Horbury: MINI Leads the Way Fordward
“We wanted the MKT to be the Lear Jet of the road.” That’s how Ford's director of design for the Americas describes Lincoln’s concept car to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette. Brit-born Peter Horbury says Lincoln is on the mend. “As of now, we have had 14 consecutive months of sales growth at Lincoln. So once we established that the Lincoln brand was alive and kicking, we put together this Lincoln design vision for the future.” Yada X3. Things get more interesting when Horbury talks small. “The Verve is intended to very much indicate around the world where small cars from Ford are heading.” As to the resurgent popularity of small cars in the U.S., Horbury doesn’t see the price of gas or environmental concerns as the primary sales driver. “What changed things for small cars in this country was the popularity of the Mini Cooper. You can spend an awful lot of money optioning out a Mini. But more people want a car like that these days.” Then the capitalization-challenged reporter (MINI) Don Hammonds asks the question on our minds… lately: “What about Jill?” “Mercury will remain a Ford with extras, a new front end and new tail end, and different materials used inside and out. That approach seems to work very well.” Sure, just like anorexia suits the Olsen twins.
So when are they going to give up showing us "dream cars" and really build something I WANT to buy for real??? All those "dream cars" do for me is prove that they aren't building "the good stuff". They are showing us they CAN build the good stuff, the unique stuff, the stuff with real flair but instead build something that is watered down and built for a non-car person. They CAN build stuff with passion but choose NOT to.
P71, You raise a good question: "How did these guys get to their lofty posts?" It's a real mystery to me. I am unwilling to keep accepting that they were good at brown nosing.
There is a big market to be had in premium small cars. It may be that the idea of the old Cimarron was good and that the execution was simply horrible. Luxury cars don't have to be huge, they don't have to have many hundreds of horsepower and they don't have to cost a fortune to run. They just have to make the owner feel special.
Restyling the Town Car and tossing the alphabet soup name game will the only steps to convincing me that Lincoln now "gets it".