By on April 21, 2015

MKCExterior3_rdax_646x396

I remember back when I first wrote on The Truth About Cars that Lincoln, noted creator of cars for airport limo drivers, would make a comeback. The comments broke down like this: a few of you agreed with me. The rest of you accused me of being either a paid shill for Lincoln or an idiot, which, in your minds, appeared to be approximately the same thing.

Well, here we are two years later, and Lincoln is already clawing its way back.

I say this because I recently spent time in the MKC, which is a small luxury crossover designed to rival everyone else’s small luxury crossover: the Mercedes GLK, the Lexus NX, the Acura RDX, the Infiniti QX50, and a wide range of other models with indecipherable acronym names that make heavy use of the letter “X.”

And you know what? The Lincoln MKC is pretty damn good.

Let’s go over the details. It’s starts at $34,000, which makes it cheaper than virtually all its rivals. It gets better mileage than most of them, too. Options include rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, an automated parallel parking system, and one of the best infotainment systems in the entire industry. Yes, I know MyFord Touch sucked when it came out, but that was five years ago – and if you haven’t driven a car equipped with it since then, you’re missing out.

You can choose between two engines: a 240-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 285-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder that offers more power than most rival V6s. There’s a standard backup camera. Standard voice control. Standard dual-zone automatic climate control. Standard keyless access with push-button start. Standard power front seats, which is something that Audi has been trying to figure out for the last two decades. In other words: on paper, this car is a worthy adversary for every single modern compact luxury crossover. It’s not some flag-waving also-ran.

And in practice?

In practice, it’s just as damn good. A few car journalists have knocked Lincoln interiors for offering a little too much cheap plastic, but I think these people need to spend time in other luxury SUVs. The Mercedes GLK interior looks like a factory for plastic. The RDX interior makes it seem like Acura is the largest consumer of plastic buttons outside the Target women’s department. Any objective person would say the MKC fits right in with these rivals.

And then there’s the driving experience. It’s quick. It’s comfortable. It’s plush. No, it’s no sports car, but let’s be honest: the MKC was never going to take down the BMW X3. Lincoln is going after the enormous “I want a luxurious luxury car” segment currently being abandoned by “Let’s Make It Look Crazy” Lexus, and they’re doing a damn good job.

All-New 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

So then we move to Lincoln’s “other” new product: the MKZ. I’ve driven the MKZ. I like the MKZ. I find the MKZ to be one of the most attractive new cars on sale, giant taillight and all. If I were interested in a smooth, comfortable luxury car, I’d find my way over to the Lincoln dealer long before I ever set foot in Lexus of My Hometown. Largely because the Lexus dealer scares me, since it looks like all the SUVs are going to eat my extremities.

Now, I know I’m in the minority when it comes to the MKZ, primarily due to its polarizing exterior styling. But you have to agree that this car, too, looks pretty damn good on paper. Turbo 4-cylinder. Optional V6. Available hybrid model that costs nothing extra and does 40 mpg in combined driving. Cheaper than Lexus, and more equipment. For those of us who don’t think it looks like a beached whale, this is a pretty damn good car.

And I suspect Lincoln will continue coming out with these damn good cars over the next few years. This is, after all, the same company that brought Ford from a football-shaped Taurus with a pushrod engine to a handsome, desirable Fusion in just a decade. They can do it with Lincoln, too.

Now, I’m the first to admit that Lincoln’s turnaround will be a long and bumpy one – especially if they believe their flagship vehicle, the Navigator, can continue in its current form as a warmed-over Expedition with a ten-year-old chassis and a fraction of the features its rivals have.

And then there’s the brand’s name. Cadillac has been turning around for a decade now, and you’d still get a nasty look from any non-car enthusiast if you told them you were buying a Cadillac. “A Cadillac?” they would say. “For you? Or your grandfather?” And then they would laugh and laugh, as they walk out to their cool new BMW or Audi, which aren’t associated with old people, but rather sorority girls from the North Shore of Long Island.

So it’s a long road ahead, but I think Lincoln is going about it the right way: by delivering high-quality products packed with features, loaded with equipment, and equipped with some of the best engines on the market. This process won’t be done in two years, or even five years, but it’s headed in the right direction. Just like I said.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

220 Comments on “Lincoln Is Already Coming Back...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    That picture of the MKZ there? IS A LIE. The brake lamp doesn’t go all the way across, in nice uninterrupted fashion. It’s segmented in the center by the reverse lamp, and looks utterly terrible.

    Quit putting up pictures of lies, Douglas.

    Also, here is the current slogan for the MKZ, per Lincoln.com.
    “Most class in its class.”
    This is abject pleeb fail.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      See:

      http://blogmedia.dealerfire.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/96/2015/03/mkz15_pg_003_ext_full-2.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Hahaha.

      Corey hates the MKZ tail lamp sooooooo much.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        It RUINS a desirable design feature, the full width tail lamp. This is not one, because it only functions 98.3% of the way across. That reverse lamp should be concealed somewhere else, lower in the bumper or something. Makes me so angry.

        And while I’m mad, where is your MKC review from months ago?!

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I was written up and sent in to the editors e-mail address. Perhaps I should send it again since there has been turnover at TTAC.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You should! Send direct to Mark S and CC editors.

          • 0 avatar

            Yes, please do.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            The biggest whiners of the MKC and MKZ are the ones that have not driven the vehicles. MKZ has an awd option as does the MKC. Both are extremely well built and offer something else then the cookie cutter look and feel of other domestics and foreign auto maker offering. Put a Japanese name plate on either auto and it would be loved and praised by those same whiners.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          … I can’t tell if I should be slow clapping for complete deadpan delivery, or walking away slowly because you’ve gone completely insane.

          Well played, Sir.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I don’t think the picture’s inaccurate at all. Here’s one I took off Cars.com of a ’15 sitting on a dealer lot.

      http://images.cars.com/supersized/DMI/113212/E23566/05.jpg

      Same thing that’s in the picture here. So the reverse light takes up some room in the middle. So what? Or should TTAC only run pictures of cars’ rear ends with the brake lights on?

      Much anger I sense in you, my young padawan.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        @Freed

        My issue was that the pic shows some concept art or something, some promo photo where the blank in the middle was edited out! The rear light in the photo here is clearly illuminated as well. It isn’t The Truth About That Car.

        Lincoln knows this is crap design, and that’s why on their very own site, they don’t have any pictures which are in focus for the center of the brake light on the MKZ. It’s either cut out entirely due to angle, or they use a soft focus, so it’s so blurry you’re not sure what you’re seeing.

        Also, the example you showed causes me to have a problem with cell antenna placement or whatever that is above the trunk. Yuck. Can’t mount it to the roof because the roof moves about!

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          The picture in the post doesn’t look like an self-illuminated light to me – it looks like it’s reflecting the photographic lamps.

          (Also: http://www.lincoln.com/ngbs-services/resources/lincoln/mkzbase/2015/gallery/photo/mkz15_pg_003_ext_full.jpg

          I found that on Lincoln’s site, in the MKZ gallery.

          Shows the gap pretty clearly and in focus, I think.

          It just … doesn’t… bother me?)

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Corey, look at the photo I posted. That’s a non-doctored pic from a digital camera of a production MKZ (used, as a matter of fact) sitting on a dealer lot in broad daylight. I don’t see any difference at all between that photo and the nicer one in this story. Unless the brake or running lights are on, you can’t see the gap you’re talking about. If you saw one going down the street with the brake lights and running lights off, or sitting in a parking lot, this is exactly how the car would look. Now, if the driver hits the brakes, then you’d see the gap, but honestly, what’s the big deal?

          Based on that, I don’t think you have any reason to accuse TTAC of dishonesty in posting that pic. It’s an accurate rendition of the vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I see it! I also see this one.

            http://media.oregonlive.com/oregonian/photo/2014/02/14240327-standard.jpg

            It’s creative photography taken with the light off, to create a glare over the plastic so you no see the space. In normal driving you can certainly see it, all the time. I maintain it’s an inaccurate rendition.

            Here’s another example, different lighting and different car.

            http://2014carsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2014-Lincoln-mkz-rear-view.jpg

            And another, there it is again:
            http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/2013-lincoln-mkz_100430523_l.jpg

            Another you ask?
            http://www.thecarbrands.net/lincoln-mkz-hybrid/2014-lincoln-mkz-hybrid-sedan-hybrid-4dr-front-wheel-drive-sedan-exterior/

            And finally, definitive proof. Have a look at the large version of this photo.
            https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Lincoln_MKZ_badge.jpg
            It’s been doctored clearly, and photoshopped over. That’s not an actual photo of an actual lens. Hence, not The Truth, as it were.

            :)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Don’t drive angry.

            http://coreyswrite.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/dontdriveangry.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          Toad

          Somebody has too much anger, OCD, and time on their hands in the middle of a weekday.

      • 0 avatar

        Like Darth DeadWeight CoreyDl went over to the dark side. Gauge clusters vs rear lights. Who wins?

  • avatar
    kojoteblau

    I think that the MKZ is the only Lincoln I actually like. That wide strip of taillight, broken up or not, is distinctive without aping the Dodge racetrack lights. You know you’re following a Lincoln at night, it has some presence to it.
    But then I am a fan of where Cadillac has been going over the past decade, so what do I know.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      My only problem with Lincolns – and I say this as someone who doesn’t like the modern Cadillac design language, though I respect them for going with it – is that I’m led to believe they still use touch [with haptics, but still touch] for important things like volume and climate control, which should be *real knobs*.

      They *look* real nice, including the MKZ.

      (I like this MKC well enough, but it’s not my segment.)

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I think both cars are rather nice. I have looked at them both on dealer lots at some point. I will say that the MKC starting price is far from how most models on dealer lots are equipped. I got a bit of sticker shock with prices for most in the mid 40’s. Its a hatchback with 2 extra inches of ground clearance right? The MKZ is a nice ride, not squarely aimed at German rivals though that control the segment. I will also say, that really only the top trim MKZ’s look fantastic with the various appearance upgrades. Base models look rather…well….basic.

    I have to hand it to auto manufacturers though. The CUV craze is an incredible redistribution of wealth from consumers to automakers. The same small hatchbacks can be jacked up, add $1000 of cost to automaker and command a 10K premium (or substantially more) over a similarly equipped hatchback. Larger three row CUV’s are no different. Take just about any one, remove the ground clearance, effectively making it a wagon, and the market would demand a drastic reduction in price even though it is essentially the same car, probably a better car.

    So we consumers are essentially responsible for the lack of wagons in the market, no automaker is going to sell them when they can add ground clearance and charge 20-30% more.

  • avatar
    gsf12man

    I think Doug is on the money.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Nice write up, and I agree with you completely. Hardly out of the woods yet, but definitely making the correct steps. And there is a certain desirability of owning something that isn’t the “look at me, I’m showing off how much I can lease” German Three. At least it shows some originality in the owners.

    Of course, there’s going to be a lot of pushback from the (don’t make me laugh) Best and the Brightest who have a lot of years invested in “Lincoln’s dead, they’re just too stupid to realize it” line. I doubt if they could drop that line if Lincoln managed to outsell Cadillac AND Lexus.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I recently shopped both the MKC and the MKZ. Frankly, I found the MKC expensive (when optioned with the requisite packages to get what I wanted) and just so-so. The MKZ, on the other hand (V6, AWD, glass roof) was a really nice car. It was reasonably quick, had a nice ride/handling balance and the AWD tames the excessive torque-steer present in the FWD V6 I rented last year. Two things really stand out: The first is the panoramic roof is really, really impressive and lends an almost convertible-like feeling that even the ultra roofs have (such as the one in my CTS Wagon). The second is the massage seats option, one of those if-you-need-it-it-makes-the deal sort of options. My wife complains about most car seats, but loves the Lincoln chairs. These two options really make the car feel special despite the tepid styling. The downside is that optioned this way, the car stickers north of $50K and the depreciation curve makes it almost impossible to justify.

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      Your point on depreciation out weighs any positives that Lincoln slaps together to package their vehicles. If you have to put your own money down and not just write an interesting piece on a new vehicle by Lincoln then it’s really not a contest between Lexus and Lincoln. Just wait till you go to your Ford dealership for service… I have worked for Ford and saw the way my customers had been treated by the service department. Horrible

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The Ford and Lincoln dealerships I go to treat me very well. I might not know better since I am a recovering VW owner. The tales of woe are long and depressing. At a VW dealership in Tucson, I learned that vaporlock was a safety feature of my MKV R32.

        • 0 avatar
          hiptech

          That’s ridiculous… in Phoenix everyone knows it’s a security feature to prevent operation during extreme temperatures.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I bought it in Phoenix too. Well, in Avondale at Larry Miller VW. They were super helpful, but the dealership in Tucson, where I lived, was not. I ended up selling it to someone from the Midwest that wasn’t worried about the vapor lock issue.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    “This is, after all, the same company that brought Ford from a football-shaped Taurus with a pushrod engine to a handsome, desirable Fusion in just a decade.”

    Not something to brag about. The ovoid car was ruthlessly decontented for more than a decade, still sold with the frankly pathetic Vulcan OHV V6 right until the end. They could have moved much quicker than a decade. When people were upset about the plastics, NVH, and too-wallowy ride of the 2012 Civic, Honda released a rehashed version which improved on all of the criticisms in a YEAR, despite the fact that the 2012 still sold fantastically and was at its core a very competent and competitive car from the beginning. The 1996 Taurus was sort of the reverse. It started out as a nicely featured car with a lot of nice touches, and an awesome palette of interior colors (saddle on grey is my favorite). There was a competetive DOHC V6 making 200hp. The decontenting started immediately and didn’t stop till fleet sales stopped in 2007, by which time the poor Taurus was an anonymous grey conveyance inside and out, white noise on the street.

    I guess I assumed you were referencing the 1996 Taurus debut to the 2006 first gen Fusion debut, rather than the end of that Taurus production in 2007 to the not quite a decade to the start of 2013 Fusion sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      I love the way you can nitpick so as to not have to give Ford credit for a huge improvement in product, even when they accomplished just what Doug wrote – and bollux the date range, or that Honda did it faster. It was still done.

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        This. And the story of the 1996 Taurus is very well known, it was even written up in a book. Yes, it was built to high quality; using the previous generation Camrey as it’s target, which it basically hit.

        But, the Camery was ALSO decontented the next year, and the price lowered in reaction to the consumer not being willing to pay the prices that were being asked for sedans at the time. It was the market and not Ford itself that called for a cheaper, decontented product, and Ford was in fact late to the decontenting game; which is one of the reasons they lost their sales crown to Toyota.

        Like someone already mentioned; the big money even then was in SUVs; along with the pickups following the introduction of the “Taurus truck.”

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          The problem was that Toyota managed to decontent the 1997-1999 Camries and their facelifted 00-01 bretheren (and heck, all subsequent Camries to this day) in such a way that was still palatable to consumers, and of course while retaining very high reliability. Fords decontenting cut deep, and by the end left a shell of a car. If the delta in material quality and ‘niceties’ between the 1996 Camry and Taurus was relatively small, the gap in 2001 by the end of that camry’s generation was much larger. By 2006, only the decrepit old Vulcan V6 was left as the sole engine option in the Taurus, at which point it was inferior in just about every imaginable way to Honda and Toyota 4 cylinder engines (power, NVH, fuel economy).

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “It was still done”

        A decade’s worth of crappy cars does not go unnoticed by consumers. Yes they turned things around, but if not for truck and SUV sales Ford would have easily ended up like Chrysler and GM. How is it nitpicking to call out a company for cranking out utter crap of a sedan lineup for that long? The 500 was a breath of fresh air in 2005. With the first gen Fusion, finally in 2006 people walking into a Ford showroom looking for a decent midsize sedan had a palatable option.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          The way I figure it, an entity – a person, a company, a nation, whatever – is open to being “called out” if it keeps doing the same wrong stuff.

          Ford isn’t doing wrong stuff anymore.

          So, yes, they did make crap at some point. They don’t anymore. At some point you start evaluating based on the present, not the past.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I’d wait and see how EcoBoosts hold up longer term before removing the “crap” label. Among Ford techs and indie mechanics, there is much talk of direct injection-related intake valve carbon issues. Can’t clean them up with a regular induction service, the turbos have a habit of blowing up. Ford has been having dealers replace the entire engine head(!) as the solution. If I were buying an MKZ I’d most definitely splurge for the 3.7 V6.

          • 0 avatar

            Had a bad day? Relax, not everyone wants Camry or Accord.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            “the turbos have a habit of blowing up. ”

            Source?

            Ecoboosts have had some teething pains, but I wasn’t aware that exploding turbos were among them.

            And if we are not going to forgive the decade of decontented Tauruses, what of the rusting Japanese cars long after Detroit figured out metallurgy. And if I want to be brutally honest with myself, both my 88 and 93 Rangers were better built than my current Frontier.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            @mkirk

            Source:
            http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2014/12/induction-service-cleaners-can-damage-ford-ecoboost-engines.html
            The turbos can get damaged when induction cleaning services are used to clean up carbon gunk on intake valves, hence Ford preferring to have dealers replace heads. Not sure why they don’t use some other method of cleaning that doesn’t require the replacement of expensive components, perhaps they just haven’t come up with a better solution yet.

            As far as rusting goes, jellybean Tauri and mid 90s Luminas rust out worse than their contemporary Accord and Camry competitors. Take a look at the rear dog legs (piece of fender nearest rear door opening) on a ‘jellybean’ 96-99 taurus, if you can find one on the road that is. Not to mention the Taurus habit of the rear springs literally rusting in half (or windstar rear axles rusting in half). Heck, recall our own Thomas Kruetzer’s experience with a mid 2000s Freestar and the Ford “fix” that followed. Has a Sienna or Odyssey ever had as serious of issues with body integrity? The 96-97 years of Accord solved the rear quarter panel rust issue by and large (94-95 of that same body style still had issues). The 92-96 Camries are actually very resilient to rust, more so than Accords, and definitely more so than any mainstream American sedan of the era. 1st gen Taurus wasn’t much better than a 2nd gen camry or 3rd gen accord, in the sense that they are all just awful rusters. 92-95 Taurus was an improvement in corrosion resistance but no better than a 90-93 Accord, and worse than a 92-96 Camry. 80s are a different story, that’s for sure. The GM B body in particular stands out in my mind as an incredibly well engineered vehicle from a corrosion resistance standpoint, they’re about as good as 700 series Volos (rust resistance allstar of all time IMO), at least as far as the bodies are concerned.

  • avatar
    bigev007

    Haven’t been in a new Lincoln, but I was in the GLK and Versa Note back to back, and the steering wheel in the Versa had much nicer materials than the GLK. Cheap plastic factory is right.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      When I test drove a GLK in December, it had a leather-wrapped wheel.

      But Doug’s right about being full of plastic inside – and way too much cheap chrome.

      (And I am never going to give up harping about the aluminum [I assume] gauge surrounds that made the speedo unreadable with the sun behind the car.

      I mean, *really*, Mercedes?

      Between that and the inch [it seemed] of chrome around each air vent, I had to cross the GLK off the contender list, despite liking the 250’s engine, and how it drove, and the *rest* of the interior just fine…)

  • avatar
    Gregg

    Lincoln sales increased a bit after the MKZ and MKC debutes, but both models have sunk recently. The MKZ is very tight on interior space compared to most of its rivals. And for some reason, its 240 hp 2.0 liter is slower and coarser than comparable engines from Audi, BMW, Cadillac, and Mercedes. The MKC is trying to compete with the likes of the BMW X3 while actually straddling the space between the Audi Q3 and Q5. After an initial flurry of sales, dealer lots are bursting with them. Get an 8 or 9 or 10 speed transmission in it, and/or a dual clutch automatic, and target the Q3, GLA and the like. Leave the new MKX, which should have been for sale already, for comparisons with BMW X3. It’s not like the MKX and X5 will be cross-shopped much.

    Lincoln is moving in a positive direction, but they need a new Navigator, the Continental, a revamp of the MKZ and something reasonable to replace the unfortunate MKT.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The new Navigator and MkT replacement will come out between 2017-2019.

    • 0 avatar
      Smaller-is-Better

      Last november my father went from a fully-loaded 2011 X3 with the NA V6 to a 2015 MKC with the 2.3 turbo. After driving it extensively he is over the moon about his new acquisition compared to his X3. The only 2 complaints he has is fingerprints on the touchscreen and the fact that fuel economy has not improved vs the BMW (to that list I would add that it is less spacious and the front buckets lack in thigh-support). My father likes cars but he does not KNOW cars, and while badge appeal matters to him, it is not a top criterion. People who pick an MKC over an X3 exist, and as the brand image improves through positive experiences from new owners, I have no doubt that Lincoln can be part of the luxury conversation again.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I wouldn’t kick any Lincoln out of bed for eating crackers but only if I can purchased used. Definitely a better value than Ford on the used market.

    But I don’t judge anybody for buying a Lincoln… Now that guy driving a new BMW at exactly the speed limit on the interstate…

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Hey, as long as he’s in the right-hand lane, I don’t judge him.

      Well, much.

      (I do occasionally yell “learn to drive your Ultimate Driving Machine!” at people… quietly, in my car.)

    • 0 avatar
      WildcatMatt

      Reminds me of this little chestnut:

      Q: What’s the difference between a BMW and a porcupine?
      A: With a porcupine, the prick’s on the *outside*.

      (Disclaimer: My brother owns an X5.)

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    Recently rented a MKS with less than 1k miles for a three day weekend. As far as i could tell this thing had everything but the panoramic roof. It looks great, and all the features they make you think you want in a premium car are there and seemed to all work as advertised, for the most part.

    My biggest problem is after about an hour of driving the thing you are struck with the fact that it looks the part but does not FEEL the part. Cheapy materials, cheapy feeling ride, etc, and frankly, they still have not gotten the my ford / my lincoln touch thing right. what a terrible user interface…

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      What problems did you have with MFT? I haven’t had a problem in three years now. I’ve also driven 30+ MFT equipped vehicles in that time, so I am curious to see what your issue was.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry, but I really can’t find a single fault with M(F/L)T. The control sliders? Yes. They’re wonky. But the screen is dead-simple to use and VERY well-integrated.

    • 0 avatar
      Jean-Pierre Sarti

      my car’s user interface kept on locking up. it was very slow to sync with our phones, the layout of the buttons are clear to understand but i just felt they were not friendly when the driver needs to change something while driving, the screen responsiveness just did not seem like it was all that good for an economy car much less a luxury car, i kept remarking to my self : “i pushed the button already you stupid thing why are you not working!”. maybe i got a buggy or non patched system, it was a rental after all. i am no expert on in car ui but it was frustrating. perhaps it takes more than a weekend to get used to.

      all i know is, i wanted to like this car, but after three days with it, it was not hard to return.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Fair enough. If your user experience was poor, that’s no good.

        • 0 avatar
          clivesl

          You two just illustrated one of the biggest problem with any UI for a car.

          Use it for a week or two and figure out the quirks and it will run smooth as silk. Rent it for a weekend and you will never get comfortable with it.

          How do you design a UI that is obvious for the novice, but contains all the infotainment features that people want? It isn’t an easy trick.

    • 0 avatar

      I do not have much problem with MFT other than it is all touch button (as name suggests). It is not easy to hit touch buttons on the screen while you driving and cannot take my eyes from road for too long. And touch button on control center – any accidental touch of control panel activates something that you not intended to do. And again you have to take you eyes from road for the duration of the whole process.

      Another painful thing is audio player controls (I use hard buttons on the wheel) – very slow to FF. I listen to podcasts (John Bachelor e.g.) and some times need to skip some part and it takes minutes holding button on the wheel. Then it performs songs in alphanumerical order and I was not able to find menu setting to change it to play them album wise. I wonder decade after iPod many companies cannot figure out user interface.

  • avatar

    In a world of blown 4-banger C250s with no low-end pickup and vinyl interiors and 320i BMWs with manual seat controls, I find zero shame in piloting a Lincoln. At least you’re not every OTHER MBA grad out there.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Were you thinking of the CLA, maybe? If so there’s a case. But the new C-class is a massive improvement over the old one, MB-Tex (which, in fairness, is awfully nice stuff) or not.

      And if you want to compare interiors, there’s no comparison between the C and the MKZ – the Lincoln is nice but the Benz is flat out gorgeous inside.

      http://www.thesupercars.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2015-Mercedes-Benz-C-Class-cockpit-of-C250-BlueTec.jpg

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I really don’t see the point of Lincoln when the Titanium trim equivalent Fords exist. They are nice, but for the price you can get something that isn’t based on a car that starts much, much cheaper. Same problem Acura has. Cadillac at least has something you can’t get at the Chevy or Buick store for some of their product line.

    But all that said, Lincolns are looking better and better and I think the MKC is a good looking car. MKZ isn’t bad either. The one based on the Flex needs to be killed with fire.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      Cadillac has something you can’t get at the Chevy store, but I’m not convinced anyone wants it enough to buy it. A lot of people say they do, but I think 80% of them end up buying a BMW anyway.

      Lexus has made a pretty good living selling Camrys for 50k.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I expected Lincoln to die by 2020 but it looks like they will stick around after all.

    Sales are still pretty bad (Tim Cain called this month “abysmal”) but Lincoln seems downright functional compared to Cadillac right now.

  • avatar
    Akrontires

    Though I have not driven, I recently stopped in a Lincoln dealership and was stunned with the quality and the look of the interiors. Last time I saw the inside of a Lincoln I was stunned on the negative side. Huge improvement. Kudos to Ford.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Keeping the prices reasonable is a good idea. Some buyers love to get luxury and value.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I hate to DeadWeight this article but I think it should be said- Lincoln’s rebadged Ford with a focus on content and value strategy is working out better than whatever Cadillac is doing. Cadillac is selling more ATS/CTSs than Lincoln is selling Fusions/Tauruses, but Cadillac is damn near losing money on all of them while Lincoln is selling close to what they are asking.

    Cadillac and armchair execs are wrong… luxury buyers generally don’t care about razor’s edge dynamics. Content, refinement, badge snobbery and value all reign surpreme. This is why the ES is only outsold by the 3 and C in the US in the luxury sedan class, and the RX outsells all other luxury CUVs handily. If you have $50K to finance a new luxury car, are you going to go with a poverty spec BMW or a fully loaded something else? The second choice is becoming the answer for more and more people.

    Plus BMW itself has begun to move away from at the limit dynamics as a selling point. With today’s tire tech and level of chassis development standing out in that regard is of no use. A base 335i will handily wash an early aughts M3 or M5 on specs without being edgy or uncomfortable. For the average luxury buyer it’s not necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This.

      • 0 avatar
        clivesl

        “luxury buyers generally don’t care about razor’s edge dynamics”

        This 100% true, however luxury buyers do care that they are getting the best. Cadillac is ‘daring greatly’, they are attempting supplant BMW as the best sport sedan on the market in the minds of the general public.

        This will take decades, but since Cadillac is a brand and not a company, GM can afford to take a hit on Caddy profits while rebuilding the brand.

        I don’t know if this will work, but given that you already have Buick slotted in the comfort cruiser category, it only makes sense to take your other premium brand into the sporting category.

        You all may hate that you can’t get a V8 pillowy Cadillac, but stop staying that there is no strategy or that it doesn’t make sense. How else do you rebuild Cadillac into the top dog without overlapping on Buick and to some extent GMC?

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          I think there is a strategy, it’s just the wrong one, about 20 years too late and not relevant to where the market is at and is headed. Cadillac does have a big pillowy V8 ride… its the Escalade, its golden goose, profit cow and the only thing they are doing that makes sense to customers. Escalade portfolio outsells the S-Class.

          Truthfully, a smarter use of the money would be to have spun the Escalade name into a brand like Range Rover, spreading out the Escalade’s design language and targeting the same segments with existing platforms. Could have increased their volume tremendously with very little investment, and also boosted the brand’s profile.

          Nobody wanted a razor sharp Cadillac and the sales and transaction prices of the ATS/CTS show this. There is plenty of room to deliver more luxury, content, refinement and user friendliness above Buick, without having to invent new platforms.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          “This 100% true, however luxury buyers do care that they are getting the best.”

          Well, if “luxury” here includes “premium” (which it has to to include e.g. the 3, the C, and the A4, none of which are “luxury” cars)… I don’t know that I buy that.

          Unless “best” just means “best badge to snob about”, maybe.

          Not that they’re really bad cars in any case, but … is a 325i really “the best” anything, other than “BMW sedan you can get for a low price”?

          (Also, I do not hate that I can’t get a pillowy V8 Cadillac, though I know what you mean.

          Me, I’d kill the GMC brand entirely; what the hell does it even represent?

          But then I’m not at all sure you need Chevy, Buick, AND Cadillac brands – everyone else seems to manage with just a “normal” and “luxury/premium” brand.)

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            ,” I’d kill the GMC brand entirely; what the hell does it even represent?”

            Its an eminence front.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            “Me, I’d kill the GMC brand entirely; what the hell does it even represent?”

            The best looking GM trucks? Seriously.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            @Dave M: I’d have to agree…The Sierra just keeps looking better than the Silverado.

          • 0 avatar
            Lack Thereof

            “Me, I’d kill the GMC brand entirely; what the hell does it even represent?”

            Although historically GMC represented the commercial/fleet side of the brand, now it represents a way for Buick and Cadillac dealers to sell trucks, without having to sell Chevy trucks.

            The GMC brand allow allows the upmarket dealerships to sell a full line of trucks, without without having to bring Chevrolet branding into the mix.

            It’s being able to be “Springfield Buick/Cadillac/GMC” instead of “Shelbyville Buick/Cadillac/Chevy Truck”

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Actually, to make matters worse for Cadillac, Lincoln’s “Fusion” is outselling the ATS (and the CTS for that matter, although obviously not combined). Both last year and so far YTD.

      GM is probably counting down the days to the new Camaro is on sale to cover the costs of the Alpha platform.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      March 2015 sales:
      Cadillac 13756
      Lincoln 8695

      CY 2014 sales:
      Cadillac 170750
      Lincoln 94474

      They’re clearly pursuing two different market segments. I’d compare Lincoln more to Buick (and lower-end Lexus) at this point. And maybe that works out for Ford. But they’ll have nothing to compete with against BMW, Mercedes and Audi. North of $55,000, they have nothing to sell that’s not a Navigator.

      And I don’t think the Continental will change that. I think it’s Lincoln’s version of the XTS – at the price point they’re aiming for, the competition will all be RWD. It’ll sell better than the XTS because it’s better looking, but it won’t be a huge success. That’s my prediction, anyway.

      In the meat of the luxury market, the best selling small sedan is the BMW 3 series. The best selling midsize is the Mercedes E class. The best selling flagship is the S class. Sportyaccordy is right when he says that none of them are M3s or CTS-Vs, but one key element of “snob appeal” isn’t just the brand – it’s knowing that if you wanted to drive your $60,000 luxury sedan like they do in commercials, you can, and the car will respond like a thoroughbred. Any of the cars I just mentioned could do so (and so could the CTS, ATS or XT6). None of Lincoln’s lineup could. Someone shopping BMW or Mercedes might (operative word: might) cross shop a Cadillac, but they absolutely will not cross shop Lincoln. They won’t cross shop Buick, or cheaper Lexuses (think ES) either. That leaves them dead for an entire segment of the market.

      For now, that’s OK. But the high-dollar luxury market is lucrative, and I have to think Ford would like a piece of it. They won’t get it with the current lineup of Lincoln – no chance.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        If Cadillac can’t build a global presence, then GM’s program will be a costly failure.

        Ford’s initiative is far cheaper. It doesn’t need to achieve great results or hit a global home run in order to be profitable. Ford has much better odds of success.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Cadillac will NEVER build a global presence. There are only three markets they can move into. The US, where they already are, Europe, which hasn’t and will never take Cadillac seriously (what German would buy one over a BMW/MB/Audi? What Englishman would buy one over a Jag?), and Asia, which is beginning to slow down appreciably.

          Some Lexus exec came out and said it- no luxury maker will ever topple BMW/MB/Audi so it makes no sense to try. Better to focus on markets you have room in and make those operations profitable, than take on these existential quests that will take decades to deliver on. This direction Caddy has taken on is Phaeton II grade bad. It’s just pure ego

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            Add the Middle East to that list, they like big cars too.

            That being said, you’re right. Cadillac is more of a local brand and not global. To most people around the world a BMW, Audi or Mercedes is much more desirable. Even in the US where we do cross shop them, the German will win out most of the time.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Lexus can’t build a car that truly competes with BMW/Mercedes because Toyota can’t build a sedan that truly connects with the driver. Their “inner child,” if you will, is all about building transportation-bots. That’s fine with Camrys, Corollas, and old-folk-mobiles like the Avalon or ES, but it won’t work with higher-end luxury cars.

            Even their strongest competitor to BMW/Benz – the original LS – was a less-expensive S-class. But as good as the LS was, it never offered the driving experience that the S-class did. It was always another Toyota transportation-bot – a solid-performing, beautifully made one, but an appliance nonetheless. And now the S-class outsells it handily, even though the Benz is far more expensive. Why? Because the S-class delivers a driving experience Lexus can’t touch. Drive a LS and a S-class back to back (and I did with the last-gen models) and you’ll figure it out very quickly.

            Believe me, Lexus would LOVE to sell the IS, GS and LS in BMW/Benz-like volumes. But it never will.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Cadillac just really needs to do well in 2 markets – the US and China.

            For the US, Cadillac needs to resize its sedans and needs more CUVs.

            Cadillac is already seeing good growth in China and should see continued growth as more models are set to be built in China.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Cadillac and Lincoln have huge problems getting Global acceptance,
            Cadillac should stick to being a local brand i e I doubt anyone has heard of Scion outside NA. Lincoln will eventually fold, it is totally irrelevant

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        What percentage of those Cadillac sales are Escalades? The Escalade, and, to a lesser extent, the SRX have been keeping the brand afloat.

        As to whether people will cross-shop Cadillac with BMW or Mercedes -sales of the ATS and CTS have answered that question. Most people balk at paying BMW-level prices for comparable Cadillacs. Yet, based on what GM was charging for these cars, I’ll bet that the business case for the ATS and CTS only worked if GM could get customers to do just that.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The Escalade and Escalade ESV made up almost 20% of Cadillac sales last month. The Navigator was about 11% of Lincoln sales.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          ” Escalade, and, to a lesser extent, the SRX have been keeping the brand afloat.”

          SRX sales are down 54% Year-over-Year.

          So, Escalade is pretty much single handedly keeping Cadillac a going concern (to the extent that a going concern is a black hole blowing through money faster than pre-rehab Charlie Sheen blew through hookers & coke).

          Cadillac is losing its a$$. The plan they’ve now embarked on (blowing 12 billion, or over 1/3 of all money GM will spend on vehicle development, even though Cadillac represents one out every 20 GM sales, and isn’t profitable) is only going to drive the bus off the cliff faster because they still don’t know what they represent, who their customers should realistically be, or what products should be produced as part of a rational, cohesive, successful portfolio.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Cadillac did not make the same mistake with the Escalade as they did with the ATS and CTS.

            The Escalade remained as roomy as ever.

            As bad a Cadillac messed up the sizing/packaging of the ATS and CTS, they messed up even more by not expanding their CUV lineup earlier.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Interesting…so if you buy a car that performs well beyond the performance envelope you intend to use it in just because that capability is there, that’s cool.

        But let someone get a truck that can pull a lot of weight or an SUV that can run the Rubicon but never actually do it and the commenters here loose their minds. Got it.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        And yet oddly, if you break it out into models, the Cadillacs that sell well are the ones they haven’t put any effort into. Of those 13,756 sales, the aging and decrepit SRX made up 5,000, the Escalade sold 2758, and the XTS sold 2367, with I’m guessing a very high fleet mix.

        The MKZ outsells any individual Cadillac sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The problem for Cadillac hasn’t been aiming for the sportier side of the luxury sedan equation (BMW is aiming to return to this with its lighter next generation of sedans), which is fine, but aiming for the sportier side while sacrificing what the typical American buyer wants most of all – interior room.

      The ATS is the tightest in its segment (further exacerbated by the fact that Cadillac used to sell the 2G CTS which was the largest in the entry-level segment along with the Infiniti G37) and the 3G CTS, along with the XF and GS, have the least amount of passenger space.

      Cadillac is cognizant of this problem which is why the ATS and CTS replacement are both getting increased interior space.

  • avatar
    david42

    MKC and MKZ seem like nice enough cars, but the options are overpriced. As with Cadillac and its floundering CTS and ATS, Lincoln will learn that it can’t charge BMW prices until it develops BMW-like cachet.

    These cars seem to be a notch above the equivalent Acuras, and should be priced accordingly.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      You could always pay more for the BMW and hang out in their waiting area while they are trying to fix your BMW. Most offer free breakfast and lunch. Or just buy the Lincoln and if don’t want those free meals.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Winning a stay of execution != mainstream success. We’ll see how serious FoMoCo is about the brand soon enough.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s right. Look how many times Maserati has not been executed, but on life support. By various companies.

      Saab is hanging in there as well, in theory.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I truly believe one of the major reasons Lincoln was not euthanized was the liability of a separate dealer network of 230 some LM dealers. Becoming restyled “Mercury” was simply the path of least resistance at the time in keeping the LM channel.

        Unfortunately like Austin, Rover, and MG before it, Saab is dead.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        If Saab comes back, it’ll just be it’s reainimated zombie corpse. Still dead.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Alan Mulally wanted to kill Lincoln, but Mark Fields successfully argued for a stay of execution. Mulally has since retired, and Fields has moved up the corporate totem pole. So I’m guessing that Lincoln has a few more years to stage a turnaround.

      At this point, I doubt that Lincoln is losing money, so it has that in its favor. The upcoming MKX, which is a huge improvement over the current one, should be a big help to the brand.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree Lincoln makes nice margin on top of existing Ford platforms, especially due to the ridiculous pricing model which precipitates the huge depreciation hit we’ve seen on the block.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          This is the biggie. For all the hate about platform sharing, it can definitely work. Look how far Toyota has stretched the 3.5L V6 and the Camry platform. If you have a decent mainstream platform it should be able to serve on the low end of luxury, which is where the bulk of the profit is for brands with no cachet, and is where the growth is. It’s a shrewd play in my opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Lincoln has not been setting the world on fire, but at least this approach doesn’t cost much. Compared to Cadillac, this reskin-Fords-for-as-little-as-possible approach makes better business sense.

        If the Chinese buy them, then it will have been worth it.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          While there is nothing wrong with Lincoln sharing platforms/engines, I would argue it could use more differentiation from ford.

          It could also GREATLY use a CUV built on the Explorer platform and aimed at upper tier Grand Cherokees and Acadia Denalis. Probably wouldn’t cost too much to make with a 3.5L base and 2.7/3.5 Ecoboost engines optional.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          The pre delivery requirements for GOBI are insane.

          If the numbers don’t lie, you are right. Those retail numbers could prop up a Lincoln Blackwood’s program costs.

  • avatar
    wsn

    “Well, here we are two years later, and Lincoln is already clawing its way back.”

    You claimed it’s back and yet provided no sales figure to support that claim.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Not unintentional, I’m sure. Why ruin a good vibe with numbers?

      Since Lincoln having a one-year 16% sales increase in 2014 after a nearly year-over-year freefall since at least 2003 doesn’t scream “clawing its way back”, you can’t spend an entire essay describing how everything is just “damn good”, and then undermine it with sales data that are anything but.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      How about this?

      http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2012/10/lincoln-brand-sales-figures-usa-canada.html

      In 2013, 81,694 Lincolns were sold in the US.

      In the firs three months of 2015, 21,478 were sold – beating the first three months of 2013 by at least 1,800 vehicles per month, every month, in the monthly breakout. Sales are above the 2012 level, thus definitely an upswing from the lower 2013 numbers Doug is contrasting with.

      I’d say that supports “already clawing its way back”; after all, “clawing” in this context implies a slow struggle, but producing results, rather than a rapid rebound.

      Fair.

  • avatar

    I do have hope for Lincoln. First of all, a RWD car really isn’t necessary. It just isn’t. If Ford/Lincoln can make a transverse-engined car that feels properly planted and offers an excellent combination of styling, features and materials, no one—at least not the people who actually buy cars—will care about which wheels propel it. I feel like Lincoln is trying to create expectations that it can actually meet. Cadillac, on the other hand, is going the opposite direction. Chasing the Germans is going to be a losing game, chiefly because Cadillac’s cars seem to benchmark foreign competitors that are either many generations old, or that are halfway through their current generations.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I would add Lincoln will eventually need one “real” model which is not directly available in Ford showroom to be taken seriously. We’ll see what they do with the Continental concept but personally I’d go for something even more exquisite. Learn from Cadillac mistake of introducing stunning concepts and never following through by building something really special. Target the Continental Mark II and see what comes out of R&D.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        The one issue I have with your comments is the FWD. I love FWD. I think it is the best over-all design for interior space.
        The problem I have with it is most of my experience with FWD biased AWD systems is they are slow to react. The MKS I have is an example.
        I hope the future brings more affordable systems like that of the upcoming XC90 from Volvo. I love how they kept the engine working the front wheels but have this awesome 90 HP electric motors working the rear wheels. Even if not all that powerful but enough to give the rear a decent amount of power.
        This set up is being given lots of love by everybody who has reviewed it.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I own two FWD vehicles both of which are on dated GM platforms. Even before everything HAD to be AWD, GM still put a transmission like hump through the cars. Today if I want to buy a FWD model it seems not only am I still stuck with this hump, but the center consoles are even wider/larger than before negating much of the benefit of the FWD layout for interior passengers. Worse, if I decide I want AWD I still have the disadvantage of a transverse motor/transaxle setup with the added bonus of I believe two differentials, one to turn the rear wheels and one to mate to the transaxle and all subsequent maintenance thereof.

        • 0 avatar
          Rich Fitzwell

          Hi TrailerTrash, I like your responses, may I ask your opinion? Ballpark, Looking at GM only, which GM cares would you like if you were 6’2″?

        • 0 avatar
          Kevin Jaeger

          See, Trailertrash, if you had a properly engineered AWD system like a BMW Xdrive it wouldn’t be slow to react, like MKS is.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The problem with chasing the Germans is that, no matter how good a company’s imitation German car is, it’s still ultimately an imitation of the real thing. When people can buy the real thing, they will. Especially if the imitator costs just as much as the real thing.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      A RWD model isn’t a necessity – IF Lincoln decides it doesn’t want to go up against BMW or Mercedes. If it does, then it’s sure as hell a necessity. Lincoln should know – it’s been trying to sell a $55,000 Taurus for years and has failed miserably. There are lots of reasons why, but the main one is that at this price point, buyers get very discriminating very quickly. Lincoln’s not the only brand that’s failed with a MKS-like car – the Cadillac XTS and Acura RLX are also busts. Buyers with $55,000 to drop on a car don’t want a dressed-up Taurus, Impala or Accord. They will reject these cars with extreme prejudice.

      If Ford is OK with its’ top of the line brand not having anything that can realistically compete with a pricetag over $50,000, then I guess that’s their call, but I just can’t imagine they wouldn’t love a piece of the high end market. Demographically, as they say, the rich are getting richer, and there are more of them than ever before. These folks are a growing market, and for high-dollar goods. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that business?

      Cadillac might have a tough sell against BMW or Mercedes at that level, but Lincoln doesn’t even have a chance in hell.

      If the strategy is to anchor itself lower, as a Buick competitor, and then bring out more competitive models as the cash flow builds up, then the strategy makes sense.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Okay, so an “I told you so…” article from DeMuro.

    1st, the biggest reason (by nearly 90%) Lincoln has had a bump in sales is entirely due to the MKC, and if an automaker can’t sell more vehicles by introducing a compact or mid-size crossover given the trends of the marketplace, it’s really incompetent.

    2nd, the MKC is NOT selling as quickly as it once did, after a very short honeymoon, leasing to an inevitable build-up in dealer inventories that will now require higher incentives to more.

    3rd, the MKC is a more attractive version of the Escape, having a slightly larger 4 cylinder motor available, absinthe interior and ride quality are so-so, but in no way luxurious. If Doug wants to somehow claim that the MKC is some sort of conquest vehicle based on virtue, he’s merely trying to bait comments based on his still unfulfilled prediction that Lincoln will turn things around in terms of sales volume and profitability.

    4th, the MKC gets stupid expensive for a glorified Escape, which is a fairly mundane riding/sounding/feeling compact CUV, even by import standards. I predict a big drop-off in sales barring very aggressive lease deals by Ford.

    Finally, no new Lincoln to date is doing much at all, and this in what’s been a super easy time to sell cars in North America – a condition that won’t last indefinitely – so we’re going to see some uglier truths about more brands & segments once the inevitable downturn in the automotive sale cycle kicks in, and I predict radio silence from Doug when this happens, as he only discusses his nascent, might-be-on-to-something, quasi past predictions lately.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      LOve how you take some really big stuff and attempt to reduce in value.
      “having a slightly larger 4 cylinder motor available” Wow. This is an understatement.
      “interior and ride quality are so-so, but in no way luxurious” Ok. If you can find a better material than the leathers used by Lincoln, let us know what it is. And even if you find one as nice…how does this make the Bridge of Weir a non luxurious material?
      “MKC gets stupid expensive for a glorified Escape” Again, this is yet another slap at an American maker for doing what every expensive import has been doing forever.
      Is not the newest little Lexis a copy of the Rav4? Can you really tell us what the differences are between the Escape and the MKC? Are there any plusses?
      I have my beefs with the MKC. There is a lot I do not like about it…but it is no more a copy than other big names…IF the big names had a lower end to copy from. I am no expert at the inner breeding of all the Euro makes, but I bet my life they copy from others within their families. Ford did not invent platform sharing.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Lincoln needs the new MKX. MKX 1Q sales are over 33% down compared to how it’s been selling for the last three years. Part of that may be the MKC, but a big part is that the new MKX is coming out soon. I think the MKX is a more important product to Lincoln than the MKC or MKZ.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    If you want to judge anybody negatively for purchasing anything…then be correct and point at those buying BMWs.
    These ridiculously over-priced and expensive to keep cars are being given a pass here and around the auto specialty sites.
    They force expensive, wear quickly run flats and their start-stop system should be used as a means to break down in interrogations. It is worse than waterboarding!

    Lincoln hate is as PC today as is the blaming man for global warming, everything European is good and Americans are the fattest, laziest people on the planet. Our cars are to big, our hamburgers to fattening and our homes filled with to much stuff we do not need or deserve. Americans are eating up the world resources and destroying the planet.

    After all this…I hope Lincoln fixed the AWD system from what is on my MKS. This is the worst part of the car. Late to react and now clunky.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    This “MK” sht has to go.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Some of it is. The replacement for the MKS is the Continental. The replacement for the MkT is the Aviator.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        ’bout effin’ time.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Are these names actually happening? I’m surprised they would use the much tarnished Aviator name.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          It’s been awhile. Most people won’t remember what the Aviator was. Also, it makes the Aviator name more in line with the Navigator, which is a good thing.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Did FoMoCo put adults in charge of Lincoln when GM put children in charge of Cadillac?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I dunno, only ten years now. I’m not sure I would have chosen that name – they were just so plagued with problems. Like the S-Type and the Millenia, they always make the “do not buy used” list.

            Perhaps call the smaller one Navigator and the the full-size is Navigator XL.

            I can guarantee you that both of my clueless car parents still know what the Aviator is!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Mark Fields likes Lincoln and ran the PAG. That certainly doesn’t hurt Lincoln’s prospects.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Let’s re-read that:

            “Mark Fields”

            Ok.

            “ran the PAG”

            Ut oh.

            “That certainly doesn’t hurt Lincoln’s prospects.”

            Um, well let’s hope not since that PAG thing worked out so well and all.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Corey-

            No one remembers but clinically insane car people like us.

            Also, there is already a Navigator and Navigator L. Since the Explorer based Lincoln SUV won’t be BoF, I don’t think it should wear the Navi name.

            28-

            He didn’t run it at the begining. He was head of Mazda at the time. Lincoln was already out of the PAG when Fields ran it. Fields isn’t my favorite dude in teh world, but at least he cared enough about Lincoln to keep Mullaly from executing it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Well I am against it, but these Lincoln people must know what they’re doing if the 02 Continental was any indication :).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @bball

            Eh, fair enough.

            @Corey

            I like the Aviator name, if I had an MkX I would have already affixed the NOS emblems from Ebay. Ford also didn’t sell the previous Aviator model for very long nor did it have any chronic blow up issue I am aware of, just wasn’t available in 4×4 and I think carried the 4.6 mod.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The Aviator also had different electrics in some places, and carried an air suspension IIRC.

            And different transmission because of the AWD vs the 4×4 of the other two?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Using the Aviator name can’t be any worse than MkT. I still don’t think any of my wife’s friends know what her vehicle is named. To them, it’s a big giant Lincoln that looks like it will eat children.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Corey

            I’m not surprised on the failing air suspension, all Lincolns carry one. I’m not sure on transmission, but IIRC it was only offered in 2WD and AWD.

            @bball

            Order some Versailles emblems from Ebay and mount them on the trunk of your wife’s MKFlex. Chances of people even knowing what Versailles even was are near zero at this point and your wife can feel special in “her” unique Versailles.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Here’s what Steve Lang said in particular about the Aviator.

            Lincoln Aviator (a gussied-up, unpopular Ford Explorer that had unique sensor and software issues which negatively impacted the overall powertrain and electronics.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            He was probably right but I wonder if those issues were endemic to the AWD system. Did Ford even have an AWD system prior to use or did they have to hack one together just for the Aviator?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I believe the Mountaineer was AWD versus 4×4, from the beginning. It got as standard that 5.0 which was an option in the Explorer, and AWD.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            bball – Although the market shat on the MKT, and I’m not fond of the grill (though it’s not as bad as the new Lexus Preying Mantis grill), it is closer to a luxury vehicle by far than the MKZ or MKC, and better yet, your MKT was approx 1/2 the price of a mid level MKC because you bought a low mileage, essentially CPO (?) one.

            So you did a smart arbitrage. You found a substantial vehicle with a steep depreciation curve that MET YOUR NEEDS/WANTS, hitting them where they aren’t, and saved yourself a ton of present AND future money, while having a pleasant, safe, quiet vehicle that’s been trouble free.

            That’s going to have a happier ending than someone buying a 4 cylinder MKesCape for 35k to 40k, whether they keep it for 3 years or 8.

            You’re purchase was smart (in financial & useability terms) in a way that only insiders/true gritty car people understand.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Mountaineer was not available in AWD configuration in gen 1 and it appears not for gen III either.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_Mountaineer

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            DW-

            You are right. Our misfit Lincoln is a better vehicle than the MKC. I know it’s weaknesses, and plan accordingly. It’s biggest weakness, styling for the masses, makes it a excellent used value.

            My wife says that the MKC is more stylish and cute, but she wouldn’t trade her MkT in for it (despite Lincoln sending her all kinds of marketing). The different in comfort on the freeway is significant.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The Mountianeer was always available in an AWD version, it was never offered in a 4wd version. When it was introduced it was only available with in a 5.0 AWD configuration but they added the 4.0 and 2wd versions. The choice of 2wd or AWD on the Mountaineer continued to the end of production. With the second gen they replaced the 5.0 with the 4.6 as they did in the Explorer.

            The Aviator was never offered with air suspension. The unique mechanical bits were the DOHC 4.6 shared with the Marauder and a different steering rack. The transmission was the same as used on V8 Explorers and Mountaineers. The transfer case if so equipped was the same AWD unit used on the Mountaineer and Explorer Limited.

        • 0 avatar
          duffman13

          Was it tarnished? I thought an Aviator was just a Licoln-ized Exploder. I don’t remember that generation of Exploder being particularly bad, am I missing something?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            That generation of Explorer was quite good in that Ford finally gave it IRS to help with any poor handling that might occur because of a tire blowout and improve cornering ability.

            The only “tarnish” I can think of would be that the Explorer name itself was a bit tarnished due to the whole Firestone debacle.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Then why is the Aviator on the DO NOT BUY lists, but the Explorer and Mountaineer aren’t?

            Also look! Special Edition!
            http://www.bubbahats.com/2003_Aviator_Kitty_Hawk.html

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Principaldan

            The Explorer had numerous problems unrelated to the Firestone scandal most notably transmission, body/paint, and other build quality issues. We were getting them from wholesalers in 05 with numerous issues off lease but the proles still bought them from us so we had to keep them stocked.

            http://www.carcomplaints.com/worst_vehicles/

            http://www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2002/

            @Corey

            I’d love to see those do not buy lists which list Aviator but not Explorer (numerous issues) and Mountaineer (5.4 spark plug issue). I know better to always avoid the first year of any model, but I think an MY04-05 2WD Aviator would be a nice ride (once you remove the air ride).

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ 28 cars, the Mountaineer never got the 5.4 it had the same engine choices as the Explorer from 02 until it was discontinued. The previous version did get only the 5.0 when introduced but they added the 4.0 to the line up.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @scoutdude

            I didn’t know that, thanks.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The Aviators had the 4V 4.6L which was a lot peppier than the 2V in the Exploder, but it had it’s own set of issues due to poor cooling circulation that would occasionally cause a cracked block.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Damn good damn good damn good its pretty damn good damn good

    Aside from irritating, this seems premature. Your assessment is based off impressions of a new entrant that hasn’t been out long enough for a verdict to be rendered on sales success, although the early signs (1500-2200/mo in the US opposed to the 4000-7000 for the Acura MDX) aren’t promising. The MKZ sells at half the rate of the Lexus ES and I don’t see how the Fusion’s underperforming 2.0T is a plus here. I generally don’t like to see brands fail and the fewer RXs I see on the road the better, so go Lincoln, go, but this editorial is rather shallow.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      +1 The article that was posted directly after this one states the opposite, that Lincoln is down, WAY down: “The Ford Mustang outsold the whole Lincoln brand by a 1.5-to-1 count in March.” So which is it?

      Lincoln offers nothing to a consumer really… similar to the GMC / Chevy relationship. These “brands” should just sub-model or a trim level, for example “Lincoln Signature Edition Mustang”. I don’t understand how entire brand is based on the SAME vehicle I can get but just with a different logo on the grill and some misc options. What kind of business model is this long term?

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        GMC is the corporation’s second-largest division in terms of sales, so apparently a fair number of customers believe that it does offer something to them.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          GMC is “Professional Grade” with an imminence front chrome grille.

          Some people can’t suffer the exact same vehicle at a 15% discount that’s pitched by Kid Rock like they’re “Joe Dirt” or something, with so much less bling in front (gonna have to pit a rink on it).

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Those commercials crack me up every time. They are such a put on. Jack’s piece on them was great.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I once wore out my voice during a football game screeching out “born free”. That tells you how often they were on.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            *twitch*

            *Eminence* front, like the Who song; pretending [fronting] to eminence [being well known or successful or imporant].

            Imminence is the condition of being impending or about to happen.

            Which would make for an interesting description of a grille, but I’m pretty sure it’s not what you *mean*.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “Mustang > Lincoln” does not actually state the *opposite* of “Lincoln clawing its way back from 2013 low”, though.

        The former points out that Mustangs are huge and Lincolns don’t sell well.

        The latter points out (I linked to GCBC numbers up above) that Lincoln sales *are* up from the 2013 low, significantly so.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          I used GCBC numbers as well. Interpretation is the issue here. A brand with a 12-year losing streak has managed to improve for 1.25 years. That may be the start of a large year-over-year increase or it may fizzle. I don’t see such a short term gain as anything worth penning Mr. DeMuro’s click-bait article over.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    WHAT ABOUT the McConaughey factor??? :/

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “McConaughey factor”

      That’s a game changer.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I can see DeMuro driving a Lincoln provided MKC around, baked, rolling boogers hands upright McConaughey style, waxing nonsensically about some bizarre topic, braking for imaginary bulls.

      Or taking a Lincoln provided MKZ for a spin dorm 320 miles in the middle of the night:

      “It’s naaaace out here late at naaght..no one else on these here roads…and I can jus’ draaaaaave.”

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I p;refer the Carrey factor…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3eN9u5N2Q4

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Seriously, though, here’s the biggest hurdle Lincoln faces in their effort to be a luxury contender: branding. While the McConaughey ads may drive some sales, Doug’s point about Lincoln being associated with seniors (and thus uncool) is not being addressed. Until Lincoln can restore the brand to something aspirational, they won’t really compete with Lexus or the Germans. I still think that this will only come about as the result of a true halo vehicle, something like the 1956 Continental. Even if they lose a little money on each one, make it in limited quantities but make it truly exceptional to restore some luster to the brand. Otherwise they’ll just be gussied up Fords, no matter how many features are standard. Cachet first, value second.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Lincoln is making some progress, but from a very low base so not very impressive when compared to the volume of big 3: BMW, M-B, and Lexus, or compared to what Lincoln did in the 1970s, early 80s. Several issues will need to be overcome if they want to continue moving up. First, Lincoln resale value is terrible, so even if the vehicle is comparable in price and “quality” to the big 3, the cost of ownership is much higher and the ability of Ford to profitably be competitive on leasing is impossible. Second, use of the Ford engines is problematic because they just aren’t competitive with the big 3 offerings. Compare a 4 cylinder MKC with a 4 cylinder X3 and you will find it vastly inferior on smoothness, power, and fuel economy. Third, Lincoln simply lack the choices available from the big 3 (and Audi) – no rear-drive anything, no super powerful M/AMG competitors, no diesels, no cabriolets, no sports cars, no large CUV, etc. It will take a major investment on the part of Ford to overcome these issues, and frankly I doubt they are willing to make that investment.

  • avatar
    TheDward

    I’m a pretty big fan of Ford (I own a 2013 Focus) and was a Salesperson at a Ford/Lincoln dealership until recently. Here’s my perspective:

    Lincoln is making a solid comeback, but is not out of the woods yet. Since Ford wasn’t in the position to sink a decent amount of money into the brand, and Mullaly’s overall indifference to the brand, I still think we have at least 2-3 more years before we see what Lincoln can really become. I think the current products are good placeholders until then though.

    Speaking of which, out of the two products mentioned, the MKZ and the MKC, The C is the superior vehicle. With extensive seat time behind all of FoMoCo’s products, the Fusion actually feels more refined in certain ways to the MKZ. I think it may have to do with tire choice. In any event, the MKC is a noticeable improvement over the Escape, and shows just how great Ford’s Global C Platform can perform. You can feel the similarities in ride and handling characteristics between a Focus and an MKC without it being a demerit for the latter due to the differences in NVH and interior quality.

    Like others have mentioned, Lincoln’s biggest threat is Ford. The Titanium trim offers much of what the base Lincolns possess, and modern Ford vehicles are so good they make a case against spending more money on one.

    There are two big indicators for me that Ford is hedging its bets on Lincoln. Number one: the 2016 Explorer. It has a trim level ABOVE the Sport model that features pretty much everything you’d want in a modern 3-row crossover from Lincoln, and is going to be over $50,000. Seems crazy to me.

    The second, and more telling move by Ford will be their offering of that “Vignale” trim. If any of that makes it stateside either keeping that name or emulating what they’re doing with the refreshed Explorer, Lincoln is doomed, or under some timetable within Ford to hit a certain number of units sold or face execution.

    • 0 avatar
      clivesl

      Which is a sensible business strategy. Try platform sharing with maybe one dedicated platform that is uniquely Lincoln. The rest share platforms with Fords. It works OK for Toyota/Lexus so it isn’t like there is precedent for it.

      At the same time you move Ford upmarket with higher trim levels. If Lincoln makes you money you keep doing it, if people want to pay Lincoln prices for Fords then you just simplify your supply chain and eliminate Lincoln entirely or just make it the top Ford trim level.

      We are the only ones that care about the names on the trunks.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    You guys jest surely?? I was shopping in this segment and the asking price for a loaded up MKC was $53,000 (CDN)!! That’s absolutely insane, we could drive a loaded up Q5 for that money and the resale on the Q5 is going to to eat the MKC alive.

    Absurd.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      What would you project Q5 resale to be?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      You can’t get a *loaded* Q5 for that in *US* dollars, at least not *really* loaded, unless prices vary a lot more than I think they do.

      Around here the local dealer’s offering a Q5 Prestige for $60,500 – and they don’t do discounts.

      (I mean, granted, a Q5 Prestige with the 3.0T is a lot more car than an MKC, so the price is not unjustified… but it’s not the same money.

      Plus, frankly I trust the Lincoln more, to be not-a-money-pit in five years; like 28 I don’t know that I trust Audi resale.

      I mean, I *love* their cars, but I gotta be realistic about that.)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Yup, I don’t trust Audi resale or long term reliability.

        CJinSD mentioned in another thread when he dropped off his A6 recently he noticed a pile of crate motors behind the repair shop. Shades of 80s Cadillac right there.

  • avatar
    John R

    Meh. Wait and see, sure; however, I don’t think there is any reason to start jumping up and down.

    As has been mentioned the MKC honeymooon isn’t over and the all-the-boxes-ticked Fusion is still the smarter buy over the MKZ. Period. Better looking and more gracefull in motion, too, IMO. I don’t know what it is, but the that car looks like a Fusion with an ill fitting body kit to me.

    Now that the Mustang is IRS (finally) maybe Ford can pick its bones and make something useful. People here and elsewhere keep saying that driving dynamics don’t matter anymore but I guess I live in some sort of twilight zone here in the tri-state philly area.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    One caveat: “Best engines on the market”?

    Would that be the turbo V6 that’s getting all the black circles from Consumer Reports, or the turbo 4 with the awful gas mileage that’s getting all the black circles from Consumer Reports?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Would that be me not caring what CR thinks about engines?

      Especially since I can’t see any of their ratings, since they want me to pay them for them?

      (I’ve seen how CR mangles electronics ratings. I don’t really trust CR anymore.)

  • avatar
    SatelliteView

    Standard dual zone climate control – somebody hold me. Standard voice control – you can try, but you wont be able to hold me. Standard back-up camera – aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

    I knew Lincoln secretly employed at least a 1000 nuclear scientists, but that they would produce results so quickly??? No way!!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      You gotta pay extra for a camera and heated seats on a BMW.

      “Standard stuff everyone wants that the other guys charge for” is a real thing that matters and sells.

      • 0 avatar
        SatelliteView

        You’re paying for these features on a Lincoln too. They’re just included in the price outright. It’s the same as “free shipping” on eBay for many items – it’s already factored into the price.

        Fundamentally BMW is a more expensive car. The equipment is extra to make the base price lower “to lure people in” – it matters and gets people in

  • avatar
    STS_Endeavour

    I’ve been window shopping for used cars recently, and among those that interested me was the Lincoln mkZ. A nice, elegant, and reportedly reliable (the V6, anyway) car for what is an amazingly affordable price. A babied 2013 or even 2014 in some cases could be had for a bargain. But in the past couple of weeks, something’s been up. Gone are the bargains. What the heck happened?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      They are still resale bombs don’t worry you’ll get one for a song. Wait till the summer and look for an MY14.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I agree. The 2012 MKZs are the best deal right now, in terms of sedans. The 2013 and newer MKZs and MKSs are listed for $25k and up CPO. I’m not liking the trend and I hope it’s an abberation.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        CD3 is still the way to go, the CD4 is pulling a little bit more than I would have expected for the time being.

        MY13 Zephyr FWD V6 – extra clean

        04/15/15 DFW Factory $25,900 1,851 Above WHITE 6G A Yes
        04/14/15 GEORGIA Lease $23,700 6,518 Avg SILVER 6G A Yes
        04/15/15 DFW Factory $24,600 9,599 Avg FQ-RED 6G A Yes
        04/02/15 DETROIT Lease $24,800 11,045 Avg RED 6G A Yes
        03/25/15 DETROIT Lease $24,000 13,416 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        04/01/15 TAMPA Lease $26,200 14,359 Above SILVR-UX 6G A Yes
        04/16/15 NASHVILL Lease $23,000 16,114 Avg TUX BLK 6G A Yes
        04/14/15 GEORGIA Lease $24,300 16,844 Avg WHITE 6G A Yes
        03/25/15 DETROIT Lease $26,000 17,317 Above SILVER 6G A Yes

        MY14 FWD V6

        04/08/15 TX HOBBY Factory $32,800 3,048 Above PEARL 6G P No
        04/14/15 KC Factory $28,700 5,228 Above ORANGE 6G A Yes
        04/16/15 NASHVILL Factory $29,000 6,411 Above GREY 6G A Yes
        04/16/15 NASHVILL Factory $28,900 6,758 Above TQ 6G A Yes
        03/26/15 CHICAGO Factory $28,000 6,791 Above ORANGE 6G A Yes
        04/09/15 KC Factory $29,300 7,045 Above GRAY 6G A Yes
        03/26/15 NY Factory $25,600 7,550 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        03/26/15 TAMPA Factory $29,800 8,009 Above CHAR-UH 6G A Yes
        04/01/15 CHICAGO Factory $28,700 8,129 Above GREY 6G A Yes
        04/16/15 SO CAL Factory $26,800 8,222 Above BLACK 6G A Yes

        MY13 Zephyr AWD V6 – extra clean

        03/25/15 DETROIT Factory $29,200 10,070 Above WHITE 6G A Yes
        04/07/15 GEORGIA Factory $28,100 13,419 Avg WHITE 6G A Yes
        04/02/15 NASHVILL Factory $28,100 14,859 Avg RUBY RED 6G A Yes
        04/15/15 DFW Lease $23,700 15,164 Below RR-RED 6G A No
        04/20/15 GEORGIA Factory $27,200 15,435 Avg WHITE 6G O Yes
        04/07/15 GEORGIA Lease $28,500 16,576 Above RED 6G A Yes
        04/14/15 GEORGIA Lease $27,000 16,678 Avg BLUE 6G A Yes
        03/25/15 DETROIT Lease $28,100 20,222 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes

        MY14 AWD V6

        03/26/15 PA Lease $36,900 1,994 Above BLACK 6G P No
        03/31/15 NY Factory $33,200 9,888 Avg PEARL 6G A Yes
        04/01/15 NJ Lease $33,800 3,618 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        04/01/15 KC Factory $34,500 8,450 Above LTWHITE 6G A Yes
        04/02/15 NASHVILL Factory $30,000 19,970 Below TUX BLK 6G A Yes
        04/02/15 CHICAGO Regular $33,000 14,660 Avg RED 6G A Yes
        04/09/15 PA Factory $29,300 14,984 Below GREY 6G P Yes
        04/14/15 SO CAL Lease $30,500 10,739 Avg GRAY 6G A Yes
        04/15/15 TAMPA Factory $32,100 14,461 Avg BLUE-TQ 6G A Yes
        04/15/15 TAMPA Factory $30,300 18,518 Avg BLUE-TQ 6G A Yes
        04/17/15 NASHVILL Regular $36,500 3,299 Above WHT PLAT 6G A No

        • 0 avatar
          STS_Endeavour

          Yeah… They’re floating around $30K here (Bay Area) – I swear a week or so ago they were going around $25k or even less for pretty much the same stuff. Then… Bang-o. Price spike!

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      If you can, wait for the MKZ refresh that will happen next year. Then prices will go way down.

  • avatar
    kojoteblau

    It amazes me that all it takes to rile up the commentariat is to post that Cadillac or Lincoln are finally doing something right.

    You’ll hear all about how they’re not, or how they could be, or how they shouldn’t even try.

    • 0 avatar
      SatelliteView

      no, you’re wrong. it’s HOW the posting goes about Caddy and Lincoln doing something right: standard voice control, standard dual zone climate control, standard back-up camera – wooooooo! woooooow!

  • avatar
    wmba

    16 million new vehicles sold in the US last year. 95,000 Lincolns and 171,000 Cadillacs, comprising just 1.7% of the total.

    More words spilled on these underachievers than any other brands. Apparently these irrelevant vehicles are important to someone because mentioning them in a post is pure clickbait. And the results are just as predictable and boring as they were two weeks ago with the same commenters.

    When you realize Mercedes alone sells Twice as much as Cadillac and 3 1/2 times Lincoln despite these two brands representing the home team, the irrelevancy is even more obvious.

    It must be the underdog thing at work here. In the real world, virtually nobody gives a hoot about them. I’m a car enthusiast but overexposure of these two lame duck car “companies” on this site surpasses my understanding as well.

    Is there not something a bit more interesting to contemplate?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      To be fair, neither at the moment has a basic full (and updated) lineup (meaning 3 sedans and 3 CUVs).

      And MB and the other Germans have 4-door coupes, coupe-styled CUVs, etc.

      Will still be another 4-5 years or so before Cadillac has the basic 3 sedan, 3 CUV lineup, much less additional models.

  • avatar
    hiptech

    Am I the only one to observe that Ford never killed Mercury… they merely changed the brand name to Lincoln?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Correct.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Towards the end, Mercurys were Fords that were obviously badge engineered.

      Lincoln is making an effort to avoid that.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        IIRC the point of Mercury from the mid-80s onward was to act as a badge-engineered Ford for Lincoln-Mercury dealers to sell for volume as well as soaking up extra capacity on Ford model assembly lines. Prior to this I have read it was intended to be “junior” Lincoln.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        They were both badge-engineered Fords (Lincoln just had the “better” interior than Mercury).

        Only with the MKZ (and now MKC) has Lincoln started to differentiate its lineup from Ford (about as much as Acura from Honda and the FWD Lexus models from Toyota).

    • 0 avatar
      hiptech

      I’m also inclined to believe that Ford’s pricing (especially well equipped models) has encroached into Lincoln territory. Which might explain Lincoln’s lackluster sales performance.

      If you can buy a fully loaded Ford (whatever model) compared with a Lincoln counterpart it may just be a better deal to get the Ford…

  • avatar

    I’m not ashamed to say that I really aspire to own a Lincoln. If I was to purchase a luxury car tomorrow, they would be at the top of my list.

    Sure, you can get a Titanium Edition Fusion or Escape, but I frankly find both of those cars to be hideous compared to the Lincolns, especially the Escape compared to the MKC, so that alone would justify the extra expense to me.

    I was selected to participate in the Lincoln Date Night program, so in a couple of weeks, I will be handed the keys to an MKC (my choice). I plan to do a review of it for my personal review site. I can’t wait!

    • 0 avatar
      SatelliteView

      Argument like yours: “Sure, you can get a Titanium Edition Fusion or Escape, but I frankly find both of those cars to be hideous compared to the Lincolns” is why badge engineering existed from 1970s through early 2000s. Different bumper clip – and you got yourself a customer.

      Mentality like yours is what brought down the once mighty American auto industry

      • 0 avatar

        I’m afraid I am going to have to disagree with you.

        First of all, the MKC has far more than a “different bumper clip” to differentiate itself from the Escape. I have looked at both, and the Escape’s fussy, overwrought styling, combined with the overly busy dash design and cheap looking door panels are just not pleasing to my eye. The MKC just looks better to me, and has much nicer materials inside.

        The Lincoln SHOULD look better than the Ford, it’s a step up. And along with better styling, there needs to be a nicer interior, and certain features that the lesser car can’t be had with. The Lincoln has these things.

        I’d hardly say my type of mentality is what caused the downfall of the American auto industry. Besides, Detroit aren’t the only ones to use this strategy…

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          I’ll agree with you 100%. When I was shopping in 2013, there was nothing I liked about the Escape, especially the interior and long dashtop. The MKC is a looker both inside and out.

          FWIW, my wife has a 6 year old loaded out Edge Limited. The leather has worn better than her mom’s newer RX. More comfortable too.

  • avatar

    Cadillac is still outselling Lincoln by a 2 to 1 margin. Lincoln has a very steep hill to climb.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Cadillac has 933 dealers and LM had I think 232 (or thereabouts). If Lincoln can move nearly half the volume of Cadillac with 25% of the distribution network and despite the fact every Lincoln *is* a Ford (whereas Cadillac has two unique models), I’d say they are doing better than one might think.

      • 0 avatar
        SatelliteView

        Your argument is the same as: if Turkmenistan citizens have hot water 3 out of 24 hours per day and Uzbekistan citizens have it for 2 hours per day, then Turkmenistan citizens are doing better than one might think. Sound logic, but very, very myopic for someone who has had 28 cars and his 40th birthday is not in a so distant horizon

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          This is a terrible analogy.

          There is such a thing as having too many dealers. Cadillac can’t increase sales enough to fix its dealer problem; Lincoln might be able to.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        The Cadillac dealer count, while far from perfect, really isn’t that big of a problem. They tried to get rid of some of the rural dealers during bankruptcy but couldn’t.

        Cadillac has the 80/20 situation. 80% of the sales happen happen at 20% of the dealerships. I used to live in Austin Tx. One Cadillac dealership in the entire metro area. Go out a hundred miles or so and you get three. One in Lampasas Tx and one in Temple, Tx. Of course those are tied to other brands while the Austin one is stand alone. They probably sell a few Escalades and XTS’s in the rural ones. They only extra cost is the need for field support for the rural ones and I doubt they get much attention.

        Ford cleaned up their situation with the Mercury shutdown as there were many Lincoln Mercury dealers that died and were consolidated with the death of Mercury.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Jim Hoffpauir Chevy, Buick, Cadillac in Lampasas Tx has 10 new Cadillac vehicles in his inventory. I bet he moves them too.

        There are plenty of rich retirees around the Highland Lakes area in that part of Texas who will buy Escalades, SRX and XTS. Again, I didn’t say it was perfect but it is not like there are 900 stand alone Cadillac dealerships in the USA. Yes, there is extra cost but they do also move some units.

        Trust me, Lampasas isn’t competing with Austin dealers. He also sells a crapload of Chevy trucks too in that part of the state.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Even if your example is correct, surely you must know that anecdotes are not data.

          Cadillac has almost three times more dealers in the US than does BMW. There is absolutely no good reason for that, and GM knows it.

          http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/general-motors/2015/01/21/cadillac-considers-boutique-stores-small-dealers/22144177/

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Yes PCH when I say the situation is not ideal I realize that. BMW does not target rural areas. That is why they have a lower dealer count.

        Cadillac does not target rural areas but they have legacy cross branded dealership in smaller towns. Your link probably speaks to efforts to increase customer experience at those smaller dealerships. You act as that is a ‘gotcha’ moment

        Cadillac’s biggest problem isn’t their smaller rural dealerships but rather their performance in the big luxury markets like LA, Miami, NY, Chicago, Atlanta etc. Their problems in those markets are not too many dealerships but product and consideration.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Did you not read the article?

          The explanation offered by De Nysschen is on the money. Having too many dealers results in either excess inventory at the OEM level or else too little inventory at the store level.

          He would obviously love to cut those dealers, but can’t afford the cost of a buyout. In many respects, the bankruptcy only did about half the job — a lot more dealerships should have been cut.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Dude. Nothing I said here disputes the article. Just said it isn’t their biggest problem as some people think. Their product and acceptance in the main luxury markets is a far bigger issue. Read what I wrote.

        As I wrote, they wanted to get rid of those rural dealers. The fact that they still have them is far from their biggest problem. Good night.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Good link for you PCH since you linked me.

        http://www.nasdaq.com/article/cadillac-head-johan-de-nysschen-clarifies-vision-for-dealers-20150124-00017

        200 stand alone Cadillac dealerships most likely in the key markets where the big lux OEMs sell. In line with competition. The rest are smaller legacy places as noted multiple times above. Stand alone dealers are not delivering. Product problems or problem of too many dealers?

        As stated many times by me, far from perfect…but reality.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The reality is that there are too many dealers, but no budget available to shut them down.

          De Nysschen is hoping that new policies will cause some of them to bail out at their own accord (at no expense to the company) while he minimizes the company’s inventory obligations to those dealers who remain. Of course, he cannot say that, but the intentions are obvious.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    Maybe I am missing something, but it seems like the resale on an MKZ vs a Fusion Titanium seems to tell you everything you should need to know about this brand.

    The MKC seems nice enough, but then again, there are a lot of nice-enough small CUVs these days. Seriously, is it competing with Audi/Acura/BMW or more likely, Escape Titaniums and RAV4 Limiteds, and CRV EXs?

  • avatar
    bd2

    Going to have to disagree with DeMuro.

    Difficult to say that Lincoln is in better shape as sales are flat for the year (actually a little down YTD) and that’s with the addition of a new model, the MKC.

    And sales of the MKC probably aren’t where Lincoln execs have hoped – behind that of its direct competitors (other compact lux FWD CUVs) such as the RDX, NX and Q5.

    Sales YTD:

    MKC – 5,230

    RDX – 11,342
    Q5 – 9,354
    NX – 9,111

    And sales aren’t just behind, they are well behind (the others doing around twice the volume of the MKC).

    And while sales of the Navigator are up some 80% – that’s only b/c Navigator sales were really bad.

    YTD, Lincoln has sold 2,875 of the Navigator

    Meanwhile, Cadillac has sold 7,899 Escalades (and at a higher ATP).

    The only other “new” Lincoln model (admittedly, the Navigator is not a new model, but refreshed), the MKZ, has seen sales drop 30% YTD.

    The new Continental should help sales, but large luxury sedans are a declining market and probably won’t see the Continental do much better than what the XTS has been doing for Cadillac (still, this is much, much better than what Acura has been able to do with the RL/RLX).

    Lincoln needs a home-run with the new MKX, but the can’t see it as the new MKX is even more bland-looking than the MKC.

  • avatar
    tedward

    Really? You’d find your way to a Lincoln dealer? You wouldn’t just order a loaded escape/fusion/whatever? I honestly find that hard to believe.

    They have a talented design department but Lincoln is dead. What we have instead is the old trim level called Mercury hiding behind a Lincoln badge.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Yeah I don’t really even get comparing Lincoln to Cadillac right now. Cadillac has issues, but they at least have unique product rather than rebadged/brand engineered Chevrolets now. Lincoln is now a competitor for Buick (as Mercury used to be): selling fancier versions of FWD mainstream cars from Ford/Chevy, respectively.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • stuki: “ICE vehicles causing permafrost to melt could potentially release ancient viruses that might make COVID...
  • stuki: Station wagons are being eaten alive, sales wise, by compact CUVs (and mpvs) in Europe. More cramped cities,...
  • stuki: I suppose a skyscraper could be sold for the price of a bungalow as well……. Perched higher, both...
  • RHD: Crude oil prices aren’t tied to the political party in the White House. That’s silly rhetoric....
  • RHD: There are several advantages. Even if you don’t enjoy choosing when to upshift or downshift, there is...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber