June 29, 2011 at 8:28 pm #2963
Now that Ford has decided to pump $1 billion into Lincoln, where should Linc go?
As I see it, here’s what Lincoln needs:
1. Greater differentiation from Ford. The differences should be analogous to Toyota and Lexus.
2. Lineup repositioning: compact, mid-size, and a full-size flagship when it comes to sedans and crossovers. The perfect lineup would look something like:
– Lexus IS-sized vehicle (upcoming global C-based car)
– ES-sized vehicle (MKZ)
– LS-sized vehicle (MKS) — but bigger and more luxurious. A true flagship.
– Emulate the same lineup for CUVs: compact, midsize (MKX), full-size (MKT). Like the MKS, the MKT should be bigger and more luxurious.
– At least one of the sedans should have a coupe variant.
3. Better retail experience: people don’t want to buy a $40,000 Lincoln in a Ford dealership. But dealers won’t build separate showrooms or update existing facilities if sales aren’t up to snuff.
4. And finally – the big question: should Lincoln stay FWD or move to RWD? And should Linc continue pursuing Lexus in the soft luxury segment or start afresh and pursue BMW, Audi, and Infiniti in the performance luxury space? I think they should stay where they are — and offer luxury vehicles that emphasize comfort, style, and technology. BMW, for comparison, emphasize performance, style, and technology. Both are luxury automakers, but they have different priorities.January 23, 2012 at 10:49 am #2982
I agree with everything you said Alex. But in regards to number 4, I think Lincoln should mostly stay where it’s at with the soft luxury but I also think it should build a performance variant of the MKZ or a performance variant of it’s upcoming C-based car. Or a performance variant of both. Why can’t Lincoln be soft luxury AND performance luxury? Have a soft luxury version of a car and have a performance version.January 25, 2012 at 2:30 am #2984
Usually, soft-luxury vehicles don’t make for great performance cars. For instance, Lexus has never attempted to make a souped-up variant of the ES mostly because that would involve more than just changing out the suspension, adding a more powerful engine and bigger brakes. Doing so would not even get them close to being in the same league as a BMW her, for instance.
Acura, which literally sells rebadged Hondas, has somewhat tried to do this with the TL by giving it SH-AWD and performance-oriented tunes/tweaks here and there; but the effort is still way short of what BMW has to offer.
The mantra for most automakers, in my opinion, should be “Do one thing very well. Do it better than your competitors.” You get the idea.April 17, 2012 at 12:35 am #2988
Heres what I would do to get Lincoln on track
1. Ditch the Grille, its not working and never will
2. Ditch the naming, its not working and never will
3. Stop the blatant rebadging, even the the supposedly revolutionary new MKZ is a dead ringer for the fusion as anyone can see the resemblance if the two are parked together, same with the rest of the lineup. While I disprove of rebadging in any shape or form, if youre going to do it, do it right, look at the Cadillac SRX and the Chevy Equinox, two cars that even a well trained enthusiast would have difficulty seeing the resemblance based on looks alone. Use the rebadged Fords as a way to keep Lincoln alive till step 4 is completely implemented
4. Go RWD
a. build a ATS competitor on the next gen mustang platform
b. Develop a cts fighter on the a new independent flexible platform
c. build respective suvs on those two platforms above
d. and so onApril 17, 2012 at 9:00 am #2989
Replies to Alex:
2. What about a mid-size? I may be wrong but I think that’s the GS. What I’m talking about is CTS sized (not competing with it, just the size.). The MKZ would probably be the coupe.
3. I think that would take a while. Dealers probably don’t trust Lincoln to make a profit just yet. Focus on the good cars and marketing first.
4. I don’t think they should start over and pursue BMW, but they could add some performance and pursue Mercedes in luxury first, performance second. Their main competitors, Lexus and Buick, do have performance cars, the ISF, LFA, and Regal GS. Even Acura revs the engine once in a while in their commercials.
Replies to Babersher:
1. Agreed. The only vehicles that ever worked with were the current MKZ and MKX. The MKS, 2014 MKZ, and MKT have ugly fascias.
2. MK* is a terrible name template. Pick something that sounds like 3 series, C class, A*, etc.April 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm #2993
ya make them performance oriented. then make a MKR coupe based off the mustang then make the MKZ go after the new ATS and have the MKS like the CTS. make lincoln like fords caddilac.May 25, 2012 at 11:55 pm #2995
Well they can go with the Buick direction or go the Cadillac direction. But as of right now, it just looks like they’re going towards Buick. (No hate but it’s just how I feel about it)May 26, 2012 at 10:42 am #2997
@LOUDR It certainly does look like Lincoln is headed in Buick’s overall direction of stylish, quiet luxury. But that grille is horrendous!May 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm #3004
That’s true. But then now it makes me wonder if Acura is heading the Buick direction.September 1, 2013 at 11:27 pm #3044
Acura seems to be heading nowhere. They’ll continue making the same mediocre cars that don’t excel at anything but being mediocre (perhaps aside from the upcoming NSX).
Either way, Ford needs to take Lincoln more seriously, with better product that is engineered and designed with greater independence from the respective Ford platform mates. Think Cadillac within Chevrolet/GM, and Audi within VWAG.
Unfortunately, Lincolns are still nicer Fords today. When this will change is anyone’s guess at this point. But the fact remains that Ford needs a successful luxury brand for the sake of profit, to ensure it is competitive with the full-line global automakers that have successful luxury divisions/brands.December 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm #5253
Because how i feel about it now is that ever since the new MKC comes out, Buick needs to watch their back…. Don’t you think @AlexLuft?December 25, 2013 at 9:25 am #5262
The MKC is a nice product. In fact, the MKC and the MKZ are the only Lincolns that are relatively attractive to me. Personally, though, I would still purchase other vehicles in each segment over the MKC and the MKZ. I’d buy an Audi Q5, BMW X3, or MBZ GLK before I’d buy an MKC, and I’d get an A6, 5er, E Class, CTS, or Lexus GS (maybe even the ES) over the MKZ.
Back to your question: Lincoln is floating the MKC to be a direct rival to Audi Q5, BMW X3, and MBZ GLK. According to Ford-Lincoln, Buick is not even in the picture when it comes to the MKC — which is accurate, since Buick doesn’t have a product in the segment (compact luxury CUV) that the MKC occupies. The Buick Encore is a subcompact CUV, and thus smaller, and the Enclave is a full-size CUV, and thus significantly larger. However, the upcoming Buick Anthem (or Envision or Enspire) will be the vehicle that competes with the MKC directly. Until then, I wouldn’t characterize Buick as needed to “watch its back” when it comes to Lincoln.
That said, Lincoln and Buick seem to both be headed in direction that puts both of them in competition in the non-performance (aka “soft”) luxury space. That should be interesting.
As nice as the MKC looks, I don’t think it will be cross-shopped with those vehicles.December 25, 2013 at 10:19 am #5265
What about would you think for both Ford and chevy to bring subcompact crossovers here to the U.S. since Honda is going to have Vezel here in the U.S.?January 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm #5451
Currently, there isn’t much of a market in that segment in North America… and it’s not because there aren’t many subcompact CUVs available. Rather, the U.S. always seems to be behind the times when it comes to appreciating smaller vehicles. But if/when the times comes that the market is (more) ripe for that kind of vehicle, rest assured that both GM and Ford can make their existing offerings (Trax and EcoSport) available here. That’s better than having to develop a vehicle from scratch.January 4, 2014 at 3:34 pm #5502
I guess most people still have the thought of “If I get this much for this small vehicle, then I might as well get something bigger for the same price” right?
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