Last post on Dec 07, 2013 at 9:04 PM
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Lincoln Zephyr, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKX
#3658 of 4409 Re: Dare I say it? [akirby]
May 31, 2012 (7:22 pm)
You are so defensive, Allen...it is quite amusing.
As for the XTS turning off as many buyers as it turns on, you remind me of the Ford exec in 2005 who said that the Five Hundred's sedate styling would hold its goodness much longer than the temporarily hot Chrysler 300. He was wrong of course.
The 2013 MKS remains dowdy, with a restyled nose that was a waste of Ford's money (reminds me of when you said that the new nose on the Five Hundred for 2008--when it became the Taurus again--would fix its styling shortcomings). Putting new noses on unpopular designs has never worked for Ford, but it has to have cut into profits a bit.
The MKS styling (like the XTS) is not offensive. It is just not attractive (whereas the XTS is at least somewhat attractive, though hardly a standout). Back when the MKS was merely a concept (before the wingspread grill was grafted onto it), I was horrified to think that they might actually build it such a derivative non-distinctive and somewhat bulbous proposal. Unfortunately, they did, it is still with us today, and it does nothing to rebuild Lincoln's reputation.
I have never cared much for Cadillacs and likely would never buy one. But I do give credit where it is due. Lincoln just hasn't pulled any rabbits out of the hat in awhile...not since things like the 1990 and 1998 Town Car, the 1998 Navigator, and the 1999 LS. The new MKZ may be a rabbit, but the brand needs a breakout model, not a as-good-as model. Ford is doing well, but they would do better if Lincoln wasn't limping along, using a walker (like so many of its buyers) and sucking at Ford's teat to produce weirdnesses like the MKT.
Back to the MKS. It was new in 2008 model year, and went up against the DTS, which actually debuted as a Deville in 2000. Cadillac, like Lincoln, began abandoning names for letters, so in 2006, Deville became DTS in a slight freshening...the body except for grill and headlights remained the same. The engine remained the same. Plus some additional options. It still came with only a 4 speed automatic. But the hoary old thing still handily outsold the newer, much more modern MKS in 08, 09, and 2010, and nearly matched the MKS sales in its dying year of 2011. Yes, the MKS styling is that mediocre, so much so that even as a superior car, it lost out to an old Cadillac. The Cadillac had more coherent dowdy styling, but not much else. It just illustrates how badly drawn the MKS was right from the go-shot.
#3659 of 4409 Re: Dare I say it? [gregg_vw]
Jun 01, 2012 (5:30 am)
Your defense of Cadillac is just as amusing, considering how many failures they've had the last few years. First gen CTS and SRX were terrible. XLR was a huge failure and never should have been attempted. I do give them credit for the CTS and the V series especially, even though I don't think it was necessarily a wise business decision at the time. And the new SRX isn't bad.
Cadillac will never out-BMW BMW no matter how good the cars are.
I'm only defending the MKS in a direct comparison with the XTS. Styling is subjective and there are at least as many people that HATE the current Cadillac styling as there are who LOVE it. The MKS will be in the middle. The cars are otherwise virtually identical in size and features (XTS may have a bigger rear seat and trunk - didn't check) but the MKS also offers a 365 HP engine.
You can't expect Lincoln to put a totally new team in place dedicated to Lincoln including a fully dedicated design team and have all new models across the line within a year. It just doesn't work that way. The new MKZ was a big step but even that was conceived and almost finished before the new team came on board.
The large luxury sedan market is small and shrinking so you'll probably see a C segment utility and sedan from Lincoln before you'll see a new MKS. Priorities.
#3660 of 4409 Re: Dare I say it? [akirby]
Jun 01, 2012 (6:59 am)
There ya go again. Ha! I was not defending Cadillac so much as using its checkered history to illustrate what a poor decision the MKS was. The first gen CTS and SRX were not "terrible." The CTS definitely had poor reliability, but that first generation began to show that Cadillac could still be a contender. It sold way better than Lincoln models of the time.
As for the SRX, it had the same problem as the Taurus X, the Pacifica, the Flex and the MKT...it looked like a station wagon, not an SUV or CUV which people inexplicably prefer--even though they are all wagons in the end. It actually got good auto press (like the Flex and even MKT often do), but the looks killed it. The inferior second gen SRX took off because it has the upper end CUV looks that buyers want right now.
Is that a defense of Cadillac? I think not. Speaking of the first gen SRX, how about that XLR? Now there was a real dud. Lincoln would have to be trying to do one as badly as that. Overall, of course Cadillac must do better, and they probably will, if they survive. With the ATS, XTS, new CTS next year, new Escalade next year, the SRX, a new flagship coming, plus another CUV, they at least have a chance.
As for your totally new team rant, you say that every other post. No one disputes that it takes time for a totally new team to get new products out. You continually miss my point that there was a new "team" so to speak prior to this new team, a team that produced the MKS front end (the rest was done before they came on board), and then they produced the MKT as there first clean sheet effort. No, they didn't have as many resources as the new, new team, but they squandered their few resources on two dopey looking models like the MKS and MKT, when with the same money they could have styled both of those cars more attractively. Just one hit would have made a difference. But they blew both efforts with their committee styling and the mistaken belief that a dramatic front end would make the whole vehicle.
#3661 of 4409 Re: Dare I say it? [gregg_vw]
Jun 01, 2012 (9:12 am)
I agree that the MKS and MKT styling were/are not great. However, I don't think you understand the inner workings at Ford and Lincoln.
Prior to last year, Ford had not decided what to do with Lincoln and Mercury. The focus was on saving Ford (pun intended) first. Once they decided to kill Mercury and start investing money and resources to fixing Lincoln they went out and hired a huge team (over 100 people) dedicated to Lincoln. The last year or so this team has been working on the plan for Lincoln which goes way beyond the vehicles starting with a significantly enhanced dealership experience which is under way as we speak with new dedicated showrooms and other services. The new Lincoln design team was only allowed to make minor changes to the MKZ, MKS and MKT as these were already finished before they arrived.
To focus only on the cars would have been a mistake. To focus only on the dealers would have been a mistake. Lincoln needs to be fixed top to bottom and that is a 5-10 year job. You won't see significant results the first year or two.
You won't see the NEW MKS because it will be a totally new vehicle on a different platform and they're not going to spend a lot of money on the current lame duck platform for such a small market segment. The money is in the C and C/D segments and that's where the product focus is right now. The money and hours they saved on the MKS and MKT restyles are going into the new products.
Now if the new products do come out over the next 2-3 years and they're no better than the current MKS and MKT and the dealer experience has not improved then I will totally agree with you.
Until then it's premature.
#3662 of 4409 May sales numbers are in
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Jun 01, 2012 (3:31 pm)
And the numbers are surprisingly good across the board in spite of the economy. Cheap credit, cheap gas, lots of pent up demand.
But the numbers for Lincoln aren't so good.
"Ford brand sales were 901,446, up 6.8 percent over last year's 843, 710. The Lincoln brand dropped from 34, 642 vehicles sold in 2011 to 34, 418 in 2012."
GM sales up 10.9% in May; Ford up 13%; Chrysler up 30% (Detroit News)
Didn't see any profit prediction stories. Ford's incentives were up for May; I assume that includes Lincolns.
#3663 of 4409 Re: May sales numbers are in [steve_]
Jun 02, 2012 (12:19 pm)
Lincoln numbers aren't good? Gee, Steve, you must have read a different press release.
MKZ and Navigator basically flat.
MKX and MKS up approximately 25%.
MKT up over 100%.
The only big loser was the Town Car that's no longer made.
That's not a bad showing considering these vehicles are basically unchanged from last year.
BTW - MKS sales are up 44% YTD compared to last year.
Incentives were up in May because they were too low in April.
I'm not saying the numbers are great but they are decent and moving in the right direction - with virtually no product changes (yet).
#3664 of 4409 Re: May sales numbers are in [akirby]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Jun 02, 2012 (12:29 pm)
Well, seems like most everyone else was up (May is usually a good month). But from my link:
"The Lincoln brand dropped from 34, 642 vehicles sold in 2011 to 34, 418 in 2012."
I guess selling another 9,460 Town Cars like they did in '11 would have helped.
#3665 of 4409 Re: May sales numbers are in [steve_]
Jun 02, 2012 (1:06 pm)
I wouldn't be surprised if actual retail sales are higher. Some Lincolns still go to fleets, but nothing in the volume of the TC.
#3666 of 4409 Re: May sales numbers are in [akirby]
Jun 02, 2012 (2:12 pm)
Oh, come on, Allen. A volume luxury brand like Lincoln selling less than 35K TOTAL over all models? The MKS alone was supposed to sell more than that. Then you trot out the (very real) %age increases as if that is something to crow about. THEY ARE ALL BIG LOSERS. Can we at least agree on that?
I agree with you that it will take 5 -10 years to rebuild Lincoln. You keep explaining that to me as if I don't understand. I do.
You don't acknowledge that I am not lauding Cadillac when I point out how that crippled brand has managed to have both a couple of hits and several misses in the past few years. The truth is, Lincoln has had no hits in several years. You know that, but it galls you to admit that as bad as Cadillac has been overall, they still have managed to have some small successes.
I don't like Cadillacs and I do like Fords (or some Fords), but I will not pretend that Lincoln has done anything worthwhile in the past few years. Spending money on tweaking the noses of the MKS and MKT was a waste. Leave the noses the way they were until such time as the cars could be redesigned. Put the nose money into the future redesigns, still some years down the road. Running changes that improve the drive and feel and tech, fine, great. Better ads, great. But spending money on a new grill (that looks an awfully lot like the old grill) on a car that just doesn't grab consumers attention? A waste of development money. WHO in charge authorizes such nonsense?
Hopefully, this new team will chart a new course toward something, I don't know what it might be, that will revive this embarrassing brand in the way that the 1961 sedan did. I love the MKZ coming out this fall, but it is no 1961 Lincoln. I also hate that when I was typing that sentence, I had to think...T? Z? S? X? My initial typing to be totally honest would have been MKX. When is this new team going to learn that putting the model letters at the end of the alpha names is just so confusing for us old guys?
One thing that is also a fact in this: Cadillac killing the old non-lamented DTS has cut into their sales numbers. Lincoln is now only a couple of thousand per month behind them, and that hasn't happened in a long time. Hope springs eternal.
#3667 of 4409 Re: May sales numbers are in [gregg_vw]
Jun 03, 2012 (1:53 pm)
I wasn't crowing about anything, but the numbers aren't terrible either. They're ok for where Lincoln is right now with lots of changes in store for the future.
Compare the MKS and new MKZ to any previous Lincolns and tell me they're not making significant progress.