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stasisLAX
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Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:42 am

In a recent incredibly candid interview with USA Today, Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company President, revealed that Ford was seriously considering shuttering the Lincoln division. In fact, Ford almost dropped the Lincoln brand around the same time it decided to shutter the Mercury brand.

2013 Lincoln MKZ - Concept


Lincoln was America’s best-selling luxury brand a dozen years ago (when the brand offered the popular Navigator SUV, the newly restyled Town Car sedan, and the all new Jaguar-influenced LS sport sedans), but has recently fallen in sales and market penetration. During this fall from grace, Lincoln has became the symbol of the senior citizen crowd, which has nearly tarnished the brand beyond repair.

“I don’t think we’re relevant to the core luxury customer,” the head of Ford's marketing department said of the Lincoln brand.

As a result of that damaged perception, Ford nearly discontinued the brand. After all, simply closing the division would have been far simpler than returning it to its former glory. However, Ford is now fully committed to Lincoln, and has vowed that the brand will eventually rival the likes of Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Ford is going all-in on its Lincoln luxury brand with seven new models by 2015, but Ford executives could elect to fold the luxury marque if this latest attempt at its reincarnation fails.

The new plan for Lincoln couples "elegant" style, outstanding build quality, and embracing high technology, using the new MKZ hybrid as a case in point. The brand new MKZ hybrid will get 41 mpg on the EPA city cycle, features the My Lincoln Touch infotainment system (think the standard Ford Sync system on steroids), and has unique styling (which is debatable) - although the MKZ (see official Lincoln photos above and below) shares the same front wheel drive platform as the European Ford Mondeo and its virtual clone, the new Ford Fusion that was just released in North America. Not to beat a dead horse, but what Lincoln truly needs is a inspirational "halo" vehicle - a front engined, long wheelbase rear wheel drive sedan - think of something like the timeless 1961 Continental - something that urban music artists and wealthy country-club types both yearn to own.

Otherwise, I think Ford should perform a mercy-killing of the Lincoln brand.

Source: http://content.usatoday.com/communit...l-take-every-ounce-of-our-energy/1

2013 Lincoln MKZ (Concept) - Official Lincoln Photo
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:50 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

HA! They've got so much catching up to do.

The only US brand to get somewhat close to the Axis cars is Cadillac, but that ain't saying much.

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
and has unique styling

If by unique they mean vomit-inducing then they're spot on   

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Otherwise, I think Ford should perform a mercy-killing of the Lincoln brand.

Agreed. Though I fear our beloved Superfly may kill himself too if that happens  
 
sccutler
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:52 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Not to beat a dead horse, but what Lincoln truly needs is a inspirational "halo" vehicle - a front engined, long wheelbase rear wheel drive sedan - think of something like the timeless 1961 Continental - something that urban music artists and wealthy country-club types both yearn to own.

You said a lot, right there.

Ford has already proven that they can return their design and build quality to match and exceed the best the competition can offer. Turned loose to excel, the engineers and designers at FoMoCo can build Lincolns the world will line-up to buy.
 
flymia
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:56 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 1):
The only US brand to get somewhat close to the Axis cars is Cadillac, but that ain't saying much.

CTS V8 Wagon is pretty cool, but give me an E63 Wagon any day. Cadillac is pretty decent though.

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
In a recent incredibly candid interview with USA Today, Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company President, revealed that Ford was seriously considering shuttering the Lincoln division.

They should have not have considered it and just done it. Does lincoln even sell well? Their commercials are decent.
Besides for a few Jeeps and if I ever needed a pickup there are very few American cars I would ever consider owning with the current line-up. We make a lot of great things in the US but right now cars is not one of them.
 
Kent350787
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:00 am

Out of interest I just visited the Lincoln website - and my eyes are still burning from the ugliness of the current range. The MKZ conept is much better, although the front end is maybe a little bland.

I would have thought that Ford getting rid of Jag would have freed Lincoln up a bit to build saleable cars again? Yet Tata's purchase of Jag is the move that's released a flood of decent product from Jag....
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:29 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Lincoln was America’s best-selling luxury brand a dozen years ago (when the brand offered the popular Navigator SUV, the newly restyled Town Car sedan, and the all new Jaguar-influenced LS sport sedans), but has recently fallen in sales and market penetration. During this fall from grace, Lincoln has became the symbol of the senior citizen crowd, which has nearly tarnished the brand beyond repair.

“I don’t think we’re relevant to the core luxury customer,” the head of Ford's marketing department said of the Lincoln brand.

Lincoln sells nothing but cheaper Ford cars, add a lot of chrome and leather, and try to sell it as a luxury car. Doesn't work.

These days, a Luxury car is (still) Rear wheel drive, with a sophisticated chassis which can both be very comfortable when cruising, but will still handle well when you give it the boot. That requires development skill that has been sadly lacking in the US, and this is where the Germans have traditionally exceled. You should have engines available that go to at the very least 350 hp. German luxury cars are up to 500, 600 horses.

The Germans are there, Jaguar is there, Lexus and Infiniti are close on their heels, then you have other high-priced brands such as Aston, Range Rover, Porsche etc which are able to do it. A true luxury car should have a dual personality - comfortable when you want it to be but able to surprise you (and others) with performance.

Here's the frustration - A luxury car requires a lot of work tuning the chassis to make it feel like it's worth the price premium. That is much more important than leather and chrome. Why is it that over the past 30 years American manufacturers refuse to invest in chassis development for cars that sell in the 10s or 100s of thousands per year, when much smaller firms like Jaguar or Aston Martin or Porsche develop much better chassis in spite of only selling a few thousands?

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 1):

The only US brand to get somewhat close to the Axis cars is Cadillac, but that ain't saying much.

Cadillac has done some good things in terms of what I said above. But their styling department should be lined up against the wall and shot.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:36 am

Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 4):
would have thought that Ford getting rid of Jag would have freed Lincoln up a bit to build saleable cars again

Perhaps Ford should have kept Jaguar and Land Rover - and let Lincoln die. Lincoln in my mind competes now with Buick, the Lexus ES, and the Hyundai Genesis - while Jaguar competed (in buyers minds) directly with Mercedes and BMW and had a very clear image. Although Jaguar also faced the problem of being seen as the "senior citizen" choice. Their new products (which were already in the pipeline when Ford sold the brand to Tata) have definitely "jazzed up" Jaguar's image, which is exactly what Ford needs to do with Lincoln.   
 
BMI727
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:08 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
In fact, Ford almost dropped the Lincoln brand around the same time it decided to shutter the Mercury brand.

Can't imagine why they didn't. Heck, I can't imagine why they wouldn't do it now. They have a model lineup that consists of:
- two overpriced, poorly badge engineered versions of unremarkable Ford sedans (they can barely compete with Honda and Toyota, so how are they going to compare to Mercedes and BMW?)
- two ugly, poorly badge engineered versions of Ford crossovers, where again, the original is nothing special
- the Navigator which, depending on who you ask, is like an Escalade without the style, a Range Rover without the style and class, or a Porsche Cayenne without the style, class, and performance
- and special mention for the now departed Mark LT, which existed for no reason at all.

So basically Lincoln has become Mercury and whatever cache the brand once had has been washed away in a torrent of mediocrity, even by geriatric standards.

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
“I don’t think we’re relevant to the core luxury customer,”

        

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
although the MKZ (see official Lincoln photos above and below) shares the same front wheel drive platform as the European Ford Mondeo and its virtual clone, the new Ford Fusion that was just released in North America.

The grand revitalization of the Lincoln brand will be led by....more of the same.

Quoting flymia (Reply 3):
CTS V8 Wagon is pretty cool, but give me an E63 Wagon any day.

The Germans are better cars off the lot, but having that extra $30-40k to do some tuning would pay off handsomely for the CTS.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 5):
But their styling department should be lined up against the wall and shot.

Art and Science is starting to age, and there doesn't seem to be much evolution.

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 6):
Their new products (which were already in the pipeline when Ford sold the brand to Tata) have definitely "jazzed up" Jaguar's image, which is exactly what Ford needs to do with Lincoln.

Exactly. And the Range Rover Evoque is getting some good reviews too.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:18 am

I think one reason Ford didn't kill off the Lincoln (along with Mercury) was that the dealers who would be eliminated would sue Ford for huge money.
 
Superfly
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:41 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 1):
Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Otherwise, I think Ford should perform a mercy-killing of the Lincoln brand.

Agreed. Though I fear our beloved Superfly may kill himself too if that happens

Why? Lincoln already died on August 29, 2011 when the final Town Car rolled off the assembly line.
 
BMI727
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:42 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 9):
Lincoln already died on August 29, 2011 when the final Town Car rolled off the assembly line.

As far as consumers were concerned the Town Car was dead long before that, even though it was still around. Like Larry King.
 
Superfly
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:46 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):
As far as consumers were concerned the Town Car was dead long before that,

2007 to be exact. The last 3 model years were not marketed to consumers and were mainly sold to fleets. However, a private consumer still could have bought one.
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:27 am

I almost bought a Lincoln LSE once. Damn it was sweet. I regret to this day not buying this car but somehow I knew the 3.9L AJ was going to be a PITA and I passed it up.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 5):
Cadillac has done some good things in terms of what I said above. But their styling department should be lined up against the wall and shot.

I dont mind the Cadillac styling at all. Im not the biggest fan of the current SRX though. The small engine available up to 2011 was god-awfull with that gearbox though. I dont know how they could have done that to a Cadillac, it was truly worse driving than the Opel...excuse me Catera.

Not gonna lie, if someone gave me an Escalade ESV to roll around town in with these moon-crater like potholes here I wouldnt mind it, prefer the Yukon XL but still from a comfort perspective it gets the job done.
 
Superfly
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:34 am

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 12):
Not gonna lie, if someone gave me an Escalade ESV to roll around town in with these moon-crater like potholes here I wouldnt mind it, prefer the Yukon XL but still from a comfort perspective it gets the job done.

The 1994 - 1996 Fleetwood Brougham would handle those potholes better.   

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 12):
I almost bought a Lincoln LSE once.

Are you talking about the Lincoln Mark VII LSC?
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:45 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 13):
Are you talking about the Lincoln Mark VII LSC?

No, im talking about the Lincoln LS V8 special edition. Such an underrated car the LS V8 was.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 13):
The 1994 - 1996 Fleetwood Brougham would handle those potholes better.

Someday. Truly someday. 69 Mark III even better. The stuff dreams are made of.
 
Superfly
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:55 am

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 14):
Lincoln LS V8 special edition. Such an underrated car the LS V8 was.

  
Such a missed opportunity and a great vehicle. There was very little marketing for the LS and they should have given the car a name instead of "LS" which had been a trim level on various Mercury and Lincolns over the years.
Perhaps THAT should have be called the Zephyr.
The upside-down bath-tub Town Car of 1998 - 2002 should have been called the Cosmopolitan and the Continental concept should have went in to production.
The based hardtop could have been the Town Car and the convertible should have been the Continental.
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:11 am

Now im really getting pissed off I didnt buy it. It was some good stuff for that year, 2005 - Had the first electronic hand brake and came along with the ventilated front seats.

Im hating all these stupid 3 letter designations we got from the Japs, let them have their unimaginative crap and give me some inspiring names. The consolation prize is we get cars named things they should be named. I mean come on, the Avenger or the GTO?

People dont have balls anymore, thats the problem. Everyones lost their mind and driving around in shitty plastic lunchbox Kias.

[Edited 2012-02-09 00:17:03]
 
smittyone
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:28 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 3):
We make a lot of great things in the US but right now cars is not one of them.

Not picking on you Steven, but this makes me laugh a little bit.

American cars were so damn terrible when I was growing up that I actually think the current Big Three lineup is FANTASTIC by comparison  

Even so I drive a Honda so take that for what it's worth. I still shudder when I think about some of the crappy cars my dad drove in the '80s.
 
Ken777
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:28 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 3):
Besides for a few Jeeps and if I ever needed a pickup there are very few American cars I would ever consider owning with the current line-up.

Would that include all the "foreign" cars built in the US - from Hyundai to BMWs?
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:36 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 8):
I think one reason Ford didn't kill off the Lincoln (along with Mercury) was that the dealers who would be eliminated would sue Ford for huge money.

In many areas, a lot of Lincoln-Mercury dealers merged w/nearby Ford dealers thereby creating a situation where EVERY Lincoln product had a competing Ford product UNDER THE SAME ROOF. EPIC FAIL IMHO.

Who's going to buy a Navigator, if the same place offers a similarly-equipped Expedition for a lower price.

Worth noting: Chrysler, Dodge/RAM & Jeep dealerships did themselves no favors by doing similar (combining all brands under one dealership).


Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Not to beat a dead horse, but what Lincoln truly needs is a inspirational "halo" vehicle - a front engined, long wheelbase rear wheel drive sedan - think of something like the timeless 1961 Continental - something that urban music artists and wealthy country-club types both yearn to own.

                             
It's worth noting that the '61 Continental was what saved Lincoln from its last 'near-death' experience. As a matter of fact, proposals to kill off the Lincoln brand date as far back as right after WW2. The fore-mentioned kill-off plan from the late-50s was the 3rd known proposal attempt.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
- two overpriced, poorly badge engineered versions of unremarkable Ford sedans (they can barely compete with Honda and Toyota, so how are they going to compare to Mercedes and BMW?)

At the moment, the MKZ's Lincoln's best selling model. Despite sharing the obvious resemblance to the Fusion & now-gone Milan; it's managed to hold its own. Will it sell as well as the Fusion? No, but that was never the intent for the MKZ/Zephyr.

OTOH, the MKS is an absolute abortion. It's ugly and it has LESS interior room & trunk space than ANY of its Ford-Mo-Co D3-platformed siblings (Taurus/Sable/Five Hundred/Montego) past & present. The smallish trunk space and narrow cabin were 2 reasons why limo coach builders flat out rejected it as a possible Town Cars replacement when it first rolled out for 2009.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
two ugly, poorly badge engineered versions of Ford crossovers, where again, the original is nothing special

Like the MKZ sedan, the MKX hasn't done too badly considering; I actually liked the front-end treatment of the 2007-2010 models. Then again, during the MKX's early years; it wasn't internally competing with the Edge under the same roof in most instances.

The MKT, while making strides to NOT resemble its Flex cousin; again, has LESS interior room and cargo space than its Ford cheaper cousin. Epic Fail IMHO.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
the Navigator which, depending on who you ask, is like an Escalade without the style, a Range Rover without the style and class, or a Porsche Cayenne without the style, class, and performance

With the exception of the Range Rover, the Navigator was around YEARS BEFORE the Escalade and Cayenne. As a matter of fact, its 1998 roll-out and sales success sent Cadillac scurrying to design and launch its Escalade.

Now with the Town Car gone; the Navigator's the only RWD-based, BOF, V8-powered vehicle left in Lincoln's line-up. It's also the only vehicle in their lineup that has OVER 60 inches of shoulder room for the first 2 rows of seating.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
and special mention for the now departed Mark LT, which existed for no reason at all.

I will agree with you on that one. Lincoln should've gotten the message when its earlier Blackwood truck bombed. I guess they thought that since Cadillac had a version of the Chevy Avalanche in its Escalade family; they should have a version of its F-150 Super Crew.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:47 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 18):
Would that include all the "foreign" cars built in the US - from Hyundai to BMWs?

It has nothing to do with where it's built. It has to do with corporate philosophy. Certain car manufacturers will only put a car on the market when they have developed it to the point that their engineers say, "It's as good as it can be - we can't think of anything we can do to make it better."

Other car manufacturers are willing to put a car on sale for the cheapest development possible, and the marketing/sales/accounting guys (rather than the engineers) say, "That'll do."

"That'll do" is the attitude that has exemplified the US auto industry for decades. They certainly have made strides in build quality, but that was because they HAD to. But as far as chassis development and the development of cars that are both comfortable and handle well is still 30 years behind. "That'll do" simply will not do for the Luxury market.

One caveat: A couple of weeks ago, I spent a weekend driving around Dallas in a Camaro SS. Even though Dallas is hardly a Mecca of fun driving roads, I was pleasantly surprised about the handling. But then again, the Camaro is built on a Chassis developed by Holden in Australia.
 
Ken777
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:03 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 20):
"It's as good as it can be - we can't think of anything we can do to make it better.

Like the cooling system on my '68 BMW 2002? Pure "Yugo Engineering" standard there, but it was good enough to send to the US.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 20):
Other car manufacturers are willing to put a car on sale for the cheapest development possible, and the marketing/sales/accounting guys (rather than the engineers) say, "That'll do."

"That'll do" also relates to the BMW "fix" for their impotent cooling system on my car - they sent a larger fan. Far cheaper than engineering a real solution. (And even with the new fan the car was incapable of running an AC in hot weather.)

Basic moral of the story? Don't believe that "designed/engineered outside of the US" means far superior cars.

Over the years I've also come to believe that the costs to maintain is also an important factor in engineering quality. Instead of working hard to figure out what new engineering trick that can be put in a car there also needs to be a focus on how to reduce the costs of maintenance over the life of the car.
 
AustinAllison
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:25 pm

Anyone who thinks a BMW or a Mercedes is better than a Cadillac is crazy.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:29 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 21):
Like the cooling system on my '68 BMW 2002? Pure "Yugo Engineering" standard there, but it was good enough to send to the US.
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 21):

"That'll do" also relates to the BMW "fix" for their impotent cooling system on my car - they sent a larger fan.

Are you trying to argue the point using an example from 44 years ago? Actually you might be doing the reverse. The world's automotive manufacturers have advanced over the last few decades, but the US' less so than others. In the 50s and 60s the US actually exported a lot of cars - they were considered the height of luxury in Europe at the time when the likes of BMW and Mercedes made some very basic cars by comparison. Not any more. Your example illustrates that.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 21):
Over the years I've also come to believe that the costs to maintain is also an important factor in engineering quality

Certainly. But what we are talking about is LUXURY cars. Cost is not so important, neither is fuel mileage, because the buyers of these cars have cash to blow, by definition. What makes a luxury car is chassis sophistication, features, fit and finish, and a certain X-Factor that says to the buyer that they did not buy a blinged-up Taurus or Expedition, but something rather special.
 
Ken777
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:41 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 23):
Are you trying to argue the point using an example from 44 years ago?

Oddly enough we were not still in the horse & buggy era back then. We had sent man to the moon by then and we landed on the moon the next year.

And US cars (as well as some foreign makers) were able to handle cooling systems even with loaded up card and hefty a/c units.

Where this is a solid example is when you get to arrogant companies who believe their products are so outstanding that they can so easily get caught with their pants down.

ANd it points out the "cheapest at any cost" approach to correcting their arrogant & incompetent POS engineering.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 23):
Cost is not so important, neither is fuel mileage, because the buyers of these cars have cash to blow, by definition

Cars that require excessively expensive maintenance to operate at a normal level are, IMO, poorly engineered. I don't care how many cute engineering fobs you add in, it is still pretty queer engineering when it takes excessive maintenance to maintain.
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:12 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 19):
the Navigator was around YEARS BEFORE the Escalade and Cayenne

I very much doubt when VW and Porsche were designing the Touareg and Cayenne the Navigator was in it's sights. Besides the ML was out MONTHS BEFORE the Navigator.

Quoting AustinAllison (Reply 22):
Anyone who thinks a BMW or a Mercedes is better than a Cadillac is crazy.

Golly better go back into the institution if you think that, try name a single Cadillac product which is better than it's competing BMW or Mercedes counterpart.

[Edited 2012-02-09 15:14:05]
 
swissy
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:17 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 24):
And US cars (as well as some foreign makers) were able to handle cooling systems even with loaded up card and hefty a/c units.

They were all the same more or less... my old lady always had these US ships, god only knows why... Chrysler's and US made Fords...just as cr..y, bro in law and his fantastic Cadillac also build in the 70's, we could not even do the alps without stopping 2-3 times to cool the engine....

I have now my second MB product and so far the ownership cost (not purchased price included) is far less compare to what we had in the past (Chrysler products)... that is why I am getting an diesel GL...

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 23):
Certainly. But what we are talking about is LUXURY cars. Cost is not so important, neither is fuel mileage, because the buyers of these cars have cash to blow, by definition. What makes a luxury car is chassis sophistication, features, fit and finish, and a certain X-Factor that says to the buyer that they did not buy a blinged-up Taurus or Expedition, but something rather special.

  

cheerios,
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:28 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 24):
Cars that require excessively expensive maintenance to operate at a normal level are, IMO, poorly engineered. I don't care how many cute engineering fobs you add in, it is still pretty queer engineering when it takes excessive maintenance to maintain.

Depends what you want it to do. A mainstream sedan or econobox, I would agree with you 100%, they should be designed to be reliable as hell and cheap to maintain. But someone buying a Mitsubishi EVO (basically a road-legal rally car which requires oil changes every 4000 miles, and only with top-shelf synthetic oil) should not be surprised that a 2 liter engine with a huge honking turbocharger putting out 400 hp is going to cost a bomb to maintain.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 24):
And US cars (as well as some foreign makers) were able to handle cooling systems even with loaded up card and hefty a/c units.

I believe you are old enough to remember when cars did not have A/C - it's a pretty new invention. A/C on European cars was almost unheard of 30 years ago, because European weather tends to be cooler. Beefing up of the cooling system became a necessity only after selling their cars in the US -warmer climate AND the effect of putting in an A/C compressor.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 24):
Where this is a solid example is when you get to arrogant companies who believe their products are so outstanding that they can so easily get caught with their pants down.

I expect you are talking about your classic BMW, but I would remind you that in 1968 BMW was a very small company. It's hard to find numbers as BMW was completely private then, but I don't think they made more than 40,000 maybe 50,000 cars per year, maximum worldwide in 1968. They were hardly likely to be arrogant.

That was the downfall of the American manufacturers however. Remember in the 60s, 70s when GM, Ford etc laughed at the imports, saying that they would never be a serious threat to their market share? And in the 80s when they finally realized their mistake and tried to compete by building really, really cheap cars but expecting people to still buy them? Cadillacs and Chrysler New Yorkers were nothing more than the cheapest econoboxes covered in chrome, and they expected people to be stupid enough to buy them. THAT was arrogance.
 
flymia
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:38 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 17):

Well certainly compared to the 80s I am sure cars have improved, but I still not a fan of most American cars.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 18):

No, I know a lot of foreign companies make cars in the US and even some are made in Mexico. It is not where they are made or who makes the cars that is the problem. It is the engineering and lack of inguinuity. The best US made car on the market right now IMO is the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, but one of the reasons is it uses a Mecerdes ML platform. When is comes to handling the Germans have the US beat and technology And reliability, Asia wins. Though Ford technology is pretty good.
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:40 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 27):
I believe you are old enough to remember when cars did not have A/C - it's a pretty new invention

How old are you people? Majority of cars in the US have had factory A/C since the late 60s. Thats significant considering half the cars in Europe are base modeled after a Oregon Trail horse and buggy.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:10 am

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 29):
How old are you people? Majority of cars in the US have had factory A/C since the late 60s.

It was available, but not standard and fairly expensive for a long time. My first american cars (built in 60s, 70s and 80s) did not have A/C - and I lived in Houston.   . My first car with A/C was an 86 Camaro.
 
BMI727
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:55 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 19):
At the moment, the MKZ's Lincoln's best selling model.

It's the tallest midget.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 19):
Despite sharing the obvious resemblance to the Fusion & now-gone Milan; it's managed to hold its own. Will it sell as well as the Fusion? No, but that was never the intent for the MKZ/Zephyr.

OTOH, the MKS is an absolute abortion.

They are both absolute dogs compared to the competition. Why would anyone buy a MKS or MKZ when they could get an Avalon, Infiniti G, BMW 3 series, C-Class, A3/A4, Cadillac CTS or ATS, or Lexus ES or IS instead?

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 19):
As a matter of fact, its 1998 roll-out and sales success sent Cadillac scurrying to design and launch its Escalade.

And Lincoln's been getting their asses beat ever since.

The only Lincoln to appear on Entourage was Johnny's Continental. But, there were Escalades, Range Rovers, and Mercedes galore, and that's a big part of Lincoln's problem.

In all of the automotive world, is there a model lineup as universally unappealing as Lincoln's?

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 19):
I will agree with you on that one. Lincoln should've gotten the message when its earlier Blackwood truck bombed.

Luxury pickups do just fine, it's the Lincoln pickups that have bombed. Ford doesn't have much trouble moving their Harley-Davidson and King Ranch trucks.
 
Ken777
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:18 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 27):
I believe you are old enough to remember when cars did not have A/C - it's a pretty new invention.

Yep. Our first car with an a/c was a '55 Pontiac Wagon. Big sucker, 3 rows of seats and the a/c could reach the backseat. That was 13 years before my 2002 WAS MADE.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 27):
A/C on European cars was almost unheard of 30 years ago, because European weather tends to be cooler.

I can understand that, but BMW was shipping 10,000 cars (both 1600s and 2002a) to the US that first year and it was imperative for them to meet various US standards. I find it hard to believe that they didn't look at a map and see things, like a lot of land closer to the equator than Germany, or the US west of the Rockies.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 27):
but I would remind you that in 1968 BMW was a very small company

Big enough to plan a 10,000 launch in the US.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 27):
They were hardly likely to be arrogant.

When it came to the cooling system they were. When considering their little bumpers that couldn't I can give them a pass.

When it comes to how they addressed their engineering FUBAR, especially in the area of customer support, I have to give them a total failure.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:28 am

Amazing how history repeats itself. Lincoln and the Continental were almost on the euthinasia path back in the late 1950's early 1960's. What was a hand built classic (1956 and 1956 Lincoln Continentals) were trashed and out came the hippo bloated gaudy fugly 1958 to 1960 over the top series which were basically Edsels with over the top gee gaws and pork. The designer Engel took his rejected Thunderbird design and that became the JFK era Lincolns which back in 1961 were ahead of their time. Remember the "Entourage" 4 door convertible? And the rest they say is history.

Today, though Lincoln skews toward an older audience, they made several mistakes in my opinion.
  • Tried to act like a European by droppinf familiar names and opting for easy to forget number series while still putting out an American product.
  • The ugly Town Car never got updated. Always felt it was a rip off of the ugly Taurus design.
  • Relied too much on their Navigator which was a great hip hop rap star vehicle.
  • Never cultivated and perfected a new Continental.


Some of the designs pictured in this thread have some nice looks but, they need to be of a high quality and familiar at least name wise.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:43 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 32):
I can understand that, but BMW was shipping 10,000 cars (both 1600s and 2002a) to the US that first year and it was imperative for them to meet various US standards. I find it hard to believe that they didn't look at a map and see things, like a lot of land closer to the equator than Germany, or the US west of the Rockies.

It's an easy thing to underestimate when you don't have experience with it. My rough guess is that a car sold in Germany like the 2002, where peak temps are maybe 20-30 degrees more than typical German temps, plus add the effect of an A/C compressor which sucks maybe 20 hp out of that little engine and ironically dumps heat through its own heat exchanger right in the engine bay making the engine run even hotter, and taking into account where the engine temp should be (somewhere around 180-190 degrees), I would guess that you need at least DOUBLE the cooling capacity of the cooling system and radiator. We know that now, but I've been in many hot countries like India where cars are brought in, designed very recently in modern countries, and they can't deal with the heat - and that's in the 21st century.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:14 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 32):
Yep. Our first car with an a/c was a '55 Pontiac Wagon. Big sucker, 3 rows of seats and the a/c could reach the backseat. That was 13 years before my 2002 WAS MADE.

I'm confused! You said your first A/C equipped car was a '55 Pontiac Wagon. But it was 13 years before your 2002 was made?

If it was a '55 Pontiac with A/C that was extremely rare! I read that when Chevy's and Pontiacs back in the 50's were ordered with factory air, that car was actually pulled off the assembly line and the a/c was hand built/installed. Did your Pontiac have OEM or add on a/c? If it was factory air were the ducts under the dash or installed in the dash like today's a/c? Did your car have a driver side, center and passenger side a/c vent/outlet?
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:19 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 33):
Tried to act like a European by droppinf familiar names and opting for easy to forget number series while still putting out an American product

The Lincoln LS sedan (especially the V-8 version) was a fine road car, which offered crisp handling and restrained styling thanks to some engineering input and tuning from the nice folks at Jaguar (since the LS was based on the then-new
S-type), But Ford failed to make regular engineering updates to the LS, which lead to a steep drop in its sales. Ford was known for letting vehicles whither on the vine, like the Town Car/Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis and the previous generations of the Taurus and Thunderbird.

[Edited 2012-02-09 20:20:09]
 
sccutler
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:01 am

My first car was a 1961 Chevrolet Impala, and its air conditioning was factory-fit, fully-integrated (or, as they called it, "Four-Seasons Air). It worked spectacularly well (I got the car in 1975), car could idle along in traffic on a 105 degree day, A/C blowing icecicles, and the temp gauge for that big ol' 348 never budged.

---

These arguments sorta crack me up; neither European nor Asian cars of any kind could remotely touch American cars for durability or quality until we got into the 70s; the first generation of Japanese imports (Toyota Corona, Datsun 510, etc.) sold not because they were good (they were not); they sold because they were adequate, and CHEAP. Then they got better.

Meanwhile, the American cars coasted along a path to mediocrity, which (in my view) peaked somewhere in the mid to late 80s. They are so vastly much better now than then, it's almost comical.

Folks who said (and they said it, friends, they surely did), "I'll never buy a Japanese car, they are junk!" in the early 70s (when Japanese cars required a push from a Plymouth or a Chevy to start on a cold day), were foolish; but no more so than those who say, today, "I'll never buy an American car!"

I buy what I like. Right now, I have:

Two American cars; an Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, which may be one of the best-built cars I have aver seen, much less owned, and a Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Cabriolet ('76), which may lay no claim to world's best in anything, but it surely is big, and it always scored so clean on the emissions test, the testing stations always thought that the sniffer fell out.

One "German" car - the quotes because the Volkswagen Jetta was built (very well, by the way) in Puebla, Mexico, although there are certain elements of the engineering that make me wonder just what they were thinking;

Another German car, a BMW 5-series, which is supremely nice to drive, fast, pretty efficient when I can manage to keep the gas pedal in check, but which suffers from "overdesign syndrome" - the systems in that car are nearly inpenetrable to decipher, and I bet more than a few accidents could, if truth be told, be chalked up the the iDrive system;

And lastly, another "American" car - a Chevrolet Suburban, also made in Mexico, and also well-built. It and the Oldsmobile each have something over 140,000 miles, each run like new, burn no oil. When I was a kid, 100,000 miles was a used-up car. Now, I'd happily and comfortably launch on a cross-country trip in either of these beasties.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:13 am

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 37):
My first car was a 1961 Chevrolet Impala, and its air conditioning was factory-fit, fully-integrated (or, as they called it, "Four-Seasons Air). It worked spectacularly well (I got the car in 1975), car could idle along in traffic on a 105 degree day, A/C blowing icecicles, and the temp gauge for that big ol' 348 never budged.



My Grandpa had a 4 door Impala he bought new with factory A/C back in 1961. I remember it was a two tone pink and white. His was equipped with the Four Seasons factory A/C. He lived in Miami Beach! I was too young to appreciate the A/C in the car. I remember when we visited my dad would drive it. I do remember the sharp blue tint on the top of it's windshield.

Regarding early Japanese imports; The original Dotson 240Z (1970) was very well built and designed and my cousin who drove one said it was really fun to drive. I don't believe it had A/C. Until the 80's the American cars had much better A/C.
 
LOT767-300ER
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Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 12:57 pm

RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:19 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 30):
It was available, but not standard and fairly expensive for a long time. My first american cars (built in 60s, 70s and 80s) did not have A/C - and I lived in Houston. . My first car with A/C was an 86 Camaro.

>50% of American cars had A/C by 1969. Probably should have bought something other than a Gremlin and a Skylark.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:17 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 36):
Ford failed to make regular engineering updates to the LS,

Ford usually gets it right the first time so no need to make updates or improvements.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 35):
Did your Pontiac have OEM or add on a/c? If it was factory air were the ducts under the dash or installed in the dash like today's a/c?

Last week, I rode in a Australian spec 1966 Plymouth Fury stationwagon with an aftermarket under-dash air conditioner.

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 29):
How old are you people? Majority of cars in the US have had factory A/C since the late 60s. Thats significant considering half the cars in Europe are base modeled after a Oregon Trail horse and buggy.

That is true.
I was surprised to find out that air conditioners was still an extra feature on high-end luxury cars as late as the late 1960s. AMC really played that up in their 1968 Ambassador ad.
Of course, probably 99% of all Rolls Royce, Cadillacs and Lincolns were sold with the air conditioning option.


 
PHLBOS
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:33 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 40):
Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 29):
How old are you people? Majority of cars in the US have had factory A/C since the late 60s. Thats significant considering half the cars in Europe are base modeled after a Oregon Trail horse and buggy.

That is true.
I was surprised to find out that air conditioners was still an extra feature on high-end luxury cars as late as the late 1960s.

Actually, the Crown Vic & Grand Marquis didn't offer standard A/C across the board until 1987. Granted, most of the earlier models by then were already equipped with it. My first '76 LTD (base model 4-door) didn't have A/C either.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 25):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 19):
the Navigator was around YEARS BEFORE the Escalade and Cayenne

I very much doubt when VW and Porsche were designing the Touareg and Cayenne the Navigator was in it's sights.

Neither would I, my above-reply was specifically directed towards BMI727's earlier post.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 31):
it's the Lincoln pickups that have bombed. Ford doesn't have much trouble moving their Harley-Davidson and King Ranch trucks.

Apples and oranges comparison; the H-Ds & K-Rs are trim levels in the Ford F-series family; NOT a complete separate brand like the Lincolns. I can assure you that the majority of F-150s sold are NOT of the H-D or K-R variety.
 
swissy
Posts: 1481
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:00 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 40):
Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 36):
Ford failed to make regular engineering updates to the LS,

Ford usually gets it right the first time so no need to make updates or improvements.

and gets rid of it...  

Lets face it... the AC hype started very late even in the US... sure was available as an option during the time the right outside mirror and the cigarette lighter was still an option in Europe  

What is Lincoln today? nothing special, all fantastic history... glory days are over  

Cheerios,
 
BMI727
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:25 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
Apples and oranges comparison; the H-Ds & K-Rs are trim levels in the Ford F-series family; NOT a complete separate brand like the Lincolns.

You can't seriously tell me that it takes that much more effort to make a Mark LT out of an F-150 than it does a King Ranch. All they did was take a nice F-150 and slap a Lincoln grille and badges on it. The problem isn't selling luxury trucks, the problem is selling Lincoln trucks.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
I can assure you that the majority of F-150s sold are NOT of the H-D or K-R variety.

And most of GM's large SUVs aren't Escalades. What's the point?

Quoting swissy (Reply 42):
What is Lincoln today? nothing special, all fantastic history... glory days are over

That's basically it, and Ford doesn't seem too interested in changing that.
 
swissy
Posts: 1481
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:12 pm

RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:21 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
Quoting swissy (Reply 42):
What is Lincoln today? nothing special, all fantastic history... glory days are over

That's basically it, and Ford doesn't seem too interested in changing that.

Because perhaps Ford is done with Lincoln... How many brands did the "old big 3" kill off... what negative impact did it have to them?? What did it do to the consumer?...OK Superfly ...!! LOL people will move on, double branding cost $$$$ and with the new global market it makes even less sense. Ford needs to compete as Ford, Ford is known as Ford, world wide and not Lincoln  

Cheerios,
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:55 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
You can't seriously tell me that it takes that much more effort to make a Mark LT out of an F-150 than it does a King Ranch. All they did was take a nice F-150 and slap a Lincoln grille and badges on it. The problem isn't selling luxury trucks, the problem is selling Lincoln trucks.

I never stated such (regarding Lincoln requiring a more extensive effort).

BUT! When the Mark LT first rolled out; the majority of Ford and Lincoln(-Mercury) dealerships WERE STILL SEPARATE DEALERSHIPS!!!!! The consolidating of many Ford and Lincoln dealerships only took place within the last 2 maybe 3 years. Long story short; while Ford already had a strong truck following to build upon; Lincoln, obviously, did not.

Typically, most truck buyers usually don't care so much of whether a truck is of a luxury BRAND per say; but they very likely wanted some more luxury in their trucks; no argument there. Which is why Ford offered the Harley-Davidson and King Ranch packages and had better success.

IMHO, one reason (not necessarily the only reason mind you) why Cadillac's Escalade EXT truck caught on a little better was because Cadillac wisely marketed it as part of the overall Escalade family. Lincoln's trucks were treated as a separate line and they very rarely advertised it.

Would Lincoln have been more successful with its trucks had they been marketed them as part of the Navigator family is anybody's guess.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
I can assure you that the majority of F-150s sold are NOT of the H-D or K-R variety.

And most of GM's large SUVs aren't Escalades. What's the point?

But ALL large CADILLAC SUVs ARE Escalades and they're usually still sold in separate dealerships than the Yukons, Tahoes, Suburbans and Avalaches.

The point is if the H-D or K-R trims were actually SEPARATE BRANDS in SEPARATE DEALERSHIPS; the buyer/foot traffic won't necessarily materialize unless the brand itself was ADVERTISED and ultimately proven.

IIRC, when Ford launched those trim packages; they did so without too much fanfare. Most buyers likely discovered the trim packages by thumbing through an F-Series brochure and liked what they saw.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:52 am

Quoting swissy (Reply 42):
AC hype

"Hype"
It wasn't 'hype' to those that lived in hot climates. It was a very desirable option to have but cost a lot of money to have. I wouldn't call it"hype" considering it's standard on almost all cars today.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:04 am

 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
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RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:11 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 47):
Once upon a time:

I still have my standards.  
 
Newark727
Posts: 2882
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:42 pm

RE: Ford Motor Co Nearly Killed Off Lincoln Brand

Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:54 am

I will say this about the current Lincoln range: "branding" run amok. Remember when a few years ago there was this styling craze for a really distinctive front clip across all models, to build an instantly recognizable "brand?" Audi began its "single-frame" theme, Subaru did this really strange allegedly airplane inspired thingamajig (see the B9 Tribeca for the defining example,) Mitsubishis grew big nostrils, and so on. Lincoln must have really fallen hard for it, because Lincolns are the only range of car these days that I can't tell one model from another. Every one has the same front bumper. Compounding the problem is that their naming structure is just plain obtuse - if you're going to make your model names out of letters, USE DIFFERENT LETTERS.

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