Last post on Dec 07, 2013 at 9:04 PM
You are in the Automotive News & Views
What is this discussion about?
Lincoln Zephyr, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKX
#3238 of 4409 Re: Or, if I may make [akirby]
Apr 08, 2011 (5:28 am)
Have you examined them closely and driven them back to back? I guess the choice depends upon the buyer's tastes, how fussy they are about particular features and details and how important price is in the final decision.
In my particular case (yours may vary), I wanted to get away from a dark interior and go to a lighter color. Not an option with the SHO.
I don't care for firmed up "sport tuned" suspensions. No choice with the SHO.
I like wood trim and don't care for metal or fake metal. Not an option with the SHO.
When driving in traffic, I like to see the other cars in all the lanes and not just flashing lights in the mirrors. The 2010 SHO that I drove did not have the "mirror in mirror" feature like an MKS. (2011s might - not sure)
After driving the MKS, I found the forward sensors to be great when pulling into a parking space. Not an option with the SHO. Ditto the dual panel moonroof, the lined door pockets, the dual armrests, the soft-touch door panels below elbow level and the rubber sealing around the leading and rear edges of the front doors. I also much prefer the appearance of the MKS - particularly the front end and the roof line.
I prefer high quality leather and don't care for fake suede upholstery that looks like mouse fur. Not an option with the SHO.
I am not an audiophile but the difference between the THX system in the Lincoln versus the Bose system in the SHO is clear - even to my ears. Speaking of ears, the difference in road noise favors the MKS, too.
Does this mean that the MKS ecoboost is worth more than the SHO? To me, hell yes. The SHO wouldn't have even been my 2nd choice. However, if the things I mention are not as important as saving a few thousand dollars, the SHO is a better choice.
#3239 of 4409 Re: Or, if I may make [akirby]
Apr 08, 2011 (5:36 am)
Sorry, Allen...My last post was a reply to Euphonium and not you. I hit the wrong "reply" button....
#3240 of 4409 Re: Or, if I may make [akirby]
Apr 08, 2011 (7:54 am)
Nice reframe of the situation, Allen. And we can always count on you for that!
Relaunching this brand has been going on for years. How are we to say that the next re-launch will be any more successful than the last? After all, the MKS and MKT are not just re-branded Fords, but few buyers appreciate them. I suspect current styling is a big factor, but beyond that, there are just too few of them around for most people to even know what it is when they see one.
Lincoln has been big on issuing concept cars (well, not lately!) that look nothing like the production models. The MKT concept really hit nerves (both good and bad). The production model, once you get past the grill, looks like a bloated station wagon. How is this brand going to make the leap to producing models where people say "wow" as they go by? Not a one of the current lineup look like the MKR concept that was supposed to have the new Lincoln DNA. A grill does not make a car (or truck), but I am not sure that this lesson has been fully learned.
GM has come back from the dead. They still have a long way to go. But all four brands are at least growing in the right direction, and Buick's success, with so few models (this is being remedied quickly), is especially notable. A Buick looks and feels nothing like a Cadillac (with the exception of the soon-to-be buried Lucerne) and vice versa. When Ford gets that distinction down, things may change.
Meanwhile, Ford is going gangbusters. But all of Ford's success will have to be invested back into the Ford brand, or they will fall behind. Lincoln has to make its own way. Selling few cars at a real profit may not drain the bottom line right now, but I wonder. How is maintaining the whole Lincoln shebang from production to dealerships going to be sustained over time, if there is no breakout model or runaway success in reputation on the horizon? Just thoughts.
#3241 of 4409 Re: Or, if I may make [gregg_vw]
Apr 08, 2011 (1:12 pm)
They should not discontinue Mercury, it was wrong decision. It actually turned me away from Ford because Lincoln does not worth what they ask for it. But I would agree to buy Mercury if it had slightly better materials than Ford and was less blue-collar and more elegant outside and inside. Mercury-Lincoln model was working okay. Mercuries were nicer than Fords - they should make it more expensive, may be one grand more. In fact what they should do - call current Lincoln lineup Mercury (and decontent it - make it more affordable like Buick or even cheaper) and make no excuse luxury for Lincoln and price it higher. I mean Lincoln is in no-mans land. It is not as good and luxurious as Lexus (even as ES) but costs almost the same. GM made right decision - Buick is less expensive than Lexus but more premium than Toyota and Chevy and Cadillac does not need to make any excuses and compete directly with big guys. That is why Buick and Cadillac sell well while nobody cares about Lincoln anymore. And note that Lincoln was best selling luxury brand not so long ago.
#3242 of 4409 Re: Or, if I may make [gregg_vw]
Apr 08, 2011 (2:47 pm)
The new regime has not been rebuilding Lincoln for years. They spent the first 3-4 years rebuilding Ford, totally ignored Mercury and only gave Lincoln table scraps. And they said that's what they would do because they had to get Ford fixed first.
What makes me think they're serious? They killed Mercury. That was a huge step that previous regimes weren't willing to do. They're committed to reducing the bloated dealer network. They're requiring remaining dealers to make a large financial commitment to improve the dealer service network. They've hired a large team of 85 folks to oversee the transformation process. Half of them came from Audi, Lexus and other luxury mfrs. They've committed to 7 vehicles - more than Lincoln has had since I can remember. They've committed to distinct vehicles and distinctive features and unique drivetrains.
What else can anyone ask for at this point?
They don't need Lincoln to be profitable right now - Ford is taking care of that nicely. Given the vehicles they have right now they have 2 choices - reduce prices/increase incentives to get more volume or keep prices high for the few that do value what Lincoln is offering (like Bruce) yielding more profit on fewer units. If you cut prices now then that makes it harder to raise prices to where they should be when the new ones do come out.
You say Rah-Rah'ing - I say logic and sound business decisions. Ford is positioning Lincoln for 3-4 years down the road - not trying to win a 2011 sales contest.
Contrast that with GM's strategy - pumping up volume with huge incentives. And Ford STILL outsold GM last month - without the new Focus and Explorer.
#3243 of 4409 Re: Or, if I may make [brucelinc]
Apr 08, 2011 (2:54 pm)
Agree on all points mentioned except after considering the comparative costs of each, the Lincoln MKS is (with more Sales Tax) not worth an additional $12,000 to the prudent purchaser.
#3244 of 4409 Re: Or, if I may make [euphonium]
Apr 09, 2011 (4:49 am)
Real world transaction prices may be different now but when I purchased, the difference was around $6,000. My local dealers wouldn't deal on a SHO as willingly as they would on the MKS. Also, I suppose a prudent purchaser could also consider a Fusion Sport instead of an SHO and save another $12,000.
#3245 of 4409 Re: Or, if I may make [akirby]
Apr 09, 2011 (9:03 am)
If you are not able to design and build luxury cars just do not call them Lincoln and artificially inflate price. Call it Mercury Milan, put lower quality leather and fake wood, but price it reasonably and it will sell. When real Lincoln is ready - then call it Lincoln. Cars like MKZ do more to damage to Lincoln's image than than help FMC. Mercury was a perfect channel to put underdeveloped premium cars on market.
#3246 of 4409 Re: Or, if I may make [savetheland]
Apr 09, 2011 (10:54 am)
If all they wanted to do was sell more cars then yes, keeping Mercury would have been better. The current Lincolns aren't bad and all it will take is one or two great new vehicles for people to take notice again.
#3247 of 4409 Re: Or, if I may make [akirby]
Apr 09, 2011 (2:32 pm)
Aren't bad? Talk about damning with faint praise! No car out there today is all that bad anymore. Toyota is among the worst choices now, despite their continued strong sales. All the drek has gone the way of Mercury, and the worst car now is better than we have any right to expect.
Lincolns are being discounted by the dealers (even if Ford is not putting cash on the hood) and still sales fall. If Ford intended for Lincoln to have low volume, high profit sales at this point, fine. But I don't think the plan was for Lincoln sales to fall from (already shrunk) 2010 to 2011. You can throw your little bombs at Gm (and after all, they asked for it), but incentives or not, they are now making a big profit. Having a much bigger presence (and reputation) in the world's largest car market (China) doesn't hurt their bottom line.
You are right that people will take notice if a truly outstanding vehicle does come along. But no one is standing still. The plebeian rides and brands are beginning to rival the luxury marques. It is cut-throat out there. Cadillac, Chrysler, BMW, Audi, Infiniti, Hyundai (gulp!..how did that brand get in here??) are not standing still, or delaying improvements.
Ford is sort of like Honda once was. Honda in the recent past was on top of the world. It ain't anymore. The products don't appeal nearly as much, and the attempts to remake Acura's early success have not been successful. The 2012 Civic, one of their biggest successes, looks to be a dud. Ford isn't producing duds yet, and willing, they won't start. But Lincolns are also-rans. Every model Lincoln has right now is not bad. None rise anywhere near the top.
I would buy a Lincoln because I have a soft spot for a brand that produced in their times the '61 Continental, the Mark III, the 1990 Town Car, the Mark VII, the LS... But I am an old guy (though cool and flexible ), and guys like me are dying off. I don't give a rat's ass where the new 85 guys came from who are going to turn this brand around, and not make it another quasi-Acura. I want to see results. Mulally has been in there for many years now. He has made himself a fortune for a small country. Ford is practically down to one brand remaining. It is working now. I hope it works in cut-throat 2013.