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You are in the Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ
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Lincoln Zephyr, Lincoln MKZ, Sedan
Dec 24, 2009 (5:18 pm)
I finally went to Fremont Ford-Lincoln-Mercury-Mazda to test drive MKZ to validate $50 Master card offer I got at SF autoshow. And it was kind of bizzare experience. There is no separate Lincoln-Mercury showroom at Fremont Ford or anything reminding LM in this dealership - after all it always was and is Ford-Mazda dealership. There are though several Lincoln cars, including MKZ, in Ford showroom mixed with other Fords. Of course Mazda has separate showroom, personnel and service.
I had to approach desk in search of sales people and funny enough no one was available. I never had that experience before except of Honda dealerships - normally sales people jump on you as soon as you put your foot on dealership's parking lot,
Finally they found some guy who presented himself as Internet sales manager. I asked him about test driving MKZ and he told me he can fill the form without test drive. I told him that I actually came here to test drive MKZ. Then he told me that there is only one MKZ and it is in show room. I replied him that they have 3 of them - red, white and green, because I saw their inventory on their website. He scratched his head and said - "Oh yeah we had couple more on parking lot!". Then we went to test drive. After test drive I agree that MKZ is grossly overpriced - it mostly feels like Fusion I rented some time ago and many thing in car's exterior and interior screams - "I am Ford Fusion!". I do not say it is a bad car. Fusion in fact is a nice car. But it feels more like what Mercury supposed to be - better appointed Ford. But it is lacks luxury feel of Lexus or Buick - something more like Acura (European Accord). I hate Acura, so may be I have to wait for Buick Regal (European Opel Insignia) to see what Buick offers in size similar to MKZ. CTS, Mercedes or Audi are too upscale for my needs.
Internet sales manager was a nice guy without all that pushy nonsense that mostly uneducated sales people generate. But I got a feeling that dealership is not interested in selling Lincolns at all - all their focus was on Ford brand and Lincoln and Mercury were relegated to poor relatives in someones house status.
Having only 3 MKZs in the dealership? I noticed that two of them were made in April of 2009 and one in September. So they have only 3 MKZ and two of them are sitting on the lot for more than half a year? Are they really in the business of selling Lincolns? I do not think so. I got an impression that Ford dealership is the wrong place to look for Lincolns or Mercurys.
#2867 of 3018 Re: Test drive [savetheland]
Dec 24, 2009 (6:41 pm)
That is really too bad. I know that Ford is trying to survive and rebuild, but other companies seem to have core BRANDS (e.g., Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick-GMC) while Ford can only muster core brand. Maybe their strategy will work, but I doubt that Ford can go on much longer making anything else an afterthought.
As we all know, the MKZ is a gussied up Fusion. I see the 2011 MKX will remain an Edge with a Lincoln grill. How hard would it have been to change the rear side window shape and/or the door skins to give a bit more family resemblance to the MKT? Why spend the money on yet another grill design (and new MKX tail lights that don't say Lincoln to anyone), when Ford already has plenty of experience with grill switcheroos (e.g., 500 to Taurus) being relatively useless for increased sales?
There is no one advocating for the Lincoln brand. Yes, yes, I know...Ford must survive first. But why can GM completely differentiate Chevys from Buicks from Cadillacs so soon after the company almost went belly up? Who knows? Maybe it is because they are even hungrier than Ford.
But in the meantime, why should dealers stock a lot of MKZs? If they had even more of them, they could only move them out the door at fire sale prices.
#2868 of 3018 Re: Test drive [gregg_vw]
Dec 25, 2009 (1:20 am)
I guess sales people in Ford dealership could not even believe me that I really wanted to test drive MKZ. Probably nobody did it in ages. They behaved as if I would never buy MKZ for any decent price for them to make money. I can imagine how cheap I could buy one of those 6 month y.o. MKZ if showed even slight interest - they would be happy to get rid of them so could really focus on selling Fusions.
#2869 of 3018 Re: Test drive [gregg_vw]
Dec 25, 2009 (1:25 am)
And actually MKZ for 5-7K below MSRP is a good replacement for Mercury Milan. I consider Lincoln brand nothing more than Mission Mercury. Probably Ford can safely merge them and get rid of Mercury. People who normally buy Mercuries (like myself) will buy Lincoln instead. But when time comes to upgrade to luxury car they will have to abandon Ford.
#2870 of 3018 Re: Test drive [savetheland]
Dec 25, 2009 (9:14 am)
I don't know, but I doubt that the Milan is going away any time soon. The MKZ seems more likely to either fade away, or evolve into something relevant. The Ford brand is becoming more like VW...a brand that can cover a wide audience (even the cheapest VW has expensive looking interior appointments, and vehicles like the CC and Touareg appeal to people who want a bit more than entry level stuff). Witness how a well-equipped Taurus can go head-to-head with the MKS, or a loaded Fusion Sport give the MKZ a run for its money. No "luxury upgrading" is needed, if you prefer the Taurus style over the Lincoln. Plus the 2010 Taurus will likely hold its value better than the Lincoln too.
Practically all mainstream brands are now producing well-equipped, quiet, comfortable, good performing models. Lincoln really needs to move up market (rather than simply restyle, add equipment to, and jack the price of Ford models), but there is no money to do that right now.
#2871 of 3018 Re: Test drive [gregg_vw]
Dec 25, 2009 (11:44 am)
I would rather prefer MKZ to be turned into Mercury Milan than it is going away and Lincoln getting real luxury expensive car. MKZ is a nice car, but it does not have luxury ambiance. And for Gods sake - sell Lincolns in dedicated dealerships - otherwise it will actually fade away. Dealerships do not care about selling Lincolns at all - they are too busy with selling Fords and Lincoln simply cannot compete with Ford. Who is in his right mind would buy MKS when there is Taurus at the same lot for much less.
I do not see what is the point of having Lincoln after Jaguar and etc gone if it is not a high end luxury brand competing with Mercedes and Lexus. Milan is absolutely identical to Fusion to add insult to injury Fusion has upper scale version (lwith 3.5L engine).
#2872 of 3018 Re: Test drive [savetheland]
Dec 26, 2009 (9:15 am)
Who is in his right mind would buy MKS when there is Taurus at the same lot for much less.
Hmmm......Maybe someone who is really fussy about details to which average consumers are oblivious or do not consider important. Or maybe someone who has driven both back to back and judged the MKS ecoboost to be more than worth the difference. Maybe someone who views the SHO as a classic case of "over promise and under deliver" and the MKS ecoboost as delivering precisely what was advertised.
Before someone starts talking sales numbers, I fully admit that there aren't a lot of us in that enlightened group who view the MKS ecoboost as a vehicle with an entirely different mission and value statement than the Taurus. Those of us who are in that group have big smiles on our faces, though.
#2873 of 3018 Re: Test drive [brucelinc]
Dec 26, 2009 (12:24 pm)
That's the point, I think...there aren't a lot of you who appreciate its virtues. Plus, a person can order the ecoboost in the SHO without the optional sports suspension. The SHO is selling better than expected, given its price point. I suspect the styling has a whole lot to do with that.
The ecoboost is also available in the Flex and the MKT, and will soon be in the Mustang and F150. Sure, the MKS is a good car. So is the MKZ. But nothing stands out about either of them in a way that will stem Lincoln's slide.
#2874 of 3018 Re: Test drive [gregg_vw]
Dec 26, 2009 (2:30 pm)
I think the slide has already been "stemmed" - hasn't Lincoln been gaining market share slightly the last year or so? I agree they're just treading water until Ford can pony up the bucks for new platforms and significant redesigns. But I don't think they're going downhill.
#2875 of 3018 Re: Test drive [akirby]
Dec 26, 2009 (2:36 pm)
There is no birght spot yet at Lincoln. Lincoln's sales have not increased...they have decreased year over year for the past couple years. FoMoCo's slightly increased market share is due to the Ford brand.