air, an Aviator is a pilot and that = air, a Navigator directs a ship or aircraft, and Continental obviously means "land". Cosmopolitan can kind of mean land since it's about different countries. Capri is an island in Europe I believe. I think Lincoln was originally going for that "theme" and the Navigator concept kind of hinted that they'd be going back to that. I'm sure they could think of some new ones along that line.
Just to throw out some ideas, I think a Lincoln Aroma, Lincoln Stratosphere, Lincoln Aviatrix, Lincoln Seafarer, or Lincoln Aeronaut sound kinda cool! They can maybe adopt Mariner back into Lincoln since Mercury is gone.
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post #117 of 146 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup?

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I don't really see the new Continental as "would have been the MKS", as they mentioned that the designs were completely different & uninspired until they mentioned they were going to work on the Continental instead of the MKS, then there were completely different designs.
The platform for the New MKS and now Continental was already set before the top hat designers went to work. So changing the focus of the top hat to a Continental theme instead of a MKS theme did not impact the base D platform.
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post #118 of 146 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 06:37 PM
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Re: Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup?

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The platform for the New MKS and now Continental was already set before the top hat designers went to work. So changing the focus of the top hat to a Continental theme instead of a MKS theme did not impact the base D platform.
Oh of course, I was referring to the overall design of it becoming the "Continental", I get that it didn't change the actual plans for the platform. I think it was a brilliant move to make it the Continental. Would love to see sketches of what other ideas they had for the Continental once they found out what the name would be.


I'm also curious about what came first: the idea to bring back the Continental name, or the new grill? I'm guessing the new grill, as they knew that wasn't working or making any fans for the brand. I'm curious what the initial MKS redesign plans looked like before.
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post #119 of 146 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup?

The idea of trying to offer a name for 12+ models across 3+ vehicle types is a marketing nightmare waiting to happen.

It's very easy for the global consumer to look at the name of any BMW or MB and know what class and type of vehicle it is, based on their logical naming conventions. Cadillac is in the process of renaming to a logical system which will help the globally also, especially as they add more models.

Lincoln will need to do the same, while holding on to the two flagship names, Continental and Navigator that have global recognition.
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post #120 of 146 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 08:39 PM
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Re: Is Lincoln is Ready to Toss the Alphabet Soup?

Alphanumeric has never offended me. Not sure why it offends some. Although I do agree that some names from Lincoln's past have heritage and should be used, but I agree with bloggin that having 12 names is a nightmare. Far too difficult to remember 12 names. I like the MKC, MKZ and MKX just as they are, because they don't have heritage to share. And maybe even an MKT too.

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