By on February 1, 2013

Hot on the heels of curated-Tweet advertising comes the news that the MKZ is so successful, sales are down!

According to the Detroit News:

Lincoln sold 453 MKZs, down 73 percent compared to last January.

Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, said Ford is taking extra time to comb over all-new MKZ sedans, the first of four all-new products for Lincoln over the next four years…

As a result, Lincoln will not have a full-stock of MKZ sedans until early April

Czubay also said pre-orders for the MKZ are the largest of any vehicle in Lincoln history.

Well, I’m sure their future owners are taking extra time to comb over as well. See what I did there? I made a joke about bald people, because at the age of forty-one I have the flowing locks of a young Nick Drake. I guess there was never really an old Nick Drake. But you get the idea.

Opening up the Big Book Of Wishful Thinking for a moment, maybe Lincoln knows there’s better marketing coming in April and that’s why they’re restricting supply in The Era Of The Curated Tweet. More likely, it’s yet another mistake piled on top of mistakes. Speaking of mistakes:

YouTube Preview Image

Am I the only person who watched that video and thought, “Whoa, they must have a really sharp new-old-stock ’95 Town Car somewhere in inventory. How could I get my hands on that?”

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80 Comments on “MKZ Is Roaring Success! MKZ Sales Plummet!...”


  • avatar

    …could you just put together a nice replica ’62 Continental for us? Shrink it a bit to go on a modern chassis, but please make it look like a Lincoln…

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      Chrysler has pretty much already done that with the 300.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The 300 is nothing like an updated Conti, or even the knockoff (by the same designer) Imperial.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        People crying about Lincoln’s direction need to put up or shut up with the 300. The 300 is exactly what a retro inspired Lincoln Continental would be like. Rear wheel drive, V8, unibody (like the Continental was), same exact side profile (except with less front and rear overhang). 120 inch wheelbase on a 300, 123 inch wheelbase on a ’61-’63 Continental. The only thing missing is the suicide doors, which nobody short of Rolls is willing to offer on a modern car.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        I will not! I will not shut up! The 2004 concept Continental was a modern update of the original, and it looked more like the original than the 300 ever will. We’re not talking wheelbase or unibody, we’re talking styling. So there.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Really, the Chrysler 300 in its higher trims is about the best no-compromises American luxury sedan that I can think of: inexpensive, powerful, dependable, spacious and good-looking. But it’s no reincarnated Continental, and why should it be? It’s not even from the same manufacturer…

          I think that Cadillac is in the best position right now to offer the next bona-fide American flagship (such as the Continental of yore was), and they claim to be doing so with their new Omega platform. For Ford and Lincoln, I really think that the focus should be on more volume-oriented products. They seem to have done an excellent job with the new Fusion and MKZ, but the next Edge and MKX will be excellent opportunities to prove that they know what they’re doing on a car that isn’t mostly European…

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        @racer-esq — The numbers match, but nothing else does. The 300 is an aggressive car. The Continental never was.

        Look again at the ’61 — at the barely interrupted line continuing from the front fender to the rear, at the steep slope of the side glass (in contrast to the slab sides), and the near-perfect parallelogram of the C pillar. Contrast it to the cars it competed with — the Continental was shorter, wore far *less* chrome, had what was for its day an understated grille.

        The ’61 Continental is as much about what it didn’t say as what it did. It didn’t scream “look at me.” It was as radical for being understated as the 300 is for being loud.

        Realistically, I would say the Audi A8 — and maybe the last one, at that — is the closest thing in spirit we have to a Continental today.

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      The wheelbase for the old continental is 123 inches which is .7 inches shorter than the lengthened town car wheelbase. Idk Lincoln just needs a lot of investment to make it work and ford is too busy to do it

    • 0 avatar

      Here’s two….

      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mjtVCG1V_YE/UQgutBB2ziI/AAAAAAAAIJQ/wVTDdNc5voY/s1600/2011LincolnTownCar.jpg

      http://files.conceptcarz.com/img/Lincoln/2002-Lincoln-Continetal-DV-10-RMM-03.jpg

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Those January sales are likely all of the ’12 model, which was already picked over in terms of available inventory when the month started.

    We’re one of the bigger Lincoln dealers in one of Lincoln’s bigger markets and we still haven’t received a single ’13 MKZ to sell.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      That sounds like a Sergio-inspired messed up launch. Jim Farley has only been in charge 3 months, and Lincoln has been a “separate company” for even less time. Still, Robert McNamara nearly shut down Lincoln, giving it one chance with the original Continental, and that one car saved the brand. Maybe the MKZ will do the same, but it’s a shaky start when you have a reveal and the dealers have no cars to sell.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        I cannot understand why Ford is concentrating on Lincoln, when other main stream models , are really floundering outside NA? Very strange priorities

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The official word is the cars have been diverted from dealers for secondary quality checks and inspections. At the end of the day I’d prefer a launch delay to vehicles hitting the ground half-baked, but delays have been going on for so long that they’re starting to push the limits.

        As it is the ’13 MKZ may be the first car in over a decade that actually launched during the same calendar year as the model year.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        I know it’s picking nits, but the ’61 was actually the fourth Lincoln to wear the name Continental — and two of the previous three were knockouts.

  • avatar
    StaysCrunchy

    I don’t know what year that black MKZ in the first picture is, but that is a sharp looking car from that angle. I’m not a big fan of Lincoln’s new “Deformed Hummingbird Wings” grilles.

  • avatar
    daviel

    They are nuts not to keep selling the town car.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    On the TC in the commercial, what is the thing to the right of the door handle? Looks like something that shouldn’t be there.

    Also, according to the wheels it’s a 96 or 97 Cartier.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also, note they had to change the camera angle to make the MK look the same size as the TC, which it obviously isn’t because it’s crap.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Make this Lincoln, and then shoot a commercial showing a goatee-clad 40-something guy driving a triple-black one with absolute disregard for trivial things such as speed limits while on his way to Vegas via I-15, listening to ‘gasoline’ by Audioslave:

    http://files.conceptcarz.com/img/Lincoln/2002-Lincoln-Continetal-DV-10-RMM-03.jpg

    That’s how you do it, Lincoln; that’s how you make a real attempt to grab some new, younger customers, using better product and smarter advertisements.

    I just gave you a better commercial than any you’ve ever paid for, gratis.

    It’s not that complicated. Sheesh.

  • avatar
    jfbramfeld

    Better yet, pay the producers of Justified to get Timothy Olyphant to update his Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar

      Since “I’ll put you in the trunk” is a recurring line for Deputy Marshal Givens, the MKZ, with 32.3 cubic feet of trunk space, might actually be a more practical ride for Raylan than the Town Car, which only has 21.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I’m not sure where you’re getting your specs, but there is no way the MKZ/Fusion has more trunk space than a Town Car.

        Most outlets report the MKZ/Fusion to have less than 16 cu ft trunk space.

        EDIT: Ronnie, it looks like you were MK’d. It’s the MKX that has 32.3 cu ft of trunk space with the seats up.

    • 0 avatar

      Which would be an awesome idea fro Lincoln, until I heard Rayland’s deep Kentucky accent no longer stating “I have no issues at’all stuffin’ you in mah trunk”

      to “I have no issue’s stuffin’ your ample figure into my industry leading 32.5 feet of trunk space, and while you would be oddly comfortable with the new suspension on my MKZ, I assure you, the destination would make it an unleasant ‘sperience”

      Like I have to listen to Micheal Weston’s diatribes about Saab and later Hyundai’s voicing over Burn Notice chase scenes and Bruce Campbell hawking whatever beer is sponsoring them when we all know he drink Mojitos.

  • avatar
    ott

    I think this car is absolutely gorgeous. Definitely nicer than the Fusion, which in itself is also a looker.

    • 0 avatar
      1998redwagon

      agreed. i have always liked the styling of the new mkz. the town car in the ad – not so much.

      at 50+ am i the “younger” demographic lincoln (ford) seeks?

      certainly not the income demographic………..

  • avatar
    ChesterChi

    What’s with this weird grille (on the new car in the video) ? Are they trying to challenge Acura for the most unattractive front-end in the business ? Do they really think making the car uglier is going to help sales ?

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      Uglier? You must not know what the outgoing model looks like. Furthermore where lincoln going that route, the uglier strategy works for toyota, bmw, and lexus.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        While the last gen MKFusion is a rather bland/ugly design, this new MKFusion is a very stylized/ugly design.

        Both are ugly.

      • 0 avatar
        Ion

        yes,yes we get it. You have that grudge against FoMoCo because of that manifold thing. You used to be much more entertaining when you were p71 and 7Z1. Those were some good anti-ford rants that added something of value to the ongoing discussion.

        In a similar off topic matter I also miss how AutoSavant would come in and lambast anything that wasn’t his 7-series. I can just imagine how he would’ve ripped Linclon for using touch screens instead of a dial that only fools couldn’t master.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        You clearly know nothing about me. Nice story though.

  • avatar
    redliner

    I’m surprised that there is still a physical whip style antenna on anything made in 2013. Especially a Lincoln.

    On second thought, I’m actually not surprised.

    • 0 avatar
      TR4

      Take it from a car radio engineer: the full size passive whip has the best overall performance of any type of AM/FM antenna found on a car. Also, Lincoln product engineers are quite particular about radio performance.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      “I’m surprised that there is still a physical whip style antenna on anything made in 2013. Especially a Lincoln.”

      Yeah, another cost cutting ploy by Ford.

      Even the lowly Fusion gets a better antenna. But that would mess with the stupid moving roof. Even the old Crown Vic didn’t have an antenna. Radio reception was fine.

      The only way Ford goes is backwards. What a pathetic company.

      • 0 avatar
        Bimmer

        For the Ford hater with number 86 in his tag:

        The reason for that type of antenna is the sliding roof. Cars without that option are getting antenna integrated into a rear glass. But sliding roof would block the signal, so they went with an “old style” antenna.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        For the person with ‘Bimmer’ in his name:

        Did you completely miss the part where I acknowledged the fact that the MKFusion has a dopey antenna because of the moving roof?

        And where have I SAID I hate Ford?

      • 0 avatar
        Bimmer

        86

        Where is even ONE post that you’ve said anything positive about Ford or Lincoln!?

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        It happened quite often. You do realize that the vehicle I own (which is also my username) is powered by Ford right?

        I -CLEARLY- do not hate Ford. If I did, my favorite vehicle would have a big Ford V8 in the middle of it.

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        “The only way Ford goes is backwards. What a pathetic company”

        “What a bunch of baboons running Lincoln and Ford. Nothing but quality issues, lackluster sales, recalls, false fuel economy claims, etc”

        “I -CLEARLY- do not hate Ford”

        Can’t understand why anyone would think you hate Ford.

  • avatar
    Ion

    see here’s why I believe in a world where google exists the delay between unvielling a new product and releasing it should be nonexistant. I understand that you want to build hype for the new model but in doing so you should realize that only bargain hunter will want the outgoing model.

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    That commercial once again proves no one knows how to advertise cars anymore. The whole “Lincoln Motor Company” moniker was an absurdest move, and now they’re basically shitting on the image of an old Towncar, the ONE vehicle that’s kept them safely afloat for years now.

    I’m 21, and I used to own a white 93 Towncar. It got nothing but compliments from my young peers. Everyone loved the inside with its whorehouse red interior. Opening the trunk was a surefire way to get gasps and awes from people. Big American land yachts like that have become vintage and “retro” to a lot of young adults and teens. We remember them from our childhood and now they’re a thing of the past for the most part. Not everyone my age loves molested Hondas. Lincoln could be making money off of that aspect to attract younger buyers rather than airing shitty 15 second commercials that are supposed to magically attract 7 Series buyers. And their print ads in NY Magazine featuring artsy “urban” youth aren’t going to do the trick. Plus: Jimmy fucking Fallon? Twitter advertising does not always equal youth either. Its time to use their long history as a car company to their benefit.

    If you work at Ford– er, excuse me, LINCOLN Motor Company and you’re reading this comment, just remember this advice is coming straight from the mouth of one of those “youngsters” you’ve been trying so hard to attract for countless years, and not just a geezer at Forbes.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      You rock, kid.
      Gives a geezer hope & joy.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I am of the leading edge of gen Y and have owned several Panthers from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. They were always a favorite among my peers, especially in college with the creation of the “beer mobile” ’93 Grand Marquis.

      You can stand a keg up in the trunk. Pop the trunk, pump, pour, close the trunk. If you remove the carpet and make a body plug hole in the bottom of the well, you can fill it with ice and drain it later.

      With the rear air suspension, ride height even stays level. What a car!

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        More joy. I’d love to see a “Screw the Stereotype – What Young Buyers Really Want” sort of feature here.

        After all, if this industry has a recognizable future, you guys are it.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      I nominate our young friend for Comment of the Day!

      The other difference between Lincoln then vs. now is that the Town Car that they are busy distancing themselves from was usually responsible for 100,000+ sales each year and about a billion dollars in profit for many years.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Yeah, but I don’t think your advice is very helpful. I drove a brown 80s Panther land yacht many years ago, and sure some people thought it was cool, and it could easily move my whole dorm room.

      The reality is that the younger buyers you’re talking about aren’t shelling out the level of coin required for a new Town Car. They’re buying a used one at best. Many younger buyers with that kind of coin don’t want to park a Town Car because it’s too damn big for the city. And it’s certainly not sporty, and some people get carsick in them.

      I think Jimmy Fallon is a douche too, and that Twitter-based advertising is a waste of time, but I’m not sure you have the answer either. To some extent, you’re falling into the same hipster fallacy (referring to “retro”) that many people have accused this ad of falling into.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        There’s nothing ‘retro’ about their use and enjoyment of their Panthers. It was real-time, real world.
        While the level of auto tech in those cars may now be anachronistic, the transportation needs and preferences they fulfilled are still here and are not being optimally met by modern cars.

        You can’t lipstick the pig of a modern auto industry that is forced to put fuel rationing ahead of every other design goal like comfort, visibility and hauling capacity.

      • 0 avatar
        RatherhaveaBuick

        You’d be surprised by the amount of big ass Panthers and 90s Buick/Olds barges I notice when I visit Brooklyn.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        @RatherhaveaBuick

        And the functional descendants of those big-ass cars are now called F-150, Silverado and Ram. They seem to sell OK.

  • avatar
    Mykl

    I don’t understand the hate for this car.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      After seeing the car in the other commercial (ignoring the girly hipsterness being used to market the car), I don’t either. Doesn’t look like my dad’s Lincoln (well, actually my dad’s Lincoln was once my 80s Panther).

      I want to see a real Continental as much as the next guy, but I don’t see what’s so bad about this car. Lincoln seems to be doing things right if you ignore the enthusiasts who don’t buy cars anyway and are too cheap to pay the fare on one.

      I don’t understand the people who think Cadillac and Lincoln should only be making cushy barges that float down the highway and have no handling — seems very outdated.

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        Yeah, maybe I’m the odd youngish guy here, but if I were to try to be vain I’d say that I wouldn’t mind being seen getting out of that thing, and I certainly wouldn’t mind the view from the inside.

        I think Toyota proved that you can take a mundane, built-to-a-price volume sedan, tweak the sheetmetal, upgrade the interior, and slap a “premium” badge on it and be wildly successful. All I see here is Lincoln attempting to make that formula work for them.

        But then again, I haven’t even seen this car in person…. maybe it’s as awful as people here are saying it is.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Yeah, I agree. When I look at the new sheet metal/style, I think of German (front), Lexus (side profile), and Jaguar (rear). It might be FWD, and I certainly prefer RWD cars myself, but the vast majority of the motoring public doesn’t care.

        I’m with Mykl here — I need to see it in person, but it looks promising.

  • avatar
    alan996

    I am still driving a 95 TC. My daughter age 42 and a grandson age 18 (not her child, another one of my kid’s) both ask every few months when I plan on getting another car. They want to bid on the TC.

  • avatar
    SixDucks

    O.K., I think I understand. Ford eliminated Mercury to make room to push Lincoln downmarket so it could better compete with Buick? But then again, Lincoln was already pretty far down market. Maybe this car is an Avalon fighter?

    Comments about the Chrysler 300 are in a way approriate. The designer of the ’60 Continental was Elwood Engle, who went on to Chrysler in 1963 I believe. Note Engle’s signature chrome fender edging on the Continental, and compare to a ’65 Imperial.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    I just spent most of a long day driving one of Lincoln’s latest and greatest Em Kay Esses. Now, if someone had told me that this was a top of the line, thirty-five thousand dollar Ford Taurus, I’d have said, “Sure… I guess.” Featuring a more rough than ready engine, plenty of room for whatever you might want to bring along, and at least average but not obnoxious handling, it was, all in all, a pretty good car.

    However, knowing that I was driving a top of the line Lincoln sporting a sticker price approaching 50 large, I could only shake my head in disbelief. Throw in a few styling cues that only a deranged orthodontist could love, plus a just plain weird instrument panel, and pretty soon I’m thinking, “Are these people high? Is this America’s answer to Lexus and Audi?” In today’s luxo car league, does anyone honestly think that pretty good is the level of game that’s going to allow Lincoln to compete with the heavy hitters?

  • avatar
    phreshone

    For whatever reason it doesn’t appear that MKZ production has ramped-up. online, most the DFW dealers inventory indicates ‘on order’

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Automotive News reported today that The Lincoln Motor Company will be diverting 5 weeks of production to Flat Rock, MI for quality inspections because the plant in Mexico can’t complete them fast enough.

      No word on whether the inspectors will be employees of The Lincoln Motor Company who markets the MKFusion or The Ford Motor Company who actually designed and builds it.

      Too bad they still don’t build Lincolns in Wixom, MI. That would be a much shorter trip than from Hermosillo, Mexico.

  • avatar
    jckirlan

    I am in Lincoln’s cohort demographic for age and income and when I see the new styling I think Blue whale. I don’t think anyone, outside of Robert Wyland, wants to be associated stylistically with a whale. And to tie the new styling in with the old Lincoln Town Car with all of it’s styling and image baggage is a poor advertising decision.
    I still dream of the 2002 Lincoln Continental concept car that I saw at the 2002 NAIAS in Detroit. That was an aspirational car with true desirability. The car was mobbed.
    It looks like the designers and thus Lincoln has given up and are just calling it in now.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    I can certainly see the homage to the 1940-41 Lincoln Zephyr in the grill and the shape of the body is even sort of an update of that model . I presume that is why it was originally going to be called the Zephyr instead of the MKZ , I guess . But the generation that appreciated the Zephyr are long gone and even the rapidly disappearing Greatest Generation of WWII G.I.s were a little young to appreciate the 1940 Zephyr – more a car for their parents or older siblings .Post WWII Lincoln was a total flop and chronic money loser for years . It took the 1961 Lincoln to turn around Lincoln’s image , and Sixties Lincolns and the Panthers are their big successes,so those are probably the cars to update . Not sure if that would sell to the younger hipster / doofus types the Lincoln ads seem to be aiming at , either .

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    Ford got rid of Mercury (which outperformed Lincoln for…well…ever), made Lincoln the new Mercury (why not just keep Mercury, the better performing brand?), and now Lincoln is a complete joke with their lineup of helpless rebadges that are nothing more than a trim level on an already overpriced mediocre Ford.

    What a bunch of baboons running Lincoln and Ford. Nothing but quality issues, lackluster sales, recalls, false fuel economy claims, etc.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Haven’t the lawyers taken the “Dramatization” disclaimers to the point of utter absurdity? Exactly what part of that ad should I not attempt?

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Do you think in the Lexus boardroom that “Lincoln” is shorthand for “Don’t be that guy”?

  • avatar

    MKZ day and Night testing: youtube.com/watch?v=yhpA3SlYUw4

  • avatar

    If Acura can sell plenty of cars I do not see why MKZ cannot sell even more. By comparing TSX and Fusion I can conclude Lincoln is simply based on better platform. Presumably people who buy cars like Lincoln or Acura are not interested in buying appliance so in theory Lincoln has better chance. But what I know – America can surprise anyone. I am sure both Acura and Lincoln (and even Infinity) do not have slightest chance outside USA. Well we will see how it goes. But I guess MKZ rather competes with Lexus not with Acura.

    I test drove previous gen MKZ (and got $50 gift card from Ford for that). It felt no different than same gen Fusion – was not impressed. Interior while nicer than Fusion had lot of cheap plastic and did not feel upscale. They also sold MKZ at same lot as Fusion and MKZ did not even look more premium than Fusion just cost more. Make your own conclusions. I hope they fixed these issues with interior/exterior and do not sell MKZ in Ford dealership esp since Fusion is now upscale car comparable with Acura and many may simply prefer Fusion to MKZ on style alone.


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