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Lincoln Zephyr, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKX
#3494 of 4409 Re: November sales [nvbanker]
Dec 05, 2011 (2:37 pm)
Wrong. Although the SRX and Equinox share some architecture underneath, they are quite different. They share NO body panels. They have different wheelbases (the Caddy's is shorter). The SRX shares more with the Saab 9-4X, but they do not share a single body panel or window pane in common either.
Once again, platforms can be shared between a quality mainstream model and an upscale one, but the MKX shares the entire greenhouse and doors and all dimensions with the Edge. The Edge is a great vehicle, but to have to pay that much more for an Edge with lipstick and pearls doesn't work so well for most folks, as buying an SRX that shares nothing obvious with the Equinox (or 9-4X). This was the same problem with the current MKZ in relation to the Fusion. Had Ford not introduced the very good MKZ Hybrid, MKZ sales would be even worse than they are.
Now, granted, differentiation alone will not result in more success. The Taurus and MKS are differentiated in a myriad of ways. But the MKS is a bland car in a field of very good ones. The Flex and MKT are almost completely differentiated (who would ever think they were related if you didn't know?), but both Ford and Lincoln screwed up with those dumbed down, focused-grouped to death, awkward designs. Which is too bad, because the Flex, especially in Ecoboost trim, is a terrific vehicle. A higher percentage of Flex owners would buy one again than any other large or luxury SUV/CUV.
So no, the SRX is not simply an Equinox with angles. And you hit the nail on the head when you say it is great looking. That alone can sometimes sell a car. In addition, it looks like it is worth what you paid for it. It is not however without faults and Ford could easily benchmark their Lincoln higher than the SRX, but so far, they have not done so. I suspect plans are in the works though. It will probably take two full design turnovers of Lincoln's fleet to bring them back to competitiveness. I am crossing my fingers that the 2013 MKZ will begin to do for Lincoln what the CTS did for Cadillac.
#3495 of 4409 Re: November sales [gregg_vw]
Dec 05, 2011 (5:01 pm)
I am crossing my fingers that the 2013 MKZ will begin to do for Lincoln what the CTS did for Cadillac.
Cost them 4 billion dollars? I sure hope not.
(I kid, I kid)
#3496 of 4409 Re: November sales [nvbanker]
Dec 05, 2011 (5:09 pm)
I didn't denigrate MyFordTouch. I was merely repeating what the customer base had reported, and why Ford had fallen so far in "quality" this year. The point was that things can change for any darling very quickly, fair assessment or not. No one can afford to sit back and enjoy any particular milestone. Like with all technology, the advances with automobiles are coming quick and fast from all sides. No one's good reputation is enough to slide by for any length of time. See Toyota's recent adventure. All of a sudden they are no longer vying for world's biggest auto company, and are now behind GM, VW and Ford. But that could change next month again.
#3497 of 4409 Re: November sales [gregg_vw]
Dec 07, 2011 (10:22 am)
Perhaps I didn't state my case clearly. Never said the MKX was any better than the SRX. I don't like it at all. It's tinny, it's ugly, and indeed is a clone of the EDGE, which I don't like either, but yes, they are hard to tell apart, and not worth the price differential.
What I did say, and mean is, that Cadillac, who became pretty competitive with the German Brands by dumping their GM clones and engineering all new platforms with RWD, or AWD with an RWD orientation. Now, they are replacing an ugly (looked like a hearse to me), but well handling RWD SUV with a Chevy based, FWD SUV, offered (once again) in many flavors, and sadly, in Cadillac clothes too. Never said it shared even so much as a windshield with the Equinox, just a platform and power train. I know it's been tweaked, but it's still an Equinox under there, and most customers are fooled into thinking it's as good as the CTS. It's not. Much better looking is all. Yet, nobody talks about it. I think it's a backward step.
The new XTS (?) I get confused.... replaces the DTS, which is old enough to vote, and the STS, a larger CTS and my personal favorite, with another overpowered for FWD land yacht. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE big cars, just not those with Torque steer. Another replacement of a well engineered RWD 7 series competitor (STS) with a Lucerne/DTS redo. Another backward step. I'm surprised, but I guess Lutz being gone is now being felt, although he wasn't the genesis for the CTS design anyway. In fact, he hated the angular look of Cadillac when he took over, but sales converted him, we liked it.
Yes, Cadillac does a better job of disguising their shared platforms than Ford has, at least in the past. I'm just saying that Car & Driver never has a problem with the Chevy underneath. Nobody does. Yet, Ford is continually criticized for the same thing. Nobody seems to mind the Escalade being a Tahoe under there, with a larger engine, a different front clip and taillights.
For decades, it's been ok, since the Oldsmobuicks of the 80s, (which I happened to really like at the time). All I'm saying is Cadillac is moving backwards from their former direction.
Rebuttal (of course)?
#3498 of 4409 Re: November sales [nvbanker]
Dec 10, 2011 (1:39 pm)
Perhaps I didn't state my case clearly. Never said the MKX was any better than the SRX. I don't like it at all. Sorry. I didn't mean to imply that you were saying the MKX is better than the SRX. However, a case could be made that it actually is... My point remains the same. The MKX suffers at least somewhat because it uses the SAME body as the decent Edge does. Now, what is true here is that an MKX or SRX type vehicle is not the type of vehicle for you, regardless of what it may or may not share parts with. The XTS (and MKS) are not your cup of tea either.
But the fact remains that the SRX shares very little with the Equinox (part of the floor pan and other odds and ends) and shares a whole lot more with the Saab, which it does not look like. The Equinox and Terrain share a lot more with one another, even if they have completely different body panels and interiors. Although you don't respect the SRX, and that is fine, it did hit a sweet spot of the market that the MKX has been unable to do. That had nothing to do with Car and Driver's influence, whatever that is. The XTS, styled as it is, and based on the already very successful Lacrosse, is quite likely to sell better than the MKS, even given that you don't want a FWD based AWD car. The XTS will not exhibit torque steer as it will use the same method of eliminating it that GM has introduced to its Buick line. Your criticism of the Escalade is well taken, but let's point out that unlike the Navigator, it does have a more powerful engine than the comparable Chevy, and unlike the Navigator, they did differentiate every single body panel, and differentiated the greenhouse a bit more by giving it unique rear doors from Chevy as well. In any event, that formula worked better than what Lincoln chose to do. Is it enough? Of course not, as Escalade sales have fallen as well...just not as much as the Navigator's.
Given how far GM had fallen, Ford is now acknowledging that they represent a threat, because since their collapse, they have been able to come back with many successful models across their various divisions. In particular, Cadillac although held back somewhat by the unpopularity of the old DTS and STS, offers the CTS family (second gen sedan, wagon and coupe) which is doing well and well-regarded. The upcoming rwd ATS has gotten some preliminary good press, and Cadillac, unlike Lincoln, has already announced that a rwd flagship is coming for sure. XTS is stopgap, but it will also do well with Cadillac's traditional customers who have not all died yet. The Escalade is slated to be replaced with something more relevant soon.
I don't care for Cadillacs myself. I drove the CTS (before buying my Volvo S60) and I didn't particularly like it. But I had to acknowledge I liked it better than the MKZ. I was even interested in the MKZ hybrid (even though it doesn't offer AWD, which was one of my wants), but I couldn't get past the bland exterior and interior.
It is easy to take pot shots at GM, but somehow they have bounced back. Ford had a chance to overtake them, and Ford has now been able to outsell Chevy. Still, Chevy sells a lot of cars. What Ford didn't have and still doesn't have, is a Buick or a Cadillac. Until they get one like one of those (or like Lexus or Audi or Infiniti), sales are not going to continue to grow as they have. When I watch TV, it seems that every other commercial is a Ford commercial right now, and a lot of them are for the F150, still their bread and butter ("Where can I get one of these?").
Over the next year, Cadillac is positioned to compete in the market a bit better, because the CTS family is already here, the ATS and XTS are right around the corner, and a new Escalade, plus at least one more new model will be out in another year. Lincoln will have a new and pretty MKZ, a new small crossover (but not as soon as the MKZ which won't even be here until later next year), some buffed up current models (MKS, MKT, including an Ecoboost Navigator with some minor styling tweaks), and nothing else in that same time. It is way better than what they offer this year, but still does not rise to what Mercedes, Audi, Infiniti, Lexus, etc. already have on hand, and Cadillac will have in about a year's time.
I do wish them well, but if there is still a culture of "it's better to have fewer but profitable sales with ok models, than spend and borrow like a crack whore to get the top of the food chain," the bottom line may continue to look good, but Lincoln won't acquire that je ne sais quoi that makes a car owner proud.
#3499 of 4409 Despite the superior rear seat and IRS
Dec 12, 2011 (8:35 am)
the Navigator has had since 03, it's been neglected terribly in recent years. As a former owner of 2 Navigators, the first (1999) when Cadillac had nothing and laughed at the Navigator until it started selling like Mustangs, and the second on the redesign in 03, which was hugely superior to the old one, I quit them when the newest iteration appeared. Hate the wierd overdone front end, and the semi-retro dash, etc. That's when I moved to Lexus. I also had an 02 Escalade though in-between Navigators, and it was very comfortable and nice to drive. Good looking too. Faults were a horrible ride compared to the Navigator, and certainly not befitting a Cadillac. It also had faults, like dash lights that burned out quickly, and the repair for that is a whole new circuit board, an A/C compressor that went out way too soon, and it overheated when I towed my boat in the summer. Which is when you tow a boat, incidently. With that record, I went back to Lincoln and had much better luck again.
No question, and no argument, Lincoln has been neglected horribly. Bill Ford doesn't, and never liked Lincoln, and let it languish after Nasser was canned. Mulally has realized with the divestiture of everything else Ford had except Ford, they need it, but without the government bailout, he had to manage within his own capital restraints to save the company. But we know all of this.
You're right - Lincoln isn't close to winning me back, and may never do so. Once you've experienced the Lexus feel, it's hard to go back. Plus, as you say, the cache of Lincoln is gone. May be recoverable, we'll see. Cadillac did it, I guess Lincoln could too. Really, all I said is, the SRX is a fraud, not a real Cadillac, to me. But, Cadillac doesn't make a Lexus either, IMO. So no danger of going their either. I had Cadillacs in the past, starting with an 83 Fleetwood, 85 little Fleetwood, 87 Sixty Special, 90 Fleetwood. After so many issues, I tried a 92 Lincoln, and was hooked until 05. Oddly, I still have some feelings for Lincoln and hope for their success. But I don't know if I'll ever own one again.
#3500 of 4409 Re: Despite the superior rear seat and IRS [nvbanker]
Dec 12, 2011 (9:32 am)
Lincoln can still do it. The only thing is if Ford wants to do it. Even with new one of a kind body styles and new tech will Lincoln still be seen as a better styled high tech Ford? However, Lincoln does have a fine pedigree though and should embrace it. Also, I was reading some of the older post and I have to agree with those who have written that Lincoln should embrace their classics from the 1930's and 40's the Continental MK2, the 60's Continentals with the suicide doors, and the 60's Mk3 and Mk4. All of these are true classics. Why not use these fine vehicles in advertisements? Right now, the younger folks don't know about Lincoln's fine heritage. But first design Lincolns that are Lincolns and not better designed Fords and it would have a good chance at surviving. Hopefully, it will have a number of premium models with rwd. That would make it relevant to those of us enthusiast who have been following the car mags and have loved Euro style cars since being a kid.
#3501 of 4409 From the classics to the future....
Dec 12, 2011 (10:16 am)
That sounds intriguing.....as one who reveres the 60's suicide door Continentals, an updated such car would go a long way toward attracting me. but it would need to be done very well. Not on the cheap.
#3502 of 4409 Re: From the classics to the future.... [nvbanker]
Dec 12, 2011 (5:24 pm)
Me too! I would very much like to see a revival of the classic '60s Continentals
This the luxury car a Lincoln should be:
#3503 of 4409 Re: From the classics to the future.... [lemko]
Dec 13, 2011 (8:38 am)
Amen, Lemko!!! The glory days!!