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Lincoln: Dead Brand Walking, or Signs of Life?
Written by: Steve Abrams on December 3 2012 5:13 PM
Read more: http://blogs.motortrend.com/lincoln-dead-brand-walking-or-signs-of-life-27023.html#ixzz2EEa4cMRw



What’s next?

So why didn’t Ford terminate Lincoln at the same time as Mercury? When Mercury was euthanized, there were only a handful of stand-alone dealers, with the rest paired with Lincoln. Because the bulk of the dealers still had product to sell, Ford didn’t have to deal with the sort of massive payouts that GM had when Oldsmobile was put down a decade ago. In the last two years, Ford has pressed the remaining dealers to spend money on upgrades. With limited Lincoln sales, a number of dealers have opted to sell out, further thinning the ranks.

In recent months, Ford has announced plans to begin selling Lincolns in China, and marketing boss Jim Farley has been given overall responsibility along with his Ford duties. While Cadillac has always had its own executives who were focused on the brand, Lincoln has never had the equivalent of a general manager totally dedicated to promoting its interests. Unfortunately, changing the letterhead on the press releases doesn’t seem likely to be a particularly effective strategy to convince BMW, Audi, or Mercedes shoppers to choose an MKZ instead.

There are a couple of possible future scenarios for Lincoln. Farley could decide to go all-in and give the brand some dedicated, world-class products designed to compete with the most successful import competitors and Cadillac that aren’t shared with the Blue Oval stores. Sales could jump to their highest levels in more than two decades, justifying the continued investment in unique products and marketing. But that doesn’t seem likely given the recent pronouncements.

The more likely scenario is that the brand hangs around for another four to five years before being quietly shuttered if sales from the revamped lineup do not turn around Lincoln’s fortunes. In the interim, Ford brand vehicles will continue to improve to the point where they can justify the same premium sticker prices demanded by Lincoln. At the same time, we’ll probably see even more attrition among the dealers, leaving only the strongest stores in place.

Sometime around 2015-16, Mark Fields, now as CEO of Ford Motor Company after succeeding Alan Mulally upon his retirement, will announce the completion of his predecessor’s original plan as Ford Motor Company becomes totally dedicated to one brand. The remaining Lincoln dealers will swap out their signage and begin selling Fords.

Those upgraded stores will be the benchmark for the rest of the dealer body. From the base Fiesta S to Taurus Titanium and F-150 Limited, Ford will cover the same product spectrum that General Motors hits with four brands with lower costs and higher margins.

This is, of course, all pure speculation, and Lincoln could veer off on an entirely different path — especially if the Chinese take to Lincolns the way they did to Buick, but I doubt they will. Henry Leland’s legacy will probably be carried forward exclusively by Cadillac, which appears to be doing the right things to compete as a 21st-century luxury brand.

- By Steve Abrams

Story continued after the jump above.
 

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FIN Moderator
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Ford is just not serious enough. My God, they have Farley leading this reinvention. There's their problem. He's a goof just like his cousin Chris.
 

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If Ford were to seriously close Lincoln, what would they do with that new design studio? OR that new office they setup in NYC for marketing? Or Lincoln Financial Services? I seriously think everyone WANTS Lincoln to fail and keeps posting about how Mulally will do it.
 

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The kicker here is that as I scroll through the blog post on Motor Trend I am struck by the fact that I still, to this day, like the LS better then anything currently offered. :facepalm:
 

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...This is, of course, all pure speculation...
speculation withOUT all that much thought behind it IMHO

...and Lincoln could veer off on an entirely different path...
shame MT couldn't bother to think of a different path...
...of course WE at FiN have Mission:LINCOLN! and dozens of other IDEA threads


...keeps posting about how Mulally will do it.
I reached my quota of reposts
LINK to why I don't believe Mr. M. is seriously considering anything but SUPPORTING Lincoln
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You have to admit no matter how positive your are that Lincoln will succeed that Ford who have an easier time with closure if the brand does not move in the right direction than many times before. Ford's toughest competition for Lincoln will not be Cadillac, BMW or MB it will be the notable Titanium level offerings for less money right next door at your local Ford dealers.
 

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I don't believe Ford would ever be dedicated to one (Ford) brand. No full line manufacturer is.
If Lincoln doesn't turn around Ford will could decide she's damaged goods and put the brand down. But they'd likely then either launch a new luxury brand or rename Lincoln for a fresh start. They won't walk away from the luxury market.
A titanium level Ford doesn't provide the same prestige as a luxury brand name.
 

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I seriously think everyone WANTS Lincoln to fail and keeps posting about how Mulally will do it.
Nope...you have it backwards. We want Lincoln to succeed and to succeed with vehicles that are aspirational. We just don't see that happening yet. The task becomes harder when the head of the company does not seem fully commited to a long term Lincoln brand. I would rather Lincoln prove Mulally wrong.
 

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You have to admit no matter how positive your are that Lincoln will succeed that Ford who have an easier time with closure if the brand does not move in the right direction than many times before. Ford's toughest competition for Lincoln will not be Cadillac, BMW or MB it will be the notable Titanium level offerings for less money right next door at your local Ford dealers.

1) I thought you only hate on Ford on GM Inisde News and Toyota Nation. What's-up-with-dat-dog!?

2) If GM can have Chevy, Buick and Cadillac, IMHO, I don't see why Ford can't have Lincoln, its about product everyone knows that.

3) I don't think Titanium takes sales from Lincoln, I think it pulls (another $50/month payment) out of people that were already looking at a Ford. If I want a Lincoln, or think I want a Lincoln, I'm not at the Ford Store.
 

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But then a super hyper-lux version of a Ford like Titanium still will not have the same prestige/opulence as a Lincoln. Ford is for the most part basic transportation with some frills etc while Lincoln is (well should be) on the upscale level. When you request a limousine to attend a formal function, you don't want to ride in a Ford do you? No, you want ride in style with a luxurious Lincoln.
 

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I know we all detest the Autoblah, err, blog, but this is an interesting article on how VW is run!

Here is one quote that really caught my with regard to the current Ford/Lincoln arrangement:
All of VW's brands (VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Lamborghini, Ducati, Porsche, Bugatti, MAN, Scania, and VW Commercial) are treated as stand-alone companies. They have their own boards of directors, their own profit & loss statements, and their own annual reports. They even have their own separate design, engineering and manufacturing facilities. Yes, they do share some platforms and powertrains and purchasing, but other than that they're on their own.
http://www.autoblog.com/2012/12/06/how-volkswagen-is-run-like-no-other-car-company/
 

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3) I don't think Titanium takes sales from Lincoln, I think it pulls (another $50/month payment) out of people that were already looking at a Ford. If I want a Lincoln, or think I want a Lincoln, I'm not at the Ford Store.
Absolutely. And that's what many people don't understand when claiming that "you could also just buy a Fusion for less $$ instead..".:facepalm:
 

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But then a super hyper-lux version of a Ford like Titanium still will not have the same prestige/opulence as a Lincoln. Ford is for the most part basic transportation with some frills etc while Lincoln is (well should be) on the upscale level.
The Ford Fusion Titanium is not really that basic, it really comes very close to the standard 2.0T MKZ.






I'm hoping they build the more exclusive upscale Lincolns that they are supposedly considering in the (near) future.
 

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The Ford Fusion Titanium is not really that basic, it really comes very close to the standard 2.0T MKZ.






I'm hoping they build the more exclusive upscale Lincolns that they are supposedly considering in the (near) future.
Dammm... !!!! that Fusion is gorgeous... ridiculously beautiful!!!!... If you press me to take a decision, i buy the Fusion over the MKZ!. if only the MK Z had a better interior... real (that looks real) wood, leather in the dash, chrome, more options to combine colors and textures... but is a simply good looking interior, but not a luxury one. Is here where the MK Z lost the premium category. Maybe the 3,7 lt V6 atract buyers , but i could be happy, very happy with the Fusion Titanium picture there.
 

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1) If I want a Lincoln, or think I want a Lincoln, I'm not at the Ford Store.
Not in my neck of the woods. You can stand next to the MZK and be within spitting distance of a Fusion.

For Lincoln to buy into the 'It's a Lincoln' catchphrase and demand a better premium for thier vehicles, it needs a real flagship and halo car to let people know what a Lincoln can be.
 

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Dammm... !!!! that Fusion is gorgeous... ridiculously beautiful!!!!... If you press me to take a decision, i buy the Fusion over the MKZ!. if only the MK Z had a better interior... real (that looks real) wood, leather in the dash, chrome, more options to combine colors and textures... but is a simply good looking interior, but not a luxury one. Is here where the MK Z lost the premium category. Maybe the 3,7 lt V6 atract buyers , but i could be happy, very happy with the Fusion Titanium picture there.
Lincoln has been using real wood in their cars since about 2003. My LS has real wood in it and at first I thought it was fake till I took the shifter out to put in the SST shifter.
 

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They should have used the Fusion design as the new direction for Lincoln. It's a better looking car.
Then people would argue it looks too much like a Ford or Aston Martin.
 

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So, after Mulally is out and Fields is in, do you guys think Ford will start pumping a serious amount of cash into Lincoln(if it's still alive)?
 
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