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Mercury C557
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Why Cadillac and Mercedes need new model names - Detroit Free Press
By Mark Phelan, November 16, 2014


It was well past time for Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz to adopt new naming systems, despite complaints from some of the brands' followers.

There's no evidence to support the people who decry Mercedes' abandonment of names like M-class, or the fanatics who still insist Cadillac's success would be assured if it dusted off a few old chrome badges that read "Eldorado" and "Seville."

History suggests that a car's success is unrelated to its name. The difference between the iconic, irreplaceable "Mustang" and disgraced "Maverick" lies in their engineering and design, not names. The claim that Edsel was doomed by its name is a myth. The brand had a premium price and debuted during a deep recession: a recipe for disaster...

...Names don't bestow greatness on a vehicle, but a good naming system can enforce logic and discipline on a product line.

Mercedes' 2014 model guide looks like a can of alphabet soup exploded, strewing the kitchen with random groups of letters, numbers and words.

The CL, for instance is a big, top-of-the-line, luxury coupe. Prices run from $162,000 to $215,000. A CLA is an entry-level compact sedan you can get for $29,900. The CLS is a sleek four-door starting at $65,990, while a C-class sedan goes for $35,800...

...Whether Cadillac's new nomenclature has staying power may be clear when we see how the brand handles names for its new crossover SUVs, starting with the 2016 SRX that goes on sale next year. It needs a name that can set the tone for a family of SUVs that will grow to include a smaller compact and a bigger family hauler with three rows of seats...

...Lincoln and Infiniti adopted new naming systems over the last few years. Neither has much to show for it yet...

...The problem with Lincoln's names is that they don't make sense," Brinley said. "Mercedes and Cadillac are creating structures where you can look at the name and understand where that vehicle is in the brand hierarchy.

I don't know what to make of Infiniti's new names, largely because I can't remember them, or figure out what vehicles they apply to, and why. I'm pretty confident that starting them all with a letter — "Q" — already associated with another brand (Audi SUVs) was a mistake, though.

Audi and BMW perfected the formula for luxury names — at least to the degree that everybody tries to mimic them. They use brief sets of numbers and letters to define and identify each vehicle. Anybody with a mild interest in either brand can see the badge and have a good sense of vehicle it refers to and its place in the model line.

If you can say that about Mercedes and Cadillac in five years, you can call their new names a success.

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thread title note: my abbrev's....
CTco = Cadillac Transport Company
MPh - Mark Phelan
the rest R obv(ious)

 

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"History suggests that a car's success is unrelated to its name."
followed by

"The problem with Lincoln's names is that they don't make sense"
So which is it?

Marketing is important, I think names are more important than the first quote implies but certainly the car itself is more important to it's ultimate success. If you're going alphanumeric then I'm not so sure the scheme has to make any sense in the big picture, though it certainly can't hurt if it does.
 

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I think if Lincoln decides to fix their names, it should be a mixture of letters and numbers, tied to segments and class of vehicle.

MK = Cars
Real Name = Flagship Car
MX = CUV/SUV
Real Names = Flagship CUV/SUV

Coupes and Convertibles based on sedans will maintain MK: i.e. MK5 Coupe or MK3 Coupe

Roadsters and Convertible not based on a sedan gets a Real Name.

SEGMENT INDICATOR:
B-Segment = 2
C-Segment = 3
C/D-Segment = 5
D-Segment = 6
Large-Segment = 7


CAR NAMES:
New Compact Lincoln Sedan = MK3
MKZ = MK5
MKS = MK6
Continental = Continental

SUV/CUV NAMES:
MKC = MX3
MKX = MX5
Aviator = Aviator
Navigator = Navigator
 

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I think if Lincoln decides to fix their names, it should be a mixture of letters and numbers, tied to segments and class of vehicle.

MK = Cars
Real Name = Flagship Car
MX = CUV/SUV
Real Names = Flagship CUV/SUV
Its gotta be all or nothing with alphanumeric naming. Its almost as if they're saying with Continental and Navigator that the rest of the lineup aren't worthy.

Coupes and Convertibles based on sedans will maintain MK: i.e. MK5 Coupe or MK3 Coupe

Roadsters and Convertible not based on a sedan gets a Real Name.

SEGMENT INDICATOR:
B-Segment = 2
C-Segment = 3
C/D-Segment = 5
D-Segment = 6
Large-Segment = 7


CAR NAMES:
New Compact Lincoln Sedan = MK3
MKZ = MK5
MKS = MK6
Continental = Continental

SUV/CUV NAMES:
MKC = MX3
MKX = MX5
Aviator = Aviator
Navigator = Navigator
MX is to closely associated with Mazda. I suggest the following alternative to real names:

As you did above, the segment is defined by a number MK3 or MK5 and so on. They do they same with cars/sedans as with CUVs but the add a small x to crossovers MK3x would take the place of the MKC, MK4x would take the place of the MKX while the MKZ would become MK4 and the MKS would become the MK5. They could alternately replace the number with a letter so long as the vehicle increases in size as the letter advances through the alphabet. I think this works because as with Black Label, they're using a black Z or C in the otherwise chrome name badge to signify BL and will likely use red for Red Label and so on.

I still honestly believe names are the way to go. Lincoln wants to differentiate themselves and names would be another way to do so. Of course its obvious that without class leading vehicles to go with names, alphanumeric or otherwise nothing else matters.
 

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Cars
Sub-compact sedan - MK1
Sub-compact coupe/convert - MK2
Compact sedan - MK3
Compact coupe/convert - MK4
MKZ - MK5
MKZ coupe/convert - MK6
MKS - MK7
MKS coupe/convert - MK8
Range-topper - MK9

CUVs
Sub-compact CUV - MKX1
MKC - MKX3
MKX - MKX5
3-row CUV - MKX7
Navigator - Maybe MKX9?
 

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Cars
Sub-compact sedan - MK1
Sub-compact coupe/convert - MK2
Compact sedan - MK3
Compact coupe/convert - MK4
MKZ - MK5
MKZ coupe/convert - MK6
MKS - MK7
MKS coupe/convert - MK8
Range-topper - MK9

CUVs
Sub-compact CUV - MKX1
MKC - MKX3
MKX - MKX5
3-row CUV - MKX7
Navigator - Maybe MKX9?
I am not sure about the MKX# and less with the MKX9, the Navi name should stay
 

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I am sure BMW has beaten back all efforts a single-digit idenfication of model class. The moment Lincoln announces an MK3 to compete again the 3-series, they will get sued to oblivion.
 

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I think Lincoln needs more cars first, right now we don't really know what their product spread will look like so you can't give anything a hierarchy so I don't expect Lincoln to do anything this decade, if anything at all. They need allot more flexibility.

I rather like the MK vs MX idea, but you can't use numbers with those names because you're basically adding M to the front of BMW names, and they even use "M" as a brand. And this idea is basically lifted from Caddy anyway which is not a cool thing to do.

And Navigator gets to keep it's name because it's not really a Lincoln, it's a Navigator, a completely separate customer and brand on its own. That's also true of Escalade.
 

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I think Lincoln needs more cars first, right now we don't really know what their product spread will look like so you can't give anything a hierarchy so I don't expect Lincoln to do anything this decade, if anything at all. They need allot more flexibility.
We may not know what their product spread will be well enough to setup a useful naming structure but they damn sure better. It would be better IMO to make any naming changes in advance, not after the fact some time down the line.
 

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I like the idea of the MK# naming scheme, but switching to hierarchical system will just make Lincoln look like a copycat -- especially with Cadillac's recent change. I still believe the best way to do it at this point is use a combination of the already (somewhat) established "MK" names in addition to actual names. Keep the MKZ, MKC, and MKX (also an "MKA" compact car?) as the "core" models. Bring back names for the "specialty" vehicles -- i.e. Continental flagship, Aviator & Navigator SUVs, <insert cool name> sports car.

Though this is coming from someone who didn't find too much wrong with Cadillac's ATS, CTS, SRX, etc names...
 

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We may not know what their product spread will be well enough to setup a useful naming structure but they damn sure better. It would be better IMO to make any naming changes in advance, not after the fact some time down the line.
Lincoln has already stated that to compete they 'must' align their product offering with the competition so the future lineup is clear. And you are right, Lincoln should make the foundational name change now while the lineup is small, so it can expand with logical names instead of having to take on the expense of rebranding models with new names like MB, Infiniti and Cadillac are in the process of doing now.
 

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By the time Lincoln is ready for a new naming strategy, they'll be on the next-generation MKX, MKS, MKZ, MKC so they might as well wait for that transition instead of doing it right now when they are still formulating a product strategy long term.

And Mercedes is renaming one of it's bestsellers, not a big deal really.
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #15
By the time Lincoln is ready for a new naming strategy, they'll be on the next-generation MKX, MKS, MKZ, MKC so they might as well wait for that transition instead of doing it right now when they are still formulating a product strategy long term....
well, depending on what they do with the MKS-replacement
& WHEN .............. NAIAS? NYC?

they might need those plans firmed up P.D.Q.
 

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Continental, Versailles, Town Car, Cosmopolitan, Mark, Aviator, Blackwood, Capri, Navigator, Zephyr, Premier....

Why that soup of letters for Lincoln?

I insist, names.... not letters
 

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Continental, Versailles, Town Car, Cosmopolitan, Mark, Aviator, Blackwood, Capri, Navigator, Zephyr, Premier....

Why that soup of letters for Lincoln?

I insist, names.... not letters
While I don't necessarily agree with the usage of all of the names listed above, I agree model names are the way to go. They help establish the identity of an individual model apart from the rest of a brand's line-up (which is NOT a bad thing - despite what some think).

Also, names seem to work OK for Maserati, Land Rover, Porsche, etc.
 
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