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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
many of us have posted about this (A LOT)
but here's a "professional" article (that almost reads like "An Open Letter To FoMoCo" imho) so maybe it deserves its own thread?


Is 'enhance' a good enough strategy for Lincoln? - AutoNews
RICK KRANZ
August 30, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Now that Mercury is out of the way, Ford can concentrate on Lincoln, a brand that is struggling to keep its head above water.

What caught my eye was a Ford announcement in June.

The press release said the automaker “will expand and enhance its Lincoln brand lineup with seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles in the next four years.”

Lincoln currently offers six vehicles -- the MKS, MKZ and Town Car sedans, the MKT and MKX crossovers, and the Navigator SUV. The Town Car is sold only to the livery business and will cease to exist sometime next year. Ford says a compact Lincoln is one of the upcoming new vehicles. As for the other vehicle, Lincoln won't say.

The news release went on to say that this is “part of an aggressive growth plan focused on standout product design, class-leading technology and new powertrains -- all aimed at competing with Cadillac and Lexus in North America.”

The words “enhance” and “significantly refreshed” stood out in this news release. Enhancing and refreshing may not be enough, though.

Look at January through July sales -- the brand failed to top 50,000. And that number includes nearly 7,000 Town Cars.

Lincoln's design strategy isn't drawing customers.

Maybe the words “reinvention” or “redesign” should be Lincoln's strategy.

What do you think?


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(posted in full since it's short AND I've seen one bad Link to it elsewhere already...
...think maybe AutoNews plays with its URLs sometimes)
 

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Well, if they are targeting Lexus, they will be keeping some models and adding more.

I am sure Lexus will be coming out with a compact FWD car shortly, and the Lincoln Focus will be a direct competitor for that.
More than likely a hybrid version of the Lincoln Focus will be offered to compete with the Lexus Prius clone.

Lincoln will need a smallish rwd sedan to compete with the Lexus IS (or isn't?)
The MKZ competes directly with the ES
The MKS AWD competes somewhat with the GS
Lincoln will need a full size RWD to compete with LS

The rest of the models fill out Lincolns crossover/SUV ranks.

So, if the article indicates Lincoln is going to compete with Lexus, we need a platform which can be used for a rwd mid and large sedan. It would be cost effective if you could incorporate the Aussie Falcon into the platform.
 

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Give me the Lincoln product Planner job and i do this:

1.- A new RWD flexible platform
2.- 2 sedans, 1 coupe and 1 crossover over the RWD new platform
3.- new design languaje, with heritage lines and some new dramatic details, common to all vehicles
4.- take the better Ford powerplants (3,5 ecoboost V6, 2,0 ecoboost I4) and redone it to bring more power to the new vehicles
5.- do the better effort to bring into the new Lincolns the better materials and all the infotaintments items Ford is capable to do today
6.- re-thinking the way Lincoln dealers sell cars and give customer services.

3 years from now this job must be done. The 4 new vehicles will debut at the same time ( the biggest line car launch in the history). The name Continental could be common to all new cars. 1 or 2 years after the new vehicles debut, Lincoln must demise all the old Lincoln vehicles....
 

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The thing is Lincoln is getting criticized a lot with what they have out now, and a lot of people are saying Lincoln is going to die based on what they have now... I say save judgments till the new Lincoln comes out... which I am hoping is soon and is the new MKS

Ford is being pretty secretive on what they are going to do with Lincoln... which I love and hate at the same time... here's to hoping they do a production MKR
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
AutoNews part2: Lincoln's To-Do List

found via Jalopnik
Lincoln future product and branding tops Ford's to-do list - AutoNews

Jamie LaReau
Automotive News -- September 3, 2010 - 2:53 pm ET

WASHINGTON -- Ford Motor Co. plans to further differentiate the Lincoln and Ford division product lineups, while giving the luxury Lincoln brand a “point of view,” company leaders promise.

Ford is also planning for fewer Lincoln dealerships in major metro areas.

With Mercury to be discontinued by year-end, Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of global marketing, sales and service, said the automaker is applying “100 percent” of its focus on Lincoln design and customer service in order to win younger customers.

“It's not about scale right now, it's about getting it right,” Farley said at an event here this week. “The next set of products is about getting it right for the customer.”

Lincoln is Ford's only luxury brand after the sale of Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover in recent years.

In 1998, Lincoln sold 187,121 vehicles, finishing number one in the U.S. luxury market. But last year, it ranked six with sales of only 82,847 vehicles. Lexus led luxury brands with 215,975 sales.

WATERFALL GRILLE
((sic) they mean "SplitWing"; 2b2)

Ford has promised Lincoln seven new or improved vehicles in the next four years.

Farley said Lincoln's future design will have a “point of view,” which he did not further explain.

Lincoln's future products will stay in the $35,000 to $55,000 price range, Farley said.

The brand's signature waterfall grille will remain on future models, he said. But future Lincoln products will have body design cues that differentiate them more from Ford division products than the present lineup. He declined to provide more specific product details.

The two brands often share the same underpinnings and engines.

“Our commitment on the upper body will be specific, and the MKX is an example of that,” said Farley. “We're making a commitment to differentiate the product at every step we can.”

The 2011 MKX crossover, for example, shares the same architecture with the Ford Edge. While the front and rear of the MKX body differs from the Edge, the rest of the body styling is somewhat similar.

Both crossovers offer Ford's new MyTouch interior technology as standard or optional equipment. MyTouch provides navigation, entertainment, Blue Tooth and climate controls all connected through a touch screen system. The vehicles also offer similar standard or optional creature-comfort features such as leather seating. Yet MKX pricing starts at $39,995, the Edge starts at $27,995. Both prices include shipping.

A vehicle that Lincoln has differentiated from Ford is the Lincoln MKT crossover. It has a dramatically different styling compared to its platform sibling the Ford Flex.

Some critics have argued there isn't enough overall differentiation between Lincoln and Ford products to motivate customers to pay a premium for the Lincoln badge. But Farley said Lincoln's advantage is what he dubs: “the customer experience.”

“People don't cross shop luxury at the feature level,” Farley said.

CUTTING THE COUNT

Boosting Lincoln's cachet will mean emphasizing technology and fuel economy in advertising. It also means offering superior customer service, Farley said.

Farley said Lincoln also needs to thin its dealership ranks in metro areas to enhance the viability of surviving stores and to boost the brand's image. As of mid-2009, Ford had 1,189 Lincoln franchises in the United States.

“In major metro markets we have to get our dealer body count down,” Farley said. “And we have to get our dealer throughput up. It's really critical we improve our profitability in the dealerships so that we can get our customer buying experience up.”

Farley declined to say how many Lincoln dealerships Ford intends to shutter. He did say Ford is “aggressively” working with dealers on a voluntary consolidation program.

With Mercury going away by Dec. 31, some 261U.S. Lincoln dealerships currently coupled with Mercury, will be standalones. Most of those will not survive with just Lincoln.

In the meantime, Ford has no plans to sell Lincoln vehicles overseas.

“Why would we want to distract our engineering team on what's needed around the world when we need to get it right here in the U.S.?” Farley said. “The next set of products is about getting it right for the customer.”.

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btw
I saw my first MKT in public the other day
(Yes, I had to go to NetCarShow to make 100% sure AutoNews's photo was the MKT) &
nothing about the vehicle was really Over-the-Top in person -- in fact it looked much more 'tidy' and a bit smaller than I expected -- to the point that my first thought (seen head-on) was, "WAIT, THAT's NOT AN MKX, IS IT?"
 

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The thing is Lincoln is getting criticized a lot with what they have out now, and a lot of people are saying Lincoln is going to die based on what they have now... I say save judgments till the new Lincoln comes out... which I am hoping is soon and is the new MKS

Ford is being pretty secretive on what they are going to do with Lincoln... which I love and hate at the same time... here's to hoping they do a production MKR
You are 100% correct. This nonsense Lincoln bashing is out there as it is the only criticism anyone do to Ford. It is as simple as that.

As Lincoln missed great opportunities? Yes
Wouldn't we all wished better fortunes for such historical brand? Of course

But the first responders to those two questions is the management at Ford.

It doesn't get more spectacular than the turnaround of Ford and the Ford brand. Expect the same for Lincoln . . .
 

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Lincoln is working hard to differentiate itself, even to the extent of exclusive powertrains.
We already know the MKC is coming which will really set the bar high for a premium fuel efficient car, as well as several all new models and hybrids. If a gas price hike happens again, guess who will be the darling in the industry with that lineup?

In addition, plenty of updates or "enhancements" will be enough to keep Lincoln very viable, including plenty of powertrain updates to existing models. Take away the CTS, and Cadillac is hardly anything more special. That means if you add a couple of hot all new products, that changes Lincolns image in a big way.

Ford brand is the biggest and hottest right now.
Lincoln brand can be as well, with just the right products.
 

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Lincoln is working hard to differentiate itself, even to the extent of exclusive powertrains.
We already know the MKC is coming which will really set the bar high for a premium fuel efficient car, as well as several all new models and hybrids. If a gas price hike happens again, guess who will be the darling in the industry with that lineup?

In addition, plenty of updates or "enhancements" will be enough to keep Lincoln very viable, including plenty of powertrain updates to existing models. Take away the CTS, and Cadillac is hardly anything more special. That means if you add a couple of hot all new products, that changes Lincolns image in a big way.

Ford brand is the biggest and hottest right now.
Lincoln brand can be as well, with just the right products.
No.. take away the CTS and Cadillac is NOTHING....

The CTS is all Cadillac has period. the STS is old and has a pretty lame interior.. the DTS... LOL where do I begin!?! the SRX is all over the place and underpowered by comparison, the Escalade has the same stigma the Navigator do and a lot of people hate them just because the ammout of chrome and 24 inch wheels on them


Lets look at each lineup...

MKZ to CTS... CTS wins hands down, just a better car overall
MKS to STS... MKS wins, better interior, better powertrain options, and
MKX to SRX... MKX due to the new powertrain and a much better interior
MKT to .... Nothing
Navigator to Escalade... Escalade due to better engine and interior but Navigator has better tech options
Town Car to DTS... both FAIL
 

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I'd like to see Lincoln get a D2C based Sedan and Coupe/Vert as well as an E8/GRWD based Sedan and drop the CD3 based Z.

C2/3 Entry Level Sedan (Gas/Hybrid/Electric), D2C based Sedan/Coupe/Vert (Gas, Ecoboost), CD4-L based Sedan (Gas, V6[2.7]Hybrid), E8/GRWD based Sedan (Gas/Hybrid).

For the S/CUVs I'm conflicted. I could see them drop the Nav, T, and X to go with with a Kuga based CUV and an Explorer based CUV.

Finally, I'd like a new naming scheme, but am not sold on reviving old names, other than, perhaps, Continental.
 
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