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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #1
a pair of Lincoln articles,
the latter an update with the advantage of a direct reply from Ford.
See if you agree with the overall favorable impression of Ford-Lincoln's plans...



Is Lincoln Abandoning the Luxury Segment? - AutoSavant
10 September 2010
By Charles Krome
Surprisingly, the answer is “yes”—

...What’s new is this interesting indirect quote from the AN story: “Lincoln’s future products will stay in the $35,000 to $55,000 price range, Farley said.”...

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Autosavant Exclusive: Lincoln Product Plan Update - AutoSavant
"... I didn’t expect Lincoln would take such a realistic, common-sense approach to the luxury segments."
10 September 2010
By Charles Krome
...So, while I climbed up on ye olde soapbox in that piece, I also reached out to Ford for some clarification, and this morning, Lincoln’s communication manager, Christian Bokich, reached back.

Here’s the lowdown: Lincoln realizes it has some work to do to bolster its standing in the marketplace, and execs believe the right place to start is in the $35,000-$55,000 price range.
Bokich, who was recently hired by Lincoln from Audi, explicitly touted that German brand’s run of success as a template. As he pointed out, the current Audi renaissance started in the same part of the market—think Audi A4 and the original TT—and by first establishing itself in the lower reaches of the lux segments, Audi was able to raise its reputation—and sales—through slow but steady expansion...

...It’s hard to say if Lincoln’s Audi-esque plan to take things one step at a time will bring a similarly Audi-esque performance in the marketplace, but the brand’s decision not to overreach itself in the near-term future looks like a good one...

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The Spaminator
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Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

Thought they were going Audi like to begin with. Now that they have am Audi exec, that conferms what i thought.

We'll be seeing that compact Lincoln soon. They want to go after that A4 market.

As for the $35k to 55k market. Well I know thats wrong for the Navigator already starts at $57. If Wingsnut information about an updated Navigator for MY12 is still true, then we will probably see a $60k Lincoln by next year.
 

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Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

Ford seems to respect Audi in many ways.
It does not make a lot of sense to roll out an MKC compact luxury, and then immediately follow with a $100K Lexus fighter. It has taken Ford about 8 - 10 years to get where they are in terms of product freshenings, tech, quality, etc. Lincoln now really needs a major revamping in the long term, with mega captial invested, something they still need to get. In the short term, they will continuously improve what they got, with some new, all in preparation for major new in the long term.

In 4-5 years, I suspect you will hardly recognize the brand.
 

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Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

I like the direction the Lincoln conversation is taking inside Ford. As for the $35k to 55k market figures, the journalists should not IMO take this so literal.
 

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Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

I think they mean the NEW small products are going to be between 35k to 55k

the MKT and MKS already go past 55k if loaded to the max
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

They were talking base prices.

Lincoln does not have a sedan (yet) that starts at $55K.
^THAT^ is very different, Wings!!
Checking my own ideal lineups (that I actually madeup price ranges for a while ago);
it went from $33k lowest-baseprice for a C-car (both MKFocusCabrio or MKG/KuGa... ...your choice!)
to $49-55k highest-base for either a nextgen MKT or TouringCar (re-visioned TownCar replacement) depending on which ideal lineup version I consult.

Top-FullyLoaded-Prices ranged from $48k to $70+ (respectively)
not counting the "Panther/V.I.P. - ultimate Lincoln roadcar 2.7v6 EB or hybrid; 4.0inline6, 5.0v8 na&EB. $70-99k"
that I was proposing as the start of a higher-than-Lincoln subBrand

^so^
now I'll be fine with all this

BUT
did FoMoCo omit explaining this just to see us online fans/fanatics JUMP'n'twitch??? :yikes:



OTOH
I think they mean the NEW small products are going to be between 35k to 55k

the MKT and MKS already go past 55k if loaded to the max
I'd feel just fine about ^this^ TOO, Andrew
I would **LOVE** to see the Lincoln C-segment vehicles be around $50k fully-completely-lavishly loaded
(& set the stage for the GRwdP top-end at $99k
)
 

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Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

At 35K, the compact Lincoln can not be the Focus clone that Mercury might have received.
For 35K, I see only 2 options
1. hardtop convertable with 2.0 ecoboost
2. Grand C-max with Lincoln Concept C design theme and ecoboost 2.0
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

At 35K, the compact Lincoln can not be the Focus clone that Mercury might have received.
For 35K, I see only 2 options
1. hardtop convertable with 2.0 ecoboost
2. Grand C-max with Lincoln Concept C design theme and ecoboost 2.0
imho(crossreference)
3. a 4seater TT genre (leaving a very car-like & ASAP! MKG/KuGa to be the choice for roomier smallness )


(( off topic
IF there is an existing Tracer/C557 prototype-whatever,
wonder what I'd have to do to acquire it???)
 

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Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

(( off topic
IF there is an existing Tracer/C557 prototype-whatever,
wonder what I'd have to do to acquire it???)
Just pry the Mercury badges off of a Milan, and crazy glue them on to the new Focus.
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

Just pry the Mercury badges off of a Milan, and crazy glue them on to the new Focus.
unfortunately

there's no " M E R C U R Y " lettering badge - I'll hafta get that custom made
&
I'd also want a custom version of the M/waterfall/whatever-it-was logo - solid billet polished-aluminum disk with the 'glyph' carved out of it
 

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Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

I'm hoping Lincoln does release the Concept C. I know many dislike it, but I think it could be a great car for Lincoln. They need something distinctive and it certainly fits the bill. Rename it the Zephyr, (i know the MKZ was the Zephyr, but the Concept C has more of the look of the original split wing 30's-40's Zephyr), and show adds on TV of the original and the new Zephyr.

It could be a huge success for Lincoln. At the same time come out with a more traditional small car (the Tracer only Lincolnized). Why not come out with more than 1 model? I bet both were in the works anyway.
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #13
Re: Updated Report on Lincoln's Plans - AutoSavant

...At the same time come out with a more traditional small car (the Tracer only Lincolnized). Why not come out with more than 1 model? I bet both were in the works anyway.
VERY Interesting idea, Chester

one that even I (who *detests* the C concept) could mostly go along with

...at least for the sake of 'pure science' - to determine the taste-level of the sheeple - I mean American people...
however
I believe Ford still can't afford to do 'pure science' :(
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #14
Re: Update2: Report on Lincoln's Plans - FreePress

"...Ford has appointed veteran powertrain engineer Scott Tobin as Lincoln's top engineer and product development executive to lead Lincoln's product evolution, and he is eager to make a difference..." - FreePress
Posted: Sept. 20, 2010
BY BRENT SNAVELY
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
"...Derrick Kuzak, head of Ford's global product development, said future styling, features and technology will further differentiate Lincoln from Ford.

In addition to unique exterior and interior styling, Kuzak said the new Lincolns will include exclusive features such as retractable roofs, more refined computer-controlled chassis and a higher level of touch-screen controls for navigation and climate control.

He noted that Ford has successfully differentiated smaller models with common structures such as the European Focus, Mazda 3 and Volvo S40...

...Major changes are also in store for Lincoln dealers preparing for life after Mercury.

Ford has 276 Lincoln Mercury dealers and 1,712 dealers with Ford, Lincoln and Mercury franchises. Ford has invited them all to Dearborn on Oct. 4 to talk about how to improve the customer experience.

"We are going to work like you have never seen Ford people work to get ... the dealership network sized right," Farley said.


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Note_
as recently as THIS Aug. 16, 2010 (Media.FORD.com)
FoMoCo was announcing what Mr. Tobin

was going to do for the Edge as Vehicle Line Director for North American cars and crossovers.

----

NOTE_2

Anyone know when Lincoln (last) had its own head of Engineering and Product Development??
 

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as for note 2 2b2, it has been a long time
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #16
Updated ReportS on Lincoln's Plans - FreePress again

^ Thanks, Andrew - had that feeling
&
today I came across another article that mentions it too

Lincoln needs major changes to compete in luxury market - FreePress
Posted: Sept. 20, 2010
BY MARK PHELAN
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST
...Every successful luxury brand has unique styling, technology and powertrains. Not every model has all those characteristics, but offering at least some is the cost of doing business. Without them, you don't get a seat at the grown-ups' table with Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes...

...Lincoln will soon have its own product development team, however. It'll be the first time in decades a core group of engineers, designers and product planners is responsible for Lincoln and nothing else.

That's good, but they will need sufficient tools and money to succeed...

...Lincoln's move into the luxury market is doomed unless Ford allows Tobin's team to create vehicles that cannot be mistaken for Fords -- from the inside, outside or behind the wheel.


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After witnessing what was done with Ford, I think that those who write off Lincoln as a hopeless cause, are in for a big surprise.

We are starting to see the resources that Ford will pour into Lincolns rebirth. Having their own, independent team, is HUGE !!! For as long as I have been an enthusiast, I cannot remember this happening. Not only are they having their own team, but the people involved (that we know so far) sound good.

The fun part of this, is that Ford is such a desirable place to work, now, that they are able to attract the best that the industry has to offer. This is the atmosphere that Mulally created, and will hopefully be his legacy, for decades to come.
 

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This is great news, I am glad to see they are getting their own team... this is something that Lincoln needed a real long time ago and it should have never gone away
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #20
Re: Updated ReportS on Lincoln's Plans - Automotive News

Thanks to our old friend, "megeebee"...

Lincoln to ax 200 metro stores - Automotive News
Survivors must upgrade to match premium rivals
Jamie LaReau
September 27, 2010 - 12:01 am EST
DETROIT -- In an attempt to inject more luxury into its last remaining premium brand, Ford Motor Co. wants to cut at least 200 Lincoln franchises, or 40 percent of its dealers in major metropolitan areas.

Ford will require substantial dealership upgrades intended to raise Lincoln's game in terms of customer experience to the level of such luxury brands as Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. This push is being driven by luxury consumers who say that Lincoln doesn't match its competitors.

Multiple sources said Ford is expected to outline the plan at a two-day Lincoln dealer meeting that begins Monday, Oct. 4, in Dearborn, Mich...

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