Last post on Dec 04, 2013 at 7:12 AM
You are in the Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ
What is this discussion about?
Lincoln Zephyr, Lincoln MKZ, Sedan
#967 of 3084 Re: Lincoln Z sales [akirby]
Mar 24, 2006 (2:30 pm)
Whoa yourself. To look at a short supply as meaning it is a "runaway hit," when less than 10,000 units were sold from introduction through February, is ludicrous. Ford may have production problems (pretty bad planning, considering excess plant capacity they have had). Yes, Ford may have met or exceeded their own conservative sales goals. However, the real numbers say the Fusion is selling ok, and the Zephyr is doing only so-so, for its segment.
And to say that Milan sales are a "bit soft" is an understatement. Sales of this car are atrocious, considering how good it is, and how current it is. Bye, bye, Mercury.
I've heard this argument before in an attempt to explain slumping Explorer sales as "planned," through plant closings and lower production. Sure, Ford planned to sell less of the redesigned 2006 Explorers than the 2005s, even though the segment itself is not down anywhere near percentage-wise the sales Explorer has lost.
It's numbers that matter, units moved. Doing somewhat better than some realistic projection--based on the fact that Ford sales have decreased 10 years straight--is not going to turn this mess around. When a family unfriendly Mustang and a pterodactyl like the Taurus can handily outsell a great vehicle like the Fusion, Ford's got a problem, not a hit.
#968 of 3084 2006 Zephyr vs 2007 MKZ - what will be in the next version?
Mar 26, 2006 (3:37 pm)
So the Zephyr is changing names to MKZ and will receive a beefed up engine + four wheel drive (as an option I presume?) for 2007, but does anyone know if it will feature any of the following:
* Bluetooth phone connectivity
* MP3 (aux audio in) connector
* Any exterior design changes to bring it closer to the concept model
And does anyone know when it is coming out? I read september somewhere around here - how solid is that date?
#969 of 3084 Re: 2006 Zephyr vs 2007 MKZ - what will be in the next version? [sff]
Mar 26, 2006 (7:08 pm)
Not sure about Bluetooth, but most likely yes on the auxilliary input for the radio. There are some exterior design changes but they're very, very subtle unless the pictures we've seen are wrong.
#970 of 3084 Re: Lincoln Z sales [gregg_vw]
Mar 26, 2006 (7:17 pm)
Doing somewhat better than some realistic projection--based on the fact that Ford sales have decreased 10 years straight--is not going to turn this mess around.
They're keeping an entire plant near capacity and selling vehicles without huge incentives and which are making a profit. And that's BEFORE the new engine and AWD plus other 2007 additions. To increase capacity now would require another plant with huge incremental costs. Overproduction and lack of updates are what got Ford into this mess and from all appearances they're doing neither with the Zephyr. What more do you want? The ES350 is expected to sell 70K units a year. That's a 15 yr old model. It didn't sell anywhere near that much when it debuted. The Zephyr is only 6 months old and you're already writing it off? Give it some time.
#971 of 3084 Re: Lincoln Z sales [gregg_vw]
Mar 26, 2006 (7:41 pm)
Ford has got to get it together and get it together quick. They need to stop promising and start delivering. How come the Aviator and the Zephyr weren't brought to production the same way they were shown in concept? Mazda does it, Chyrsler does it, Mercedes does it, Dodge does it. I mean come on, who is calling the shots over there. I thought they'd have been canned long time ago. Why is their no SVT? How come they didn't pull out all the stops on the Fusion and give it the 250 engine it needs?
That being said, I think the MKS is an excellent step in the right direction. They should treat every product they have like they treat the F-150 and the Mustang. If they did, we'd wonder why Honda and Toyota even try.
#972 of 3084 Re: Lincoln Z sales [driverdm]
Mar 27, 2006 (7:41 am)
I think Mark Fields will fix those problems. He's already resurrected the Hurricane engine (6.2L) after it was canned a few months ago.
The issue with the 3.5L engine (besides the fact that it's 2 years late) is simply production capacity. They need the engines for the Edge, Mark X and Mark Z first. Maybe Fields can get the production capacity ramped up quicker so the other cars can get the 3.5L sooner.
I also think the production version is a lot closer to the concept than people think. The concept had 21" wheels, a larger C pillar which probably blocked rear visibility and smaller side mirrors. Other than that the difference are very minor.
#973 of 3084 Re: Lincoln Z sales [akirby]
Mar 27, 2006 (8:12 am)
You do not get what I am saying. I am NOT writing the Zephyr off. I was saying it is not a runaway hit as you claimed.
BTW, the ES350 has been doing well for many years. In fact, lots of vehicles do much better than projections in their very first model year, and somehow companies often find a way to increase production to support speeding sales.
Some even do their best sales in the first year. An example I already mentioned is the LS, which sold 51,000 units in 2000, something Zephyr has no hope of doing.
And you can't have it both ways. Ford has excess capacity (due to longstanding, falling sales from that point where they were poised to challenge GM for dominance). Now, they are going through yet another restructuring, which includes expensive plant closings. At the same time, they cannot produce quite enough of some of their products.
Overproduction and lack of updates have nothing to do with the Fusion triplets situation right now. Some increased production might in fact spur sales. However, no one is paying a premium right now for any of them, and all three are being sold with incentives, albeit smaller than those on some of Ford's slow movers--like the new 2006 Explorer and Mountaineer.
Increasing production to sell more Zephyrs would work in smaller numbers, but if production could be increased to the level of first year LS production, then overproduction problems would definitely ensue.
I've been giving Ford some time. We waited years for the 500/Montego twins, and they failed to hit the market like Mustang and Taurus and Explorer and Expedition and Focus did. They did "ok." The "crossover" Freestyle didn't meet expectations at all. The "new" Freestar just literally tanked. Now, after another year of waiting, the Fusion triplets are doing "ok."
Ford needs some stars, as well as the harrowig problem of having to scramble to find more capacity right now. Though dealers could use a greater choice of Zephyrs on their lots that now available, people are not standing in line to buy it or putting down deposits on cars that cannot be delivered for a year or more. That's when it really pays to pull out the stops and find more capacity.
Sometimes correcting deficits relatively quickly after introduction doesn't result in the expected jump in sales. When Lincoln redesigned the previously successful Continental in 1995, they missed the mark with a lot of details for a car aimed at the Seville/STS. By 1998, they had corrected many of the gaffs like the goofy rear styling, and the power shortage. They even spent gobs of money on details like increasing the rake of the windshield to improve the proportions. For that era, one could even say it became a pretty car. But it was too late.
Out of the box, Ford, out of the box. Ford introduces things piecemeal that other companies like Toyota bring out on a model all at once. Maybe the MTZ, with 3.5 and AWD, will be perceived differently than the Zephyr and really hit. Let's hope so, for Lincoln's sake.
#974 of 3084 Re: Lincoln Z sales [akirby]
Mar 27, 2006 (8:19 am)
Oh, and another thing...you have no eye at all if you cannot see the differences between the Aviator concept and the MKX as more than minor. The Aviator looked like a Lincoln through and through--from every angle. The MKX looks like a Ford Edge with a Lincoln grill grafted on.
#975 of 3084 Re: Lincoln Z sales [gregg_vw]
Mar 27, 2006 (8:50 am)
I agree with most of what you're saying. Runaway hit was not the right description. But the triplets are definitely successful under the admittedly conservative business plan that Ford put together for them. Are they being too conservative? Probably. But I think that's changing especially with Mark Fields at the helm now. The fact that he resurrected the 6.2L truck engine is a good sign.
I understand the first design of the Fusion had the 500 front end. Could you imagine the Fusion with a 500 nose and the Futura name? Thank goodness Horbury was able to fix it before production. He was not able to fix the 500's bland styling so that has to wait another year.
If you compare Ford's 2007 car/crossover lineup with it's 2004 car/crossover lineup I think it's fair to say it's night and day. The 500/Montego/Freestyle need styling updates and more power. The Fusion/Milan need performance versions with the 3.5L engine. They need to offer more amenities on the lower end models like Honda and Toyota.
And yes, I totally agree they need to debut the vehicles with more power and features. In Ford's defense I think they've been really focusing on quality for new vehicle launches and purposely limiting changes and new features. At least that seems to be working given the launch record of the F150, Mustang, 500 and Fusion. No major problems with any of those vehicles.
I think they're starting to fix that also. The Edge will have the 3.5L engine instead of the 3.0. It also comes with the vista roof and Nav option on day 1. I don't think that would have happened 2 years ago.
#976 of 3084 Re: Lincoln Z sales [gregg_vw]
Mar 27, 2006 (8:57 am)
I just did an A/B comparison, picture by picture, of the concept Aviator vs. production MkX and I assure you my eyesight is fine and the differences are exactly as I stated.
Your problem seems to be the lack of differentiation between the Edge and the MkX. If the Edge didn't exist then I bet the MkX would be just fine.