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What Lincoln Lacks Is A Halo

By Todd DeMezaContributing WriterAugust 15th, 2011

If there are any faults that the Lexus ES350 has, it has to be its “lesser” sibling—the Toyota Camry. While the Lexus will have a bit more power, slightly nicer features and some better quality interior pieces than the Toyota, most people probably won’t see where the premium in price goes between both cars when fully loaded. Luckily, The majority of Lexus’s lineup is fairly unique compared to the bread and butter Toyota range.

The same can’t be said about Lincoln. While they do make nice luxury models, their roots can still be traced back to its Ford DNA. Autoblog says that the company is starting a new design office for more exiting cars to help differentiate itself. What the company really needs is simply a halo car. Halo cars, or flagships, are the unique model that sends people into the showrooms for a look, yet might them to sample other models and find something they like.

There are two types of flagships that Lincoln could build that would be different enough to get people into the Lincoln dealerships and out with something like an MKZ.

A Full-On Executive Sedan—the German automakers like BMW and Mercedes both make huge, executive sedans. Cars like the S-class and 7-series can pull double duty by being driven by the owner just as well as being used as a chauffeured, hired car. The Lincoln Town Car is the closest the brand has, but the old Panther platform (shared with the fleet-loving Ford Crown Vic) is going away for good. This will give Ford and Lincoln an opportune time to come out with something over the top, much like Hyundai has done with the Equus. It would also help tie the brand back to its rear-wheel drive limo roots.

A “Personal Luxury” Grand Tourer—if Lincoln had an its historical motoring icon, it’s the Lincoln Continentals. Before the name was hijacked for the regular models, they represented exciting two-door styling and great grand-touring characteristics. Starting in the late ‘60s the Mark IIIs were a sales success, giving ultimate personal luxury cars, and had success in later models up until the swoopy Mark VIII. Lincoln could revive the name and release a modern “Mark IX” possibly based on the next generation Ford Mustang platform to get the sporty-crowd into the brand.

http://www.carnewsbreak.com/news/1064960_what-lincoln-lacks-is-a-halo
 

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The Spaminator
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What Lincoln Lacks Is A Halo

By Todd DeMezaContributing WriterAugust 15th, 2011

If there are any faults that the Lexus ES350 has, it has to be its “lesser” sibling—the Toyota Camry. While the Lexus will have a bit more power, slightly nicer features and some better quality interior pieces than the Toyota, most people probably won’t see where the premium in price goes between both cars when fully loaded. Luckily, The majority of Lexus’s lineup is fairly unique compared to the bread and butter Toyota range.

The same can’t be said about Lincoln. While they do make nice luxury models, their roots can still be traced back to its Ford DNA. Autoblog says that the company is starting a new design office for more exiting cars to help differentiate itself. What the company really needs is simply a halo car. Halo cars, or flagships, are the unique model that sends people into the showrooms for a look, yet might them to sample other models and find something they like.

There are two types of flagships that Lincoln could build that would be different enough to get people into the Lincoln dealerships and out with something like an MKZ.

A Full-On Executive Sedan—the German automakers like BMW and Mercedes both make huge, executive sedans. Cars like the S-class and 7-series can pull double duty by being driven by the owner just as well as being used as a chauffeured, hired car. The Lincoln Town Car is the closest the brand has, but the old Panther platform (shared with the fleet-loving Ford Crown Vic) is going away for good. This will give Ford and Lincoln an opportune time to come out with something over the top, much like Hyundai has done with the Equus. It would also help tie the brand back to its rear-wheel drive limo roots.

A “Personal Luxury” Grand Tourer—if Lincoln had an its historical motoring icon, it’s the Lincoln Continentals. Before the name was hijacked for the regular models, they represented exciting two-door styling and great grand-touring characteristics. Starting in the late ‘60s the Mark IIIs were a sales success, giving ultimate personal luxury cars, and had success in later models up until the swoopy Mark VIII. Lincoln could revive the name and release a modern “Mark IX” possibly based on the next generation Ford Mustang platform to get the sporty-crowd into the brand.
Do you have a Link?
 

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I think we've been saying the same thing here for the past 5 years or more...
 

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Exactly. What we are really missing is a direction of what they think Lincoln should be and more than just having a desire to get it there. They have always let finance run the Company. Not too long ago Lincoln lead in luxury car leadership. We are excited about the money being spent to get it back, but relatively speaking, it's not enough. Cadillac is not in as bad a shape as we are and they are moving more dollars toward fixing the problem. Until we get a vision and decide if we are competing against the likes of Cadillac, MB, Infiniti, Lexus OR Buick and Toyota....we are going to falter. You can't compete with the former by pulling parts out of the Ford bin.....period! Things unseen by the customer, yes. Things the customer sees, feels and experiences, NO. There are things on a Lexus that you just can't get on a Toyota. That is not the case with the Lincoln vs. Ford. We don't even want to talk about design. Ford Edge vs. Lincoln MKX. Lexus gets slammed over and over for the ES350 vs Camary. It ends there though. No LS460, IS, RX350, etc. in the Totota lineup.
 

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Lincoln is just depressing to me, nowadays.

The Navigator was worst-in-class when this generation debuted, and it's gotten nothing to really help that situation.
The MKS is a sales flop that makes a loaded Taurus seem like a great deal.
The MKT...good idea, executed badly. Either more "retro" cues or make it forward-looking altogether. Also, a huge blob of a vehicle with an iffy third row and limited cargo space impresses no one.
The MKZ is basically an asterisk attached to the Fusion, and that's appropriate.

What worries me a ton is that I watched the "talk to Lincoln" Facebook thing with great interest, and calls for rear wheel drive were constant...yet essentially ignored in the press conference wrap-up. I fear that someone with a lot of pull has decided that Lincoln is to be the old man's Audi. I'm not real thrilled.
 

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Thanks for posting.

We all know Lincoln needs a halo car. Something to showcase design and technology etc. Pantera got us into the showroom way back.

Ford is trying to get Lincoln back on track. PAG is gone which was the cause of Lincoln becoming a diet luxury Brand instead of full flavor luxury Brand. It takes time but all that was lost in the past 10 years has to be regained again to bring Lincoln back to where it should be and bring back the respect to the Brand. The LA and Detroit shows can't come fast enough.

Maybe a modern version of the 1955 Futura show car (aka Batmobile) is needed here.
 

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Exactly. What we are really missing is a direction of what they think Lincoln should be and more than just having a desire to get it there. They have always let finance run the Company. Not too long ago Lincoln lead in luxury car leadership. We are excited about the money being spent to get it back, but relatively speaking, it's not enough. Cadillac is not in as bad a shape as we are and they are moving more dollars toward fixing the problem. Until we get a vision and decide if we are competing against the likes of Cadillac, MB, Infiniti, Lexus OR Buick and Toyota....we are going to falter. You can't compete with the former by pulling parts out of the Ford bin.....period! Things unseen by the customer, yes. Things the customer sees, feels and experiences, NO. There are things on a Lexus that you just can't get on a Toyota. That is not the case with the Lincoln vs. Ford. We don't even want to talk about design. Ford Edge vs. Lincoln MKX. Lexus gets slammed over and over for the ES350 vs Camary. It ends there though. No LS460, IS, RX350, etc. in the Totota lineup.

Have you heard the recent reports about the new Lincolns? they will not share ANYTHING besides platform. Even the small things like switchs will be different in Lincolns. To say that Lexus is all unique is wrong too. Every Lexus is based on an existing Toyota however most of these Toyots are not sold in the US.
 

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So, if they are not sold here in the U.S. to compete with their facing product, how is your comment relevant? You aren't sitting on the Finance Board are you?
And to the guy that compared Toyota to Lexus, uh, wrong. The only model that you can look at and find ONE curve that resembles a Toyota is on the ES. That's it.
What is your argument for me buying an MKX over an Edge??
 

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...We all know Lincoln needs a halo car...

...Maybe a modern version of the 1955 Futura show car (aka Batmobile) is needed here.
imho yes & no ... actually no & yes
• I don't believe in halo cars**
• would love to see some futuristic panache slathered over ALL Lincoln models



other stuff
imho Luxury Mfgs don't seem to be able to directly determine which segments their vehicles are in sell the best for them or 'define' them
(my impressions / maybe be out of date)
Lexus sales are 1/3rd ES & 1/3 RX. All their more distinctive vehicles have to be lumped together to equal either of the 2 most un-carperson models
BMW IS the 3-series
MB (please don't call it "Merc") = S-class... at least for Norte'Murcans who don't see E-class taxis everywhere).

** imho 'halo' does not equal flagship (ask ^them^)

for Lincoln imho nobody knows yet. Traditionalists want the too-big-for Prime(global)Time TownCar :shakes head: or a won't-sell-worth-a-darn Mark coupe.
*I* want a sporty C-segment MKE tho expect the nextgen MKZ to stay the leader at least until RWD returns ...maybe

imho Cadillac so far is in WORSE shape than Lincoln ...except for perception
at the moment they have ONE car - changing soon - we'll see
 

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Lincoln is just depressing to me, nowadays.

The Navigator was worst-in-class when this generation debuted, and it's gotten nothing to really help that situation.
The MKS is a sales flop that makes a loaded Taurus seem like a great deal.
The MKT...good idea, executed badly. Either more "retro" cues or make it forward-looking altogether. Also, a huge blob of a vehicle with an iffy third row and limited cargo space impresses no one.
The MKZ is basically an asterisk attached to the Fusion, and that's appropriate.

What worries me a ton is that I watched the "talk to Lincoln" Facebook thing with great interest, and calls for rear wheel drive were constant...yet essentially ignored in the press conference wrap-up. I fear that someone with a lot of pull has decided that Lincoln is to be the old man's Audi. I'm not real thrilled.
Hey! You stole my thoughts! Exactly!!
 

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So, if they are not sold here in the U.S. to compete with their facing product, how is your comment relevant? You aren't sitting on the Finance Board are you?
And to the guy that compared Toyota to Lexus, uh, wrong. The only model that you can look at and find ONE curve that resembles a Toyota is on the ES. That's it.
What is your argument for me buying an MKX over an Edge??
Are you kidding me? It's not JUST the ES. what is your excuse for the Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser or the Lexus HS and Toyota Corolla or the GX and the 4Runner.

My comment is still very valid. I tell you what if Lincoln were to import the Falcon over as a new LS or Continental and start selling it here they would get heat for it saying its JUST a rebadged Falcon, EVEN if it looked nothing like a Falcon as well.

My point is don't hold Lexus up to this standard that they are PERFECT and that they share NOTHING with Toyota except the ES. They share platforms too which isn't a bad thing. It is OK to share things. But saying that they share NOTHING is WRONG.

Do I think the MKZ and MKX are good products? Yes and no, the MKX I think is a great product but I think that it is a sin that it shares doors with the Edge. Take a look in the interior and it is MUCH more different. Can you get 10 way dual power seats with memory, heating, and cooling in and Edge? No. Can you geat heated 2nd row heated seat in and Edge? No. Can you get real wood trim and a 600 watt THX sound system on an Edge? No. Should there be more Lincoln Exclusives? **** YES! Want to know why someone would buy an MKX over an Edge? ask one of our boad members who bought one earler this year why he picked one over an Edge.

I can't wait to see the new MKZ. According to what McElroy said the interior and exterior will share nothing with Ford, the only thing shared will be the platform. Exlcusive engines and rumored transmissions (8 speed please?)
 

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So, could you hone in on which body panels are the same on the vehicles you mentioned?? I challenge you to park a Edge and a MKX 50 yards away, cover the front and back sides and you tell me which is which. The ONLY Toyota/Lexus that you can do the same exercise with is the ES. Let's be fair.

P.S. Don't get me wrong, I want Lincoln to succeed. It's just we haven't stumbled...we have fallen!
 

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So, could you hone in on which body panels are the same on the vehicles you mentioned?? I challenge you to park a Edge and a MKX 50 yards away, cover the front and back sides and you tell me which is which. The ONLY Toyota/Lexus that you can do the same exercise with is the ES. Let's be fair.

P.S. Don't get me wrong, I want Lincoln to succeed. It's just we haven't stumbled...we have fallen!

No its not.




Granted I know the Expedition and Navigator share doors, but not even those 2 look THAT similar
 

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A halo car? Start with the Mustang's platform, add IRS, substitute some of the steel panels with aluminum and fiberglass to make a truly unique body, offer it in both a coupe and a hardtop convertible, make sure that the trunk is large enough to be usable, use the 2.0L EB I4 and the 3.5L EB V6 backed by the 6 speed auto as the powertrains, make certain features unique to the Lincoln, utilize a completely unique interior, etc. Lastly, give it a real name, not some dull alpha-numeric designation.
 

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How about Lincoln try something new. How about they work on making Lincoln, Lincoln. Lets not make them Lincoln BMW, or Lincoln Mercedes, or Lincoln Lexus, or Lincoln Audi. Make them their own brand that doesn't follow the "me too," path to luxury.

Nobody will ever out 3-series the 3-series. Noone will ever out S-Class the S-Class. It is a fools errand to even try, and a huge waste of resources. All it gets you is decent reviews in car magazines that little to no luxury buyers actually read.

How about we have something that epitomizes American Luxury, with a modern twist?? How about we have comfort and oppulance, with a sprinkling of sport and confidence, mixed with steller and elegant styling, both inside and out?? How about we have cutting edge technology and materials quality, with unsurpassed fuel economy??

I am SICK AND TIRED of the tired and overused "we must copy _______," "we must have RWD like _________." BS I say. Make Lincoln the best it can be, and give it the best dealership experience one can have, and it will succeed.

As for the constant, and very tired, "but the MKZ and MKX look too much like the Fusion and Edge." Duh. Shall I say it again................ Duh. Everyone knows this, including Ford. They have only had a MCE, thus, they were already committed to their hard points and limitations. When they are redesigned, they will look nothing like their Ford counterparts. I know nobody who looks at an MKT and a Flex, and sees the same vehicle. Nobody. So stop with the complaint of what everyone knows. It will be fixed.

We have to all remember that nothing happens in the automotive world overnight. GM sunk $6 Billion into Cadillac, and got one semi successful car, and can't come up with a consistant vision, to save their lives (short of the hideous A&S styling). Ford had better not follow that model, or they might as well just close up Lincoln right now. Do I think they are smarter than that................. yes. Do I think Lincoln will be fixed overnight.................. no. Do I think a "halo" vehicle is the do all end all for Lincoln??................. Only if the drugs were real good. Get the brand on the right track first, then worry about a halo vehicle. Give the buyers something compelling to buy, when they can't afford that halo vehicle that they came in to see, in a dealership they don't want to leave. Then, and only then, will they have something.
 

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Lincoln had that in the late 80's to 90's...Continental, Town Car, and Mark VII were all unique enough, and sold well.
I think 2 things happened to really cause Lincoln to flounder.
1. The obvious Volvo/Jaguar/Land Rover mess that diverted so much money, time, and R&D from Lincoln.
2. The Luxury SUV craze, that saw Lincoln introduce the highly successful Navigator and the lesser Aviator. They sold well, and brought in mega bucks, but they did not look very unique compared to their Ford counterparts. Ford must have seen this and figured they could build Lincoln cars for a lot less $, if they saved on the design and R & D involved in making them unique.

So that is where we were until a few years ago. Since then, Lincoln has lost a lot of customers, and now they are trying to differentiate their models again, but their design language has been polarizing at best.

Can Lincoln get back to where they were using all Ford models with unique style, engines, interiors, and maybe a stretched wheelbase here and there? Maybe, but this time it has to conquer new customers, and not just try to retain the old ones of which they had many back then. That is why I still believe a Halo model is needed along with the uniqueness and improvements to their current model line. They need new customers, but they also need to win over the people who can not afford them now, or are still too young to drive. They need something special to make people aspire to owning one in the future.
 
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