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2015 Audi A3 Sedan Selling Well in America, Stealing Toyota and Honda Customers
Autoevolution

It seems German luxury in very small packages is exactly what America wants right now. Not only is Mercedes’s baby four-door coupe, the CLA-Class, selling like hotcakes, so is its rival from Audi.

Recently released data from Audi USA shows 2,452 A3 sedans were sold in June and 7,735 units for the whole year (as a 2015MY, it's only been available for a few months).

Just as interesting as the quantity is the kind of people who are buying them. Audi sales executives told Edmunds that many of the new buyers are trading in Hondas and Toyota. Since the A3 can cost as much as $40,000 with options, we’re guessing that means Camry and Accord owners, not Corolla and Civic ones.

If you do have a mid-size Japanese sedan and want to go German, know that there could be a waiting list. 2,452 vehicles in a month is just a drop in the ocean right now, but once supply picks up and Audi

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With 1,658 CLA and 2,452 A3 compact sedan sales just for June, I don't care what Lincoln said to a reporter, they are not about to let this segment run away without competing. Especially since Lincoln is 'supposed' to be focused on the quickly growing, high volume, younger demographic, compact luxury car market as part of it's rebuilding.

A big large car/midsize car MKZ no more would compete with a luxury compact sedan, than the Focus competes with the Fusion. A compact Lincoln sedan starting at $29k won't be reaching the same consumer that needs a larger MKZ starting at $34k. By the way, the Focus and Fusion would have the same $5k price gap as the Lincoln models would.

What's happening with Camry and Accord is consumers are downgrading is size and upgrading in sport and luxury.
 

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With 1,658 CLA and 2,452 A3 compact sedan sales just for June, I don't care what Lincoln said to a reporter, they are not about to let this segment run away without competing. Especially since Lincoln is 'supposed' to be focused on the quickly growing, high volume, younger demographic, compact luxury car market as part of it's rebuilding.

A big large car/midsize car MKZ no more would compete with a luxury compact sedan, than the Focus competes with the Fusion. A compact Lincoln sedan starting at $29k won't be reaching the same consumer that needs a larger MKZ starting at $34k. By the way, the Focus and Fusion would have the same $5k price gap as the Lincoln models would.

What's happening with Camry and Accord is consumers are downgrading is size and upgrading in sport and luxury.
They're upgrading in prestige something that Lincoln cannot offer yet. These same people making the jump from Honda to Audi and Mercedes could have easily moved to an Acura in the same size and price range yet they changed brands because flat out, Audi and Mercedes have the prestige that Acura doesn't.

For Lincoln to even attempt to jump into that market they would need an original play, not a me too offering.
 

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They're upgrading in prestige something that Lincoln cannot offer yet. These same people making the jump from Honda to Audi and Mercedes could have easily moved to an Acura in the same size and price range yet they changed brands because flat out, Audi and Mercedes have the prestige that Acura doesn't.

For Lincoln to even attempt to jump into that market they would need an original play, not a me too offering.
I see what you are saying.....and many see Audi as upper trim level VW, which has VW taking a consistent sales dive, as Audi sales increase.

Another aspect is that the design of the IS is too over-the-top for many, and as you mentioned, Acura doesn't have it as the ILX and TSX both look like they should be positioned below the Accord. Where in Europe Acura models area actually sold as Honda.

But Lincoln, voted #1 Luxury Brand by Lincoln owners(compared with MB, BMW, Audi, Acura, Lexus, etc) says a lot about the growing prestige the Lincoln brand holds in the US.

From a prestige perspective, I would rather drive the MKZ than the ES. And the MKC than the X3, GLK or RDX.
 

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But Lincoln, voted #1 Luxury Brand by Lincoln owners(compared with MB, BMW, Audi, Acura, Lexus, etc) says a lot about the growing prestige the Lincoln brand holds in the US.
And they say dead people don't vote! :-(

From a prestige perspective, I would rather drive the MKZ than the ES. And the MKC than the X3, GLK or RDX.
I hope in the coming years most people will see it the same way you do!
 

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Sorry, MKC can't touch an X3 or GLK, certainly the RDX however.
I don't know about that.

MKC enters the market in June and.....



X3 is down -29%



GLK is up 34%



And RDX is down -13%




What could be happening is that compact luxury crossover consumers are paying attention and know about the MKC, and are holding back on the import purchase, waiting for more MKC models to be available.

The MKC even looks nice when dirty.....

 

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...It seems German luxury in very small packages is exactly what America wants right now...
...the A3 can cost as much as $40,000 with options...
imho
a large part is 2-3 GENERATIONS of pent-up demand
(imho $40k could be the real StartingPoint for LUX)

...I don't care what Lincoln said to a reporter, they are not about to let this segment run away without competing...
...A compact Lincoln sedan starting at $29k won't be reaching the same consumer that needs a larger MKZ starting at $34k...
...For Lincoln to even attempt to jump into that market they would need an original play, not a me too offering.
as SP1966 indicated :thumb:
a "Lux-Intro", not "Entry" vehicle can take a non-ordinary form...
( & imho Lincoln's must )

...I was perusing my ideal Lincoln lineup last night & surprised myself with how many near-or-sub-MKZ (sized!) vehicles I'd listed:
_ovl____wlb________
194.1 - 112.2 - MKZ existing
193.5 - 115.2 - AviatorSport
189.9 - 111.0 - LincStang CoupeCabrio ( Rwd )
188.1 - 112.2 - MKX
185.0 - 111.0 - LincStang SportSedan ( Rwd )
183.7 - 109.2 - MKX-Sport (quickiechop)
182.0 - 109.8 - MKE - energi & electric(s)
179.2 - 105.9 - MKC
175.? - 104.3 - 2seater - midengine ( Rwd )

and not a 'regular' compact-car among them..
:nevreness:
...ALL the additions are 'special'/specialty models
 

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MKC can take on X3 and GLK customers? How so, are those two based on mainstream unremarkable FWD platforms too? Did Lincoln engineer the MKC from the ground up with expensive suspensions and chasis materials to make it light and dynamic? Are they priced at the bottom of their market segment? Is it sold internationally and world acclaimed? There is a vast technological and cultural difference between Lincoln and Mercedes/BMW.

Lincoln's appeal still pivots entirely on value for features, not for brand prestige or luxuries. MKC is a practical choice, as are the Japanese products, but less mundane than an Escape or Honda CRV. Both vehicles are designed very similarly, the BMW and Mercedes are far more distinctive inside and out. Lincoln pivots more on gimmicks, less on design refinement, quality and craftsmanship.

And for every MKC sold, Mercedes and BMW are selling considerably more here and around the world. Lincoln's sales are extremely microscopic when you consider how isolated it is compared to its competition.

I make it sound like I despise the MKC, but I don't at all. Lincoln is just nowhere near the competition noted above, and they are priced accordingly. They are good value and satisfy a different customer.

But from an enthusiasts perspective, Lincoln is just an amateur that fails to be noticeable.
 

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MKC can take on X3 and GLK customers? How so, are those two based on mainstream unremarkable FWD platforms too? Did Lincoln engineer the MKC from the ground up with expensive suspensions and chasis materials to make it light and dynamic? Are they priced at the bottom of their market segment? Is it sold internationally and world acclaimed? There is a vast technological and cultural difference between Lincoln and Mercedes/BMW.

Lincoln's appeal still pivots entirely on value for features, not for brand prestige or luxuries. MKC is a mundane choice, as are the Japanese products, but less mundane than an Escape or Honda CRV. Both vehicles are designed very similarly, the BMW an Mercedes are far more distinctive inside and out.

And for every MKC sold, Mercedes and BMW are selling considerably more here and around the world. Lincoln's sales are extremely microscopic when you consider how isolated it is compared to its competition.
Most consumers who buy the compact luxury CUVs, who are female, don't care about platforms. All they care about is how it looks, does it feel safe, and how it drives. Globally, consumers are not as critical about Lincoln, which is why China will be the top Lincoln market. But the big test starts 4th quarter with the Lincoln launch into China with the MKZ and MKC.
 

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^ just-imho, Borg,
some of those concerns are so close to being answered (one way or the other) that I'd rather (personally) just hold my breath
...1(One) to 12 months top imho


...From a prestige perspective, I would rather drive the MKZ than the ES. And the MKC than the X3, GLK or RDX.
for me
"From a Taste perspective, I would rather drive the MKZ than the ES ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
And the MKC than the X3, GLK or RDX."


(not sure about the X3
other than the BuMble(w)-stigma)
 

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Most consumers who buy the compact luxury CUVs, who are female, don't care about platforms. All they care about is how it looks, does it feel safe, and how it drives. Globally, consumers are not as critical about Lincoln, which is why China will be the top Lincoln market. But the big test starts 4th quarter with the Lincoln launch into China with the MKZ and MKC.
You're mostly right about women being unconcerned with platforms (unless we're talking shoes) but they are typically very brand/badge/name conscious. The MKC is very nice and will do extremely well for Lincoln, but while it shares a segment with the X3 and GLK it doesn't share the same market.
 

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You're mostly right about women being unconcerned with platforms (unless we're talking shoes) but they are typically very brand/badge/name conscious. The MKC is very nice and will do extremely well for Lincoln, but while it shares a segment with the X3 and GLK it doesn't share the same market.
You are right about that.......but it's changing. Which makes sense why Lincoln does so much female targeted sponsorships and marketing events. More fashion industry, designer label, image related marketing tied to Lincoln than driving/performance related marketing that males more look for. And I think this is just while Lincoln focused on the smaller compact luxury segment, and this should start changing with the more powerful MKX, MKS, Aviator and Navigator that target the more male demographic.

The big indicator that Lincoln was hitting it's mark with females with dollars to spend, was with the Prius being the #1 conquest vehicle for the MKZ hybrid. Pulling females from a $25k vehicle and into a $35-$40k vehicle is a successful conquest.

Pulling females out of a BMW, MB or Audi will take more images of nice looking females in Lincoln vehicles, and others to say that 'she' looks nice in her Lincoln to obtain the conquest. Which will have little to do with the vehicle.
 

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Cheaper Bimmers, Mercs, and Audis are feeding on the prestige of the brand to sell the cars, Lincoln has no such leverage.

And Lincoln is a deeply unhip, unfashionable brand. It's targeting MUCH older than the Germans with very traditional ideals of luxury (non-sporting, chrome, soft, quiet, gimmicks). Lincoln is at its basic level incapable of answering competition skewing far younger because they can't bring them into the dealership. I mean Lincoln is trying to get its demographic down to the 40s and 50s, and you're not going to appeal to the 20's with a chromey soft-riding Focus. I'm not sure if it's Lincoln's intention to skew very traditional and older, but man they are NOT changing their demographics at this rate in the US.
 

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Cheaper Bimmers, Mercs, and Audis are feeding on the prestige of the brand to sell the cars, Lincoln has no such leverage.

And Lincoln is a deeply unhip, unfashionable brand. It's targeting MUCH older than the Germans with very traditional ideals of luxury (non-sporting, chrome, soft, quiet, gimmicks). Lincoln is at its basic level incapable of answering competition skewing far younger because they can't bring them into the dealership. I mean Lincoln is trying to get its demographic down to the 40s and 50s, and you're not going to appeal to the 20's with a chromey soft-riding Focus. I'm not sure if it's Lincoln's intention to skew very traditional and older, but man they are NOT changing their demographics at this rate in the US.
Until Lincoln offers more vehicles that appeal to the sub 30 demographic, like a Evogue competitor, c-segment sedan/coupe/roadster or even a 3-Series sedan/coupe/convertible competitor, they will struggle to draw the sub 30 demographic.

The MKC will start to bring down the age range, but really 30+.

But you are right, right now, Lincoln is not hip.
 

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...And Lincoln is ... targeting MUCH older than the Germans...
...Lincoln is at its basic level incapable of answering competition skewing far younger because they can't bring them into the dealership. I mean Lincoln is trying to get its demographic down to the 40s and 50s, and you're not going to appeal to the 20's with a chromey soft-riding Focus. I'm not sure if it's Lincoln's intention to skew very traditional and older, but man they are NOT changing their demographics at this rate in the US.
Borg, not that you intended we bring out scalpels/sonic-screwdrivers & electron-magnifying glasses on what you wrote; but
just-imho
it'd be helpful to discriminate age-wise between people with checkbooks-in-hand
&vs lookieloo-fans (OpinionMakers: imho the latter frequently leads to the former)
+ the small(er) demographic-pool of über-trendy young fat cats
...But you are right, right now, Lincoln is not hip.
is it "hip" to say "hip"?


Until Lincoln offers more vehicles that appeal to the sub 30 demographic, like a Evogue competitor, c-segment sedan/coupe/roadster or even a 3-Series sedan/coupe/convertible competitor, they will struggle to draw the sub 30 demographic...
:thumb: TY for re-inforcing the zeit-geist milieu for those models, Bloggin
 

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I like to think Lincoln's new products are very strategic, since they have been successful in a number of ways. They are targeting a specific customer they think is attainable or is under serviced in a growing segment. And Lincoln's products make sense from an intellectual standpoint, they are not wildly anomalous and unfamiliar cars that are trying to grab at a different audience. They are playing to their traditional strengths and targeting a customer not likely shopping at Ford, all while evolving their image to appeal to a moderately younger customer (namely in growing segments like the MKC).

But in the end you can't simply replicate the success of another carmaker by cloning them, otherwise we would have Cadillac. I know many would not consider that to be a bad thing, but from a business standpoint it's a dead-end. Mercedes earned the right to sell those products, they fit their brand and customer reach. Lincoln can certainly make a car, but it doesn't have the customers for them.
 

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^ ty, Borg :thumb:

one of the things I found most Charming about your original post @ GMI is (what I "heard" as)
seeing Cadillac as tackling/involved-with/having an engineering challenge (I'd add PRICE)
while
Lincoln is completely the opposite, approaching THEIR renaissance (initially) striving to attract customers rather than usual/paper/3rd-party metrics of acclaim
(here I'd add the double-edged challenge of VALUE)
+
your "an equal amount of doubt about each brand", resonates with my contention that eventually Lincoln & Cadillac will bend their opposed directions back Towards eachother
 

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Again someone talking about how bad are Lincoln vehicles because are based on Ford platforms... and people dont buy them for that reason. Really, some one here ever hear a customer in a Lincoln dealer asking the seller man : "Wich platform is used to make this car, Sr. ?" . This discussion is useless.

The next CLA, A and B-Class cars by Mercedes-Benz will share the platform and many parts with a new compact Nissan-Infiniti. This will be noticed by Mercedes-Benz customers? Will the Nissan customers buy a car because is based on a Mercedes-Benz platform? Will the Mercedes customers quit to buy those cars because share the platform with a Nissan? I predict that no one that will consider those cars, will be informed about that shared platform and parts, and if they will be informed, that will not affect the purchase.

And about the opinion that the BMW X3 and MB GLK looks better outside than the Lincoln MKC , i dont share that view. The MK C is the best looking compact crossover in the market rigth now. The interior of the european competition is better? Maybe, i need to seat at the Lincoln and the competition to compare. And about the platform, nobody can say that the europeans had better dinamics than the MKC... they need to prove it in a comparo head to head.

About that compacts sedans from Audi and Mercedes, are good cars, but the reason why the people are buying them like hotcakes is the price: you can afford a Mercedes-Benz or a Audi for about 30K. Is the brand that sell de car... Lincoln, i think, is not ready for this. Maybe in the years to come...
 
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