By on July 23, 2014

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As one of his first major moves since becoming CEO, Ford’s Mark Fields named vice president of engineering Kumar Galhotra as president of Lincoln, effective September 1.

Automotive News reports Galhotra, who will report directly to the new CEO, will be the premium brand’s first president since Al Giombetti left the post in 2007. The move will also reduce executive vice president of global sales, service and marketing Jim Farley’s role with Lincoln, which will be focused on marketing the brand once Galhotra takes over.

The new president — an engineer and product executive who has worked with Lincoln, Ford and Mazda in the past — will bring his marketing experience to the table as Lincoln prepares to launch in China later in 2014; he headed Ford’s Asia Pacific division from 2009 to 2013, and helped bring about the new Ranger pickup to market.

Speaking of the division, engineering director Jim Holland will move from there to replace Galhotra as Ford’s vice president of engineering, reporting to global product development chief Raj Nair.

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55 Comments on “Galhotra Takes The Reins As Lincoln’s New President...”


  • avatar
    thelaine

    Make a Lincoln version of the Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      aka Cougar.

      They didn’t eliminate Mercury, they merely renamed it Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar
      brickgeek

      My buddy and I were discussing this yesterday. They should make a posh version of the GT500. Add 300 lbs of NVH material. Give it high end leather and interior appointments. Dial the ECU in for effortless low-mid Thrust. Then market it as a personal luxury coupe.

      They should name it the Lincoln Emancipator.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Good luck Mr. Galhotra. You’re going to need it.

  • avatar
    S197GT

    I’d love to buy a modern RWD sedan or coupe from Lincoln some day.

    If Buick… BUICK!!!!! can someone how be cool again surely Lincoln can do it.

    Right?

    The thing Lincoln has going for it was that they were never really shoddy vehicles… just extremely boring and bland.

    A proper vehicle with some proper marketing (including a great spokesman who helps create the new Lincoln identity) could really turn it around pretty quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      So not Jimmy Fallon?

      Lincoln needs to continue on its current path of making its volume offerings different and better than their Ford siblings. A Mustang sedan sounds excellent. I just wonder how well they will sell. I’ll buy one new, but the bigger question is will Americans and the Chinese also buy one?

      • 0 avatar
        jrasero23

        +1

        They won’t be able to compete with Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes, etc
        So if you can’t be like Apple and sell premium items that garner high profits, be like Samsung and sells items that compete volume wise.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      re: “… a great spokesman who helps create the new Lincoln identity …”

      When I read this, James Gandolfini came to mind. Unfortunately …

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I’m currently watching The Sopranos for the first time, and I’m on season 2 and he’s still in a Suburban. He has made a reference previously to “When I used to drive Lincolns…”

        Does he switch back to a Nav later? I was thinking he ended up with an Escalade.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          In the very early episodes he drove a Continental. For much of the early series he had a Suburban, then at some point switched to an Escalade ESV.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Nope, season 1 he had the Suburban. He rented a silver Continental once, when he flew to Maine with Meadow to check out a college.

            In the starting sequence, he’s driving around in the red Suburban as well.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            That’s probably what I was thinking of.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            All the older Italian folk in the show have Cadillac sedans of various assortment. Mercedes comes into play in season 2 for thefts – and also Chris’ replacement for his LS400 is a CLK (a downgrade IMO).

        • 0 avatar
          jrasero23

          And that is the problem. Lincoln and Cadillac used to be rivals and even up to 1998 people were debating Navigator versus Escalade. We all know how this panned out with the the Escalade remaining king and Cadillac creating cars that can be held in the same sentence as BMW and even Mercedes.

          So how did Cadillac do it? Taking a bailout (GM) and spending billions of dollars in R&D on vehicles that have little to do with their Chevy sisters. In contrast Lincoln was neglected by Ford and never got how the old model of creating luxury models off Ford platforms that at best would pass as higher Ford trim levels just doesn’t cut it.

          Last spring I decided I was done with Acura and Honda not because there cars aren’t reliable and fuel efficient but because they became simply boring. I ended up buying a 2011 MKZ and during my buying experience I spoke to the dealer where I bought the car and asked them what they though of Lincolns situation and everyone from the sale person, service center, heck even the owner of the dealer has gone on record saying Lincoln doesn’t need a halo Mustang car. Lincoln’s game plan is clear and that is to follow the Buick path. Lincoln has revamped their lineup to excite some USA buyer but the real market lies in China where “American” luxury is still garnered with respect. My South East Asian girlfriend is pretty Americanized so she sees my car as a “old persons car” or “cab car” but all of her friends and family that don’t live in America love Lincoln and still regard the brand highly. Is Lincoln American luxury anymore? No, sadly that honor goes to Cadillac, but there are still places in this world where people will eat up the new Lincoln models and if Ford plays it right they can really capitalize on this.

          Selling cars in China wont make Lincoln sportier or engaging but it will help sell units which is something Lincoln needs in order to stay in business.

          Driving my Lincoln and the new MKZ and even MKC has woken me up to the idea that Lincoln does need some work but they aren’t anywhere as bad as people or journalists write them off to be. I think USA perception not the worlds perception of Lincoln has hurt the brand the most.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ramble ramble, good grief. Despite your long-windedness and horrible grammar I read all of what you said.

            “I ended up buying a 2011 MKZ – spoke to the dealer – asked them what they though of Lincolns situation – the sale person, service center, heck even the owner of the dealer has gone on record saying Lincoln doesn’t need a halo Mustang car.”

            To “go on record” is a little more than telling you, as the used (lowest-end) Lincoln buyer that they “don’t need” a car that Lincoln has not admitted to developing yet. Of COURSE they said that.

            “Oh that fancy exciting car which we aren’t making? Yeah we don’t need that.”

            You don’t admit your failings to the customer, or “go on record” as you would call it. They wanted you to leave after you snapped up one of the Fusions they didn’t want.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            I also agree that Lincoln sucks.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Any Lincoln dealer would accept another model or NEW product. Until the new MKZ showed up, Lincoln dealerships looked the same in 2013 as they did in 2009. Sad, empty, possibly attached to a Ford dealership with similar cars at lower prices, and in need of something people give a damn about.

            The world’s perception of the brand doesn’t matter. Lincoln is only sold in North America and now China.

            I own a Lincoln too, but I won’t buy a new Lincoln until a Mustang based sedan comes out. Want my money Lincoln? Build it.

          • 0 avatar
            Hillman

            The problem is ford has some really awesome options that can make the car very desirable at a much higher price point. I can get a loaded Fusion and I can get everything I want in it vs the Lincoln equivalent. Seriously what does Lincoln have that the ford product does not?

  • avatar
    tedward

    Everybody, not just us enthusiasts, knows that Lincoln only sells trim level fords. Even Acura doesn’t seem to be as exposed to public scrutiny on this front.

    Fix that or abandon any hope of major changes to brand perception and sales.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      My question to you is, when has Lincoln sold anything besides trim level Fords? The MKC is way more different than its Ford counterpart compared to anything Lincoln sold when they moved 175K-200K units a year.

      Lincoln does not have the brand cache to sell anything else right now. Even if people get what they want (RWD coupe or sedan), it will still be a Ford underneath.

      • 0 avatar
        jrasero23

        I think there is a fine line of spending billions to do the R&D to develop a brand new platform just for a luxury brand line rather than just cross platforming. You are right Lincoln doesn’t sell enough cars to warrant develop a halo car so why should they?

        I agree they don’t have the cache in the USA, where our generation has been given decades of middling Lincoln models, but as I wrote in my previous comment, places in China or Asia in general still regard Lincoln very highly. Heck if Buick can turn around cars there, the Chinese will love Lincoln.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The plan should be to add a S550 platform based sedan. Maybe it shouldn’t happen now. Getting the MKC and updated MKX out are more important than a sedan. Those are higher volume units. They do need to get extra units out of that platform though.

          I’m not going to throw a number out there for the cost of such a program, but Ford has already wasted time by not having that product in Lincoln’s lineup when they built the Jaguar XF.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Or the XJ, really.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Corey-

            A Lincoln version of the XJ would be great. I don’t think they have the money to go that big and expensive.

            They already had a vehcile that shared the XF’s bones within the last decade. The XF is a continuation of the DEW LS/S-Type/TBird platform.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh my XJ comment was strictly past-tense, about 10 years ago!

            Boy the LS, talk about an uncohesive car that ran for too long. It should have been a new brand direction for Lincoln instead – as they dumped the dopey Continental-Taurus immediately, while moving the Town Car down a bit and elevating an XJ sedan up top as Continental.

            And FWIW, I like the styling of the XF, but the interior is a bit of a gimmick-disappointment, and it hasn’t aged well as they drag it out for too many MY.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Well what is Tata going to replace the XF with?

            A Lincoln XF would actually be better than the XF. It would be cheaper, with Coyote goodness, and Lincoln styling/interior. The Focus has a better infotainment system than the XF. Its rubbish.

            I think Lincoln would do a better LS now, since it would have to be Mustang based. No 3.9L V8 and Jaguar silliness to ruin a good thing.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          That is the very definition of something which is -not- a fine line. It’s a vast, gaping chasm of difference. It’s the difference between Rolls-Royce putting the Phantom on a stretched 7-Series, and creating a new platform just for it (like they did).

          Not a fine line.

          Also, Buick did not get “turned around.” It was always popular in China, since the 50s when it became a very aspirational brand. The Lincoln name is an unknown in China, save for a few grey market Navigators people brought there.

          I’m beginning to think ya need to do some more research about Lincoln/Asia/Buick.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Buick actually goes back 100 years in China. The last emperor had one, and so did his replacement, the first president, Sun Yat Sen. Since government ministers gravitated to what the boss was driving, Buick was almost the official car of the government in the ’20s and ’30s. It was a top of the line luxury car in the public’s mind.

            I think the turn around of Buick meant in the US. GM starved Buick of models like they did to Olds and Pontiac. The China connection saved it.

            Lincoln hasn’t had that much of a presence in China, but it’s not unknown, if you believe TTAC:

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/panther-love-in-china-red-flag%E2%80%99s-lincoln-years/

            Too bad the Lincoln model that’s known best was unattainable to the public, but a savvy salesman could make a killing with that little detail.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        bball, agreeed; the Lincolns most of remember where gussied up Fords. LTD/Town Car, Mark Whatever, not MKwhatever/Thunderbird, F-150 King Ranch/Lincoln Blackwood. Could Ford/Lincoln take the Mustang platform and make a four-door sedan from it? In Tuxedo Black, with leather and a sunroof? Please.

  • avatar

    I respect Jim Farley but having him be in charge of FoMoCo’s marketing *and* running an entire brand is too much for one person’s plate. Assigning those responsibilities to Galhotra makes a lot of sense.

    For the first time in a while, both Cadillac and Lincoln have someone in charge. Both of those brands have suffered from a lack of leadership.

  • avatar
    Skink

    Redundant. Roll in a Lincoln and you already look like a slumdog millionaire.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Fields to FMC Board in 2016: “Well, you can’t blame Jimny and me. Kumar’s in charge. He’s an engineer, not a marketer.”

  • avatar
    mvlbr

    Will Harold be joining him at Lincoln.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Maybe he will finally succeed in moving Lincoln upmarket. Buick is very lonely right now.

    Oh who am I kidding, Lincoln is on its death bed and will be until they figure out a way to build something other than a rebadged appliance.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Kumar Galhotra, Lincoln Motor Company and Carriage Works LTD, INC.
    a Division of the Ford Motor Company.

    I think your first move should be to Sajeev Mehta as Brand Manager. Pedestrian impact regs require tall hoods and belt-lines, I say – might as well bring back the Parthenon style grill!

  • avatar
    Panther Platform

    As a previous owner of a Mark VIII I can attest to the car’s many flaws, but of all the cars I owned I loved it the most. It had distinctive styling (yes polarizing styling, but I think these cars are beautiful), an old school V8, and a long hood! The new Lincolns are nice cars, but they don’t grab me like the Lincoln Marks do. I would prefer a 2011 Town Car over any current Lincoln offerings. Certainly I would be very interested and excited about a Lincoln version of the Mustang, but I don’t think it will ever happen. I think Lincoln’s time has come and gone in the USA. It’s a different world now.


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