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Lincoln says it doesn't want to look anything like Ford

2630 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Hunter090
I am sure that all of you are aware of the changes that Lincoln has been making over the past few years. Ford and Lincoln design boss Moray Callum spoke about Lincoln's design and how it is purposefully differentiating itself from Ford.

“I don’t think there should be a visual connection between Lincoln and Ford,” Callum said. “With some of the other companies it looks like the designs are coming out of the same studios. That’s why we have a separate Lincoln studio, so there’s no cross-pollination.”
In the past Lincoln has been criticized for having models that are too similar to Ford, but the introduction of the MKC and MKZ are examples of how far the brand has come since those days. Both of those models share no sheet metal with Ford vehicles.

As Ford is going to invest $5 billion into the Lincoln brand, we should see Lincoln continue to build its brand as something unique from its parent company. As Lincoln saw its sales rise 15.6% in 2014 compared to the previous year, I think we can conclude that the strategy is a good one so far.
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Most of us don't really know if $5B is meaningful money in the world of auto marketing. I design and build machinery also, and no truer words have ever been said than " I know I am wasting half my marketing budget, but I can't tell you which half'. Which speaks to the other issue of whether this money is McCone*y ads, engineering, or dealership investments.
And 15.6 percent rise in sales over probably a low base is meaningless.

Don't flame me here- I love the brand. I am one of less than 3000 that bought 5 speed LS Lincolns ( a sweet ride). Also a blue oval loyalist from wayback.

But I am irked to no end that Cadilliyak reaps more press for their rear drive lineup (gleaned some from Australian platforms). Never will I own a GM-Fed-rescued-corp-mobile.

Ford has to stand tall and really make Lincoln distinct. That means product and the dealer network. The direction of the Z and C are great, but Lincoln can't sit on any progress thinking they are ready to get the 25% plus of the US lux market share I think they can achieve.
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This is how it should have been for the longest time ever, but thankfully now they're seeing the need to do this.. just around when **** was bound to hit the fan.

The new MKC and MKZ were good examples of how they have progressed to reaching that stage, still improvements to be made on those vehicles.
I understand the anti GM / Fed bailout criticism , but they have done some things really right with with a couple of standalone brands that Lincoln should at least take notice of. I'm speaking of Corvette and Cadillac. Not everybody's cup of tea, but they are cars that I have recently owned and enjoyed.

Sold my C5 Vette to get a 2014 CTS V-Sport. Sold the V-Sport to get the MKC (reasons were posted in a separate thread a few weeks ago). I've been in the C7 Vette, and "wow". The V-Sport was the finest car that I have ever owned, in many ways.

When Cadillac created their "arts and sciences" look to distinquish itself from GM a few years ago, it was polarizing, but correct strategy. What they do with their performance models (including the brand new CTS-V, via the Z06) is take the best performance parts from the Vette and incororate them into the "V" series Caddy's. Problem with Cadillac is price perception / low sales. Tough market in the $60K - $85K range, against the Germans.

Back to the main points: Differentiating from Ford and using Lincoln to develop cutting edge advances that other Ford brads may use in some fashion is how I hope that the Lincoln brand is positioned and developed from here. Car purists (like us) notice these things, but "the herd" probably doesn't. We'll see if Lincoln has the vision to primarily target more discriminating buyers.
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I think the MKZ and MKC are a step in the right direction, but they still share interior finishes (lighting controls and overhead controls) which should be different in a Lincoln.
I don't mind so much that Lincoln shares some under structures with Ford. Lincoln has still done a good job of making their models look different enough from their Ford brethren. They have chosen a look and are sticking to it which I think is good. I think the Lincoln look is more universally appealing than what Cadillac is doing.

Now I want to see a high-end Lincoln concept that shows us how much they can really do with some type of halo sports car or really really nice full size sedan.
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