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Ford shows flagship Lincoln in overhaul: sources
Reuters

October 4, 2010
By Deepa Seetharaman and Bernie Woodall




DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co is developing a flagship, large sedan that harkens back to the Continental as part of its effort to overhaul the lagging Lincoln brand, two dealers briefed on the plans said on Monday.

Ford executives began meeting with about 900 representatives of 700 of its U.S. Lincoln dealerships at its Dearborn, Michigan headquarters on Monday.

The meeting is part of an effort by Ford to revamp its Lincoln brand and make it a competitor with luxury market leaders like Volkswagen AG's Audi and Mercedes by Daimler AG.

Under the plan to remake Lincoln, Ford has said it will roll out seven new or redesigned vehicles starting with the recently released 2011 MKX crossover.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker has not disclosed details about the other six products in the Lincoln pipeline or the timing of their release.

Ford spokesman Christian Bokich said dealers at Monday's meeting had been shown concept-stage images of some of the upcoming vehicles without discussion of details such as the size or the names of the vehicles under development.

Steve Kain, general manager of a Ford and Lincoln dealer in London, Kentucky, who was briefed on Monday's meeting, said he supported the idea of bringing back a Continental-inspired sedan.

"It's about revitalizing the whole Lincoln franchise," said Kain. "It's no different when Ford did away with the Ford Taurus for a year and a half. They refreshed the vehicles and it's been a great seller since then."

'A REALISTIC TONE'

Automakers generally closely guard the details of future vehicle launches from competitors. But in this case, Ford is looking to convince its 1,187 Lincoln dealers that it can revive the brand in part by attracting younger buyers with new vehicles and better standards for customer service.

In addition to reducing the number of Lincoln dealerships to improve the profitability of remaining stores, Ford wants its dealerships to invest in new facilities, it has said.

"There was a realistic tone presented tonight about where the brand is and where we want the brand to be," Bokich said.

Lincoln was a top-selling luxury brand in the United States until the 1990s, and the Continental sedans that date back to the late 1930s long had a special cachet for their distinctive styling and features. The Continental was dropped from the Lincoln line-up earlier this decade.

By 2009, Lincoln sales had dropped to just under 83,000 vehicles in the United States, less than half of the sales for luxury market leader, Lexus.

But because Lincoln had far more dealers than Toyota Motor Corp (Tokyo:7203.T - News), the number of sales at the average Lincoln store was less than one-tenth the total for Lexus, crimping profitability for franchise operators.

Another problem, analysts said, is that Lincoln has struggled to attract younger buyers. The average buyer is almost 59 years old, compared to 48 for Audi, according to industry tracking site TrueCar.com


Full text (but sadly no pics) at the link
 

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The Spaminator
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

Man I wish we already had a picture. I wonder if they will do the Audi way with a standard AWD or do something with RWD.
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

My hats is off to Allan Mulally, Mark Fields, Derrick Kuzak, Jim Farley and their teams.

Fast acting indeed!!
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

and people were saying Lincoln was lost. All in good time. I hear this new flagship is really gonna be stepping on some toes when it comes to amenities and luxury packaging. I can't wait to see this. Also I hear Lincoln will be going in a new design direction that will be reflected in the new flagship.
 

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Mercury C557
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

^ well, IF they're going to use the classic Continentals as inspiration, it'd have to bring out a new style theme
&but
I saw someone say that the Continental NAME was mentioned during the meeting as one of the top 3 nameplates customers associate with Lincoln but they didn't actually say they were going to build the car ... which doesn't make sense to me;
however
supposedly there might have been "some side meetings"...



edit/oh!
since the info leaked so far doesn't meet the level of detail (at least one prototype + clay models) that I'd require to invest substantially in my (ficticious) dealership;
unless this story changes/grows, I expect a good percentage to look for a new Brand to sell.
So far this seems to me (from a dealer's perspective) as more of a gamble than a business proposition
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

Great news :) .
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

Finally...some news about a flagship. I'm wondering if the picture with "November" is followed by 2011, 2012, or 2013!
Maybe some specs will leak out soon.
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

I'm wondering if what was shown wasn't simply the MCE of the MkS?
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

I wish I was there so I could run up on stage and pull the tarp off.
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

Did they show pics of the new CUV?
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

Ok. This news is confusing. A new flagship Lincoln? Ummm, is possible a revamped and re-styled 2011 MK S???? Nobody hear somthing about a new RWD platform, so, this car is a FWD or AWD car. That picture is the "new" flagship sedan??? If that picture is the new car, the front end edges looks hard and rectilinear... the roof looks very large ( i think for a minute that this cover car is a new MK T Limousine...).... All is very confusing

I hope Lincoln get a new design languaje...is obvious that the actual style theme has a bad reception by the customers.
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

LOL . . . Sorry guys!! You are giving to much credence to that pic. That is simply a picture of an MKZ under wraps from the LA Autoshow of 2008 that I found by Googling "Lincoln under wraps". LOL

It is only there to illustrate the article. I never meant to cause such confusion . . . honestly. I wish today was April 1st.

*********************

I was also thinking that this may be a MCE of the MKS but then I decided against it because: (i) why would Ford make a Concept vehicle out of a refresh? and; (ii) why would non-Ford sources not simply said that they were shown an MKS refresh and it was awesome?. It's counterintuitive.

The lack of details is frustrating but I am sure we will know more once the auto show circuit restarts this coming winter.
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

I must see this beast
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

LOL . . . Sorry guys!! You are giving to much credence to that pic. That is simply a picture of an MKZ under wraps from the LA Autoshow of 2008 that I found by Googling "Lincoln under wraps". LOL

It is only there to illustrate the article. I never meant to cause such confusion . . . honestly. I wish today was April 1st.

*********************

I was also thinking that this may be a MCE of the MKS but then I decided against it because: (i) why would Ford make a Concept vehicle out of a refresh? and; (ii) why would non-Ford sources not simply said that they were shown an MKS refresh and it was awesome?. It's counterintuitive.

The lack of details is frustrating but I am sure we will know more once the auto show circuit restarts this coming winter.
Man you had me going I was studying that picture like crazy trying to make out some basic shapes...ugh!
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

I'm sorry, but the MKS is not a proper flagship for a luxury brand. It's not a horrible car by any means, but it's certainly not in the same league as the S-Class, 7-series, and Lexus LS. If the MKS remains the flagship, Lincoln will have a tough time shaking the "Ford's Buick" image.
 

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Mercury C557
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

...since the info leaked so far doesn't meet the level of detail (at least one prototype + clay models) that I'd require to invest substantially in my (ficticious) dealership;
unless this story changes/grows, I expect a good percentage to look for a new Brand to sell.
So far this seems to me (from a dealer's perspective) as more of a gamble than a business proposition
don't have hardly any free time until this evening
but
just heard on local tv news that FoMoCo is eliminating a THIRD of their Lincoln dealers (think they meant the stand-alone ones)
 

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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

I'm still trying to analyze all this but let's look at it from this angle. Unless I'm missing something, I see where the trademark MKC is not "Live" anymore but LS, MKR, MKN and Continental as well as the original Lincoln Continental are "Live". Has anyone ever thought of the idea that Lincoln might merge MKT and Navigator in light of the livery news? Ford has the Flex and Explorer which are similar (not the same) but similar so MKT and MKN are a possibility. Also the thought of the longer wheelbase MKT might bring about a sedan that could be called Continental. From what I'm reading, people (including myself) prefer names over MKsomething unless they are all grouped into The MK Series which might be less confusing. Then all you need to remember are Z,S,X and T. Imagine if they had an MKE and fit the vehicle between the MKS and MKX? LOL hahaha.(for those of you who are a little slow at this, please put together the last letters of these 3 MK's........) They say That sells so maybe it's not a bad thing. Maybe that is what Lincoln needs to do is have the MK Series, The C (which would be another group but i'm not sure what to call it) and The Continentals......with the new tag line "The Worlds Most Distinguished Motorcars". Isn't the "Smarter than Luxury" thing too cartoonish? "I'm smaaaaarter than the aaaaaverage bear BoBo" It's too Yogi Bear isn't it? Time will tell if it works i guess.

Please keep in mind that Ford Motor Company said the Mercury will be here for a very long time. Forget the rumors of its closure, we have a Mercury Focus etc. So I am guessing that there will be a Continental if you read between the lines. AND if I hear 1 more time that "7 new or redesigned models blah blah blah i'll scream. That song is getting old. (sorry for the outburst) We want to see some drawings here. Ford doesn't have to show everything at once but a few of some kind would be good to help with our confidence in Lincoln.

But honestly, don't tease us with a show car with all the right creases and contours only to get so diluted for production that the 2 cars look totally different. Examples are Aviator Concept/MKX and MKT Concept/MKT. The concepts have a better "Lincoln Look".
 

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Mercury C557
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Lincoln's new flagship sedan shown to dealers

just saw this from campbell53 @ BON who was (apparently) at the presentation

"timeline of re-dos and refreshes. New smaller cuv. No small car and no rwd flagship. Kinda disappointing really. Focus on mkz and Mkx. Gunning for Lexus."

continuing:
campbell53 said:
people there is no car continental or otherwise to talk about. Unless Lincoln lied to us, the vehicles we have now plus a small cuv is all there is.
but there's that "7 vehicles" stuff...
- MKG/KuGa cuvlet
- MKZ
- MKX
- MKS (as flagship part 2?)
- MKT
- Navi (reportedly continuing)
so
if no C-car
& no GRwdP
Could the 7th be this?:
Lincoln Is Considering an All-New Luxury Pickup, Source Says - PickupTrucks.com
Posted by Mike Levine | October 5, 2010


&
wescoent said:
Everything is in flux right now, but there are some balls in the air that could result in RWD Lincolns...
based just on ^this^
it sounds like someone saying dinner tonight is going to be great...
...when they haven't gone grocery shopping yet OR even finished making their list


but HEY!
their kitchen-remodel is pretty much done
 
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