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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Ideas for improving the Lincoln brand

While it is sad that the decision has been made to drop the Mercury brand, I have to say that I have thought this would be a good idea for a long time. The Mercury line-up has been nothing but slightly upscale Ford models with aluminum trim and a waterfall grill for a long time. Now that there are no stand-alone Mercury stores, it is a workable idea to drop that line. Most markets should have combined Ford-Lincoln stores, although some of the larger metro areas could support stand-alone Lincoln dealerships.

Now would be a good time for the Lincoln line-up to be refreshed. FoMoCo has done a good job recently of making the Lincoln products more distinctive. Like it or not, the new front end design make a Lincoln recognizable. Management has promised that Lincolns will feature the newest technology and innovations. Hopefully Lincoln interiors will be improved so they are comparable to Audi and Infiniti.

The first thing that I would suggest would be to eliminate the crazy MK? naming scheme. Not many people follow cars as well as I do--and I can't keep the names straight. Lincoln has a number of names in its history that would work well if resurrected. As a nod to the soon-to-be former Mercury line, maybe a few Mercury names could be included.

MKZ - This one is easy. Just return to the Zephyr name.

MKX - This replaced the Aviator, so it would seem reasonable to bring that name back as well.

MKS - This car seems to be the logical successor to the Continental sedan. The current Town Car is going away soon, but I don't think the MKS could logically be renamed the Town Car.

MKT - This is the toughest one. I am torn between having this be a successor to the Mark line, which is due for the Mark IX next, or using a completely different name like Sentinel, which was a concept car a few years ago. Villager is another possibility, although that would make it seem like a minivan replacement.

Town Car - Hopefully there will be a new Town Car someday, but that seems unlikely.

Navigator - Probably the most recognizable name of the line. Needs new styling badly.

Future cars

Comet or Capri - The new small Lincoln rumored to be coming could logically be one of these names. Comet would be a nod to Mercury. Capri is not only a nod to Mercury but was also a Lincoln at one time.

Grand Marquis - The long-standing Mercury could certainly come back as a decontented version of the Town Car, if it is redesigned.

Cougar - Making a luxurious, less sporty, version of the Mustang would seem like a no-brainer to me. Only the platform, not the visible parts, should be shared.

Mark - If the Mark name is not used for something else, maybe it is time for another luxurious 2-door. Something based off of the MKS might work. Please no opera windows or trunk lid humps.


Once Lincoln has a full line-up of vehicles that are not restyled Fords, this plan will work. A separate color palette would seem to be an important change as well.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 02:16 AM
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Re: Ideas for improving the Lincoln brand

Congrats on your first post, dm335
I really like all the thought you put into your lineup proposal

as I said in Autodriver's Capri Theory thread, at first I was bit pissed off at the idea of Lincoln stealing/using any Merc name - tho Capri is equally a Lincoln name so . . .

re: Mark - imho it's ruined for the near future by the MucK they've put on their current vehicles
also
imho it'd cause more harm than good to change the labels until significantly different vehicles are ready to go with Names
+
imho Continental is the only Lincoln name that means that much to me = mandatory re-creation
other than ^ that - I'm quite ready for some new Names (or ones I wasn't familiar with, like Zodiac)

re: Cougar
something I'd thought of a while back was having a Lincoln model named "Panther"
not sure if it'd feel right on any smallish car tho (due to the platform name association)
but would rather see that than the most-Merc name there is used.

hope all this wasn't too picky to be a proper welcome

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 05:12 PM
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Re: Ideas for improving the Lincoln brand

HERE is a 'hearsay' UPDATE from PREMiERdrum @ BON
Quote:
Last I heard, the next MKZ and a proposed Ford-branded sports sedan were going to be based off of the Falcon.
(+)
MKZ and "Thunderbird" project (4 door coupe concept) are both rumored to be Falcon-based.
A full-sized RWD Lincoln should be coming under GRWD.
There is debate as to if this will be the next-gen MKS, or allow the MKS to continue being Taurus-based and use GRWD for an MKR.
imho
if the MKZ becomes a RWD "Zephyr"
then a coupe version would be perfect as the "Zodiac"
&
I'd even go along with a major MCE for the MKS switching to "Continental" (I think)
it might be worth relaxing my criteria for Named models to get the "MucK" off of all the cars
((that ^ assumes the MKfoCus WOULD be called "Capri"))

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 08:35 AM
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Re: Ideas for improving the Lincoln brand

Zodiac is a terrible name! Every time a competitor comes out with new car it will be christened the "Zodiac Killer".
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 09:24 AM
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Re: Ideas for improving the Lincoln brand

Quote:
Originally Posted by dm335 View Post
Mark - If the Mark name is not used for something else, maybe it is time for another luxurious 2-door. Something based off of the MKS might work. Please no opera windows or trunk lid humps.
Ok no Opra windows, but no trunk hump???? That has been with the Mark series since the begining!!

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 07:48 PM
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Re: Ideas for improving the Lincoln brand

If Ford wants me to buy a Lincoln in the future, Ford will have to build a Lincoln that was in the Merc price range. I not talking about compact car or subcompact car.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 08:54 PM
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Re: Ideas for improving the Lincoln brand

Quote:
Originally Posted by djhogie View Post
If Ford wants me to buy a Lincoln in the future, Ford will have to build a Lincoln that was in the Merc price range. I not talking about compact car or subcompact car.
If Ford wants to buy me a Lincoln...
they'll STILL hafta replace the Star with the logo of my choice

as I said in Autodriver's Capri Theory thread

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-03-2010, 07:16 PM
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Re: Ideas for improving the Lincoln brand

1) Drop the silly and meaningless "MK(?)" nomenclature. Use actual model names or a logical "Mark-Roman Numeral" progression for the brand's car products and actual model names for the brand's utility products.
2) Get rid of the hideously monstrous split wing grille. Develop a new "face" for the brand inspired by the grille treatment on the 2002 Continental Concept. This full width treatment would appear to incorporate the headlights into the grille area. A high tech looking update on this type of front end treatment would create an attractive, yet distinctive, new "face" for the Lincoln brand. This new "face" would be featured on all Lincoln vehicles.
3) Use a stylized full width taillight treatment intersected by the Lincoln badge on all Lincoln vehicles. The taillight treatment on the 2007 MKR Concept should serve as an inspiration. This new taillight treatment would be featured on all Lincoln vehicles.
4) "LINCOLN" would be spelled out above the new full width taillight treatment on the decklids or liftgates of all Lincoln vehicles, just like it is on the 2007 MKR Concept.
5) Develop a new overall design language for the brand's car products based on the 2007 MKR Concept. This design language would feature strong shoulders, straight edges balanced by strategically placed curving surfaces, and a semi-formal roofline.
6) Develop a new overall design language for the brand's utility products. My suggestion would be a refined and sophisticated take on traditional SUV design. In this new design language, sculpturing and creases would soften the boxier traditional SUV shape. The result would be a more tailored looking line of CUVs and SUVs. Basically, something similar in style to the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, but with a distinctively Lincoln look.
7) All Lincoln products should contain the most advanced powertrains and features that FoMoCo have at their disposal.
8) Add more variety in the bodystyles of the car products. Coupe-cabrios and wagons should join the model mix. Lincoln can and should offer more than sedans and CUVs/SUVs.
9) Create some effective and relevant advertising and marketing that would appeal to all demographics.
10) The dealership and service department experience should be top notch.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-03-2010, 11:09 PM
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Re: Ideas for improving the Lincoln brand

LINEUP:
* Premiere: Compact sedan, coupe-cabrio, and wagon built on a stretched version of FoMoCo's C-platform.
* Versailles: Midsize sedan, coupe-cabrio, and wagon built on the EUCD-platform. I know the original Versailles was short lived and far from successful, but I think the name is cool and worthy of a revival. The Versailles sedan would replace the current MKZ. The wagon and coupe-cabrio will complete the midsize car line.
* Continental: Fullsize sedan, coupe-cabrio, and wagon built on the D4-platform. The Continental sedan would replace the current MKS. The Continental wagon would serve as an indirect replacement for the current MKT, although it will only have 2 row seating (and much more attractive styling). The Continental CC (coupe-cabrio) will be a smooth grand tourer.
* Mark IX: RWD sports sedan built on a stretched version of the Mustang's D2C-platform fitted with an IRS. The Mark IX would be the actual production version of the MKR Concept. A glass roof coupe version would round out the Mark IX Series.
* Zephyr: RWD retractable hardtop roadster built on the Mustang's D2C-platform fitted with an IRS. Unlike the Mark IX, the Zephyr would share the Mustang's shorter wheelbase. I know the "Zephyr" name has been used on different applications over the years, but what would be more perfect than to use it on a sporty two seat hardtop convertible?
* Plateau: Compact CUV built on the same version of the C-platform that will underpin the next gen Kuga/Escape.
* Sentinel: Midsize CUV built on the EUCD-platform. The Sentinel would replace the current MKX.
* Aviator: Fullsize CUV built on the D4-platform. The Aviator would be FoMoCo's Enclave fighter.
* Navigator: Fullsize SUV built on the next gen Expedition platform. The next gen Navigator would receive its own completely distinct exterior design that would completely blow away the Escalade.

This lineup was created based on existing FoMoCo platforms. I know there has been a lot of talk about a new global RWD platform, but I refrained from using it since it has not seen the light of day yet. Basically, this lineup consists of taking what FoMoCo has available to give Lincoln a lineup that will elevate the perception of the brand and return it to a state of relevance in the premium/luxury segment.

EDIT: On 7/7/2010, I changed information about the Mark IX and Zephyr.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-05-2010, 12:57 AM
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Re: Ideas for improving the Lincoln brand

I think the biggest advice I could give to anyone looking at revamping the Lincoln lineup....... Make it more competitive to Cadillac and make the younger generations want it. Every Cadillac that is on the market is aimed at younger buyers because we buy on the looks a lot.

The Lincoln line up needs to also be set apart from FORD, an entry level in their lineup. The Navigator was a "Gangster or hip hop" ride, and now its a Cadillac Escalade.

I think everyone's ideas are great, but if Ford Motor Co. can not make the Lincoln line look a lot more different than it's Ford siblings, no one will buy them. I understand Ford is becoming a lot better with their quality and all, but there is a lot of people (my roomies for some) will not buy a Ford because they do not like them. I still do not have an answer as why, even though they own a Mazda CX7 which is a Ford Edge, but they swear up and down its soo much better then a Ford. (I roll my eyes every time they tell me how much Ford sucks)

I won't go in depth as everyone else has with their dream line up with every model, but just stand on my soap box and tell them to strive to be better then Cadillac and the European competitors. Once they make themselves stand out and different from their platform siblings, then will Lincoln be a brand everyone will want and look at owning in the future.

**Sorry all for using GM's Cadillac brand as a competitor, but when I think of competitors in the United States, I see Cadillac as a big "American" competitor and it is by far the "HIP" brand out there for a high end luxury brand right now.**

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