By on October 17, 2016

Lincoln Driven at Speed of Depreciation

As our own Matthew Guy has marvelously demonstrated recently, it’s widely known a new-car purchase’s best value can often be found in the base-level trim. Rarely is a vehicle improved in proportion to the cost of additional options. Nor is the money spent on additional options or higher trim levels recovered in resale as secondhand customers are reluctant to pay more money for bells and whistles because, quite often, they’re obsolete by the time the car sells the second time around.

If we take these truths to an obvious conclusion, it can be said that the higher the trim level, the worse the resale value — and in my years of experience working for Autotrader, I can tell you that’s true. Many of the low-end pricing tools used by dealers to determine used car values often don’t even take trim into account.

Is it any wonder then that General Motors’ and Ford’s top trim levels have wretched resale values?

No, I’m not talking about “LTZ” or “Titanium.” I’m talking about Cadillac and Lincoln.

Our friends at iSeeCars.com investigated which cars have the highest amount of depreciation in their first year of ownership. Or, in other words, which cars should be bought new, and which should be bought used. Here’s iSeeCars’ methodology:

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 14 million cars sold between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016. New cars included in the analysis were from model years 2015 and 2016. Lightly or one-year-old used cars were defined as vehicles from the 2014-2015 model years with mileage within 20 percent of 13,476, the average annual miles traveled in the U.S., according to the Department of Transportation. Models with fewer than 250 new and 250 used cars sold were excluded from the analysis. The average asking prices of the one-year-old used cars were compared to those of new cars from the same model. The difference in price for each car was expressed as a percentage of the new model average price. This percentage was then compared to the overall percentage difference across all models. The models which had price differences of at least 1.5 times the overall average difference (of which there were 12 models) were included on the list of models to buy used. The 10 models with the smallest change in price were included in the list of cars to buy new.

The results will shock exactly nobody.

Rank Make Model Avg Price New Avg Price Used (1-year-old) $ Price Difference % Price Difference
1 FIAT 500L $23,390 $15,294 $8,096 -34.6%
2 Lincoln MKS $46,502 $30,463 $16,039 -34.5%
3 Volvo S60 $41,248 $27,044 $14,204 -34.4%
4 Kia Cadenza $37,714 $24,774 $12,940 -34.3%
5 Mercedes C-250 $44,454 $29,207 $15,247 -34.3%
6 Nissan Maxima $36,650 $24,181 $12,469 -34.0%
7 Lincoln MKZ + MKZ Hybrid $41,913 $27,736 $14,177 -33.8%
8 Jaguar XF $61,829 $41,863 $19,966 -32.3%
9 FIAT 500 $19,100 $13,001 $6,099 -31.9%
10 Cadillac ATS $41,982 $28,631 $13,351 -31.8%
11 Chrysler 300 $36,317 $24,793 $11,525 -31.7%
12 Buick Regal $32,422 $22,305 $10,117 -31.2%
13 Cadillac CTS $53,688 $37,298 $16,390 -30.5%
14 Cadillac XTS $54,119 $37,605 $16,514 -30.5%
15 Lincoln MKX $49,483 $34,465 $15,018 -30.3%
16 Volkswagen CC $34,445 $23,995 $10,450 -30.3%
17 BMW 6 Series $95,511 $66,553 $28,957 -30.3%
18 Dodge Charger $34,519 $24,084 $10,435 -30.2%
19 Chrysler 200 $25,106 $17,517 $7,589 -30.2%
20 Buick LaCrosse $38,120 $26,690 $11,430 -30.0%

As you can see, the pseudo-luxury cars from Lincoln and Cadillac make up almost a third of the list. Add the Buick brand to our count and the two Detroit automakers account for nearly half of the list. However, there’s not a single Ford or Chevrolet to be found. In fact, Chevrolet holds down the spot for the best resale value with its celebrated mid-sized truck, the Colorado.

So why do the Lincolns and Cadillacs tank so hard? Simple — they don’t have a brand anymore. They’re just a trim level, seen as a Titanium Plus of sorts. And as we discussed moments ago, trim levels and options don’t hold their value. It doesn’t help that Lincolns and Cadillacs are often sold side-by-side with Ford and Chevrolet counterparts, especially in flyover country. It’s borderline impossible to look at a last-generation Lincoln MKZ and not just see an uglier, gussied-up Fusion. Who’s paying $54,000 for an XTS when the Impala LTZ is $20,000 less? And while that doesn’t necessarily explain why the ATS and CTS are so high on the list, there’s no doubt a Chevrolet version of the ATS would probably do better. (I think they call it the Camaro.)

So why not just take the idea to its logical conclusion? Instead of having an MKX, why not just call it the Ford Edge by Lincoln? I mean, have you tried to buy a used Ford Edge? They’re stratospheric on the used market. Putting the Blue Oval on the MKX (and the MKZ, and any other MK you want) would actually improve its resale value, which would slow or even prevent its eventual trip to your local Buy Here Pay Here. And instead of everybody being shocked by how much value a Cadillac or Lincoln loses in its first year, we’d all just accept it as a higher trim level that lost some of its value, much like any other top trim.

Furthermore, you could extend it to the trucks and performance cars. The Ford F-150 by Lincoln would be completely badass. You can’t tell me that millionaire ranchers wouldn’t buy them. A Blackwood or Mark LT is a joke. An F-150 with wood trim and a premium sound system would sell for $80,000, all-day long. How about a Camaro coupe and sedan by Cadillac? Or a Corvette by Cadillac? (No, the XLR wasn’t the same thing.) And we’ve all been clamoring for a Lincoln Mustang, so why not a Shelby by Lincoln with 550 horsepower and the best interior money can buy?

In fact, the only reason I can think of for not doing it is to prevent the Cadillac and Lincoln names from sullying the brands of Ford and Chevrolet. But placing the Oval or the Bowtie on the upscale models might actually bring back some of the panache they’re missing now. It would also keep them from losing so much of their initial resale values, which would help GM and Ford justify a higher selling price on the front end.

Ford by Lincoln. Chevrolet by Cadillac. It’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

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106 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: Lincoln and Cadillac Should Be Trims, Not Brands...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “And now, the end is near;
    And so I face the final curtain.
    My friend, I’ll say it clear,
    I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

    I’ve lived a life that’s full.
    I’ve traveled each and every highway;
    And more, much more than this,
    I did it my way.”

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Who pays MSRP? This article fails in not even mentioning it.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I’m pretty sure the analysis they ran was based on advertised new and used prices, which would have factored that in.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        If the average Charger gets sold for $34.5k and the average LaCrosse sells for $38k then I’m a *much* better negotiator than I thought.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          I’ve seen new 500L’s selling for what they claim as a used price, so maybe it’s got the least depreciation!
          Buy it at 15, sell it a year later at 15: cheaper than taking the bus.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Indeed – I paid $19.5K for new Abarth in 2013! New regular 500s are $15K all day long and always have been.

            Something about this survey smells.

            Though ultimately, I do mostly agree with Bark, Cadillac and Lincoln are pointless, with Lincoln being by far the more pointless of the two.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    There’s a lot of stigma about having a used Cadillac or Lincoln compared to having an old Ford or Chevrolet of the same year. Owning an old Lincoln makes you look self-indulgent and poor at the same time. The old Ford, at least you look honest and sensible.

    Anyways, I think the huge markup on Lincolns and Cadillacs makes buying a Titanium or Denali seem sensible by comparison. Also, what will rental companies let their customers (e.g. President’s Circle, Emerald Club, etc.) drive to feel special?

  • avatar
    ant

    Not being a truck person, I cannot for the life of me figure what the point of GMC sierra is over a silverado.

    Aren’t these two the same truck? What’s the point?

    • 0 avatar
      caltemus

      They are indeed the same truck, but by having the GMC model it allows the non-chevrolet GM dealers to offer something in that area. This was explained today in the article: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/10/gm-selling-full-size-suvs-like-2007/#more-1429073 as to why there is no buick version of the full size suv.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The differences between the GMC trucks / BOF SUVs and the Chevrolet versions of the same are purely artificial.

      I will say that both the Yukon / XL and Sierra wear better styling than their Chevrolet counterparts. However, they are no different in build or materials quality. The GMCs can be more expensive because, in 1500 Denali guise, they are available with the 6.2-liter V8; the Chevrolets are not. The Denalis also net you stuff like real wood grain and a nicer instrument panel, but GM could easily put that stuff on the Chevy trucks if they wanted. And, again, you pay a lot more for it.

      But, dollar-for-dollar, you can pretty much get a comparable Sierra for the same price as a Silverado, and one is not better than the other.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Professional” grade versus “work” grade.
        At one time the only real difference was the grill and some badges. We now have different front and rear fenders, hood, bumpers and grill. The GM trucks as mentioned have higher level trim options.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Hey back in the 60’s and earlier the GMC had engines you couldn’t get in a Chevy. Saw a 60’s GM pickup in the parking lot yesterday. Saw that GMC grille and immediately looked at the hood sides to see that big V6 badge.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Scoutdude – If you go back far enough GMC trucks were the “work grade” trucks with different drivetrains.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yep, those “big block” V6s were pretty out there for the time. It’s kind of hard to imagine a 305 to 476 cubic inch V6. and that’s not even considering the V12 version.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        That’s not correct at all.

        The 6.2L is available on the Silverado 1500; the lowest trim available is the LTZ Double Cab.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          That’s right, I forgot. I was thinking of the Suburban, and Tahoe…which are not available with the 6.2 But those aren’t the vehicles in question here.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      To some (moi), the GMCs are far better looking. Chevys are so…common.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    Dear Bark,

    No.

    Sincerely,

    This Lincoln Owner (That is painfully aware that Bark may be right)

  • avatar
    taxman100

    Lincoln – I was raised a Ford man, and I still have no idea what the different model names. Ditto for Cadillac – I have no idea what the different models are.

    When it takes a day of studying just to figure out which model from each you might want to look at to purchase used, it is just easier to skip it and move along.

    Also for Lincoln – the last true Lincoln were the Town Cars built in Michigan. Once they moved them to Canada, they became just a stretched Panther. And once they dropped them, then Lincoln became just another trim level.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      MKZ = Zephyr
      MKX = Mark X (Ecks)
      MKS = Sedan
      MKT = Touring
      MKC = Compact crossover
      Continental = Continental
      Navigator = Navigator

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d say the last “true Lincoln” was the 1960’s Continental. The Town Car was a glorified LTD / Crown Victoria for the better part of 40 years.

    • 0 avatar
      iama

      We’re doing the Lincoln naming thing again?

      What’s an XC70, BRZ, fourtwo, iM, 718, NV2000, 5, RC200t, LR2, XF XFR, CR-V, QX50, G80, 500X, X5 M, Q3, or ILX? Every one of those is made by a different, well known, manufacturer. None of them are any better than Lincoln names, except maybe the fourtwo.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The problem is that the names are nonsensical in the context of the entire line of vehicles. The Germans at least have rhyme and reason to their alphanumerics for the most part. 2,3,4,5,6,7 gives you the progression of size/prestige, more or less. The next numbers give you relative horsepower. You know that a 340 has more go than a 330 or a 335. The crossovers all start with X. Audi is similar, with A and Q. The BRZ? It’s only ONE model in a range that has mostly names. Mercedes is a bit more of a hot mess but at least they have used A, C, E, S for eons, and within each the number gives you relative power. The crossovers are all Gxx.

        You can make the argument that MKX, MKZ, MKT, etc are just names, but they are just too similar to each other to be memorable. It was just a colossally stupid idea, especially for a brand that has some names with real brand equity in them. Infiniti is just about as bad, with only a little more logic to their model progression.

        • 0 avatar
          iama

          BMW names make sense to you because you took the time to figure it out. Most BMW owners think their cars are FWD. They stand a better chance of decoding a Lincoln name than they do a BMW name.

          I can accept disliking Lincoln names, but I’m not a fan of how other manufacturers get a pass. Thanks for at least knocking Infiniti (Infinity?).

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Are you the one and only Lincoln fanboi? I guess there has to be at least one…

            If you can’t see the issue with calling most of your product MK(some random letter having no relation to anything at all) then I don’t know what to tell you. And worse, Lincoln had long used and well known names that they dumped for this madness. At least they brought back Continental, and on a car that doesn’t seem to be an embarrassment.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Matters would be different if the Lincolns and Cadillacs offered something better then their “standard” equivalents.

    Think back to the 00s for a moment. Chevy didn’t sell a RWD 4 door- you had to buy a CTS. Want an old school Cadillac that’s not a truck? Here’s your DTS. Ditto the Continental, and before that the Lincoln Mark VII.

    Now? Chevy makes the best brougham Cadillac , and the SS takes the place of the old CTS-V. The products in both divisions aren’t any different then their plebeian variants- so why spend the money?

    If Ford and GM made unique products for those divisions, they’d make a lot more business sense. Were I The Boss, I’d use Cadillac as a brand vehicle for low volume/ high margin projects like a Riviera type two door luxo coupe, a 5 series competitor, and a modernized big flagship sedan alongside the Escalade. Let Chevy sell Chevys, and Cadillac can sell unique Cadillacs.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I agree to a degree, but I think it’s time for Cadillac/Lincoln to let go of old notions of luxury and get with the times. Nobody wants a big sedan that isn’t an S-Class or Chrysler 300. Most people with $80K to spend who want a hairy chested V8 vehicle that can carry 4-6 people will get a top trim pickup or Escalade.

      So what’s left? I still think that even with cheap gas prices there is a sizeable market for luxury PHEVs, but they have to be done right. They can’t be cynical, impractical rebadges like the ELR…. they have to work as daily drivers, while also looking good and providing the performance and refinement of luxury cars. A Cadillac Malibu with the 2.0T augmented by an electric motor and styling in and out good enough to make people seriously consider Cadillac again would do it IMO. Ditch the ATS/CTS nobody cares about. Spin Escalade off into its own sub brand and make anything with a Cadillac badge a sexy PHEV. I think people would be into it.

    • 0 avatar
      iama

      A few years ago, I was looking at a lightly used 2012 MKZ. Because folk like you and all the reviews kept telling me that it was the same as a well optioned Fusion, I went test drove a base MKZ against a fully loaded Fusion.

      No comparison. Everything about the Lincoln was better. Materials were better. Switches were better. Seats moved smother. Engine was smother. Transmission was smoother. Sound deadening was better. Not to mention some items such as cooled seats (standard on the MKZ) weren’t options on the Fusion.

      Oh yea, they look different too.

      Those that say there isn’t a difference, simply don’t know what they’re talking about.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        This is the exact reason I seldom listen to other internet responses or reviewers without making my own conclusions. A Camry and ES 350 also share a platform along with many other cars and Sport Utes yet the luxury version can look, feel and drive quite a bit different.

        Reminds me when people used to say that a Town Car was the same as a Crown Vic or a Caprice was the same as Fleetwood. Nope the Lincoln and Caddy variants not only drove smoother and quieter but had thicker plusher carpeting, thicker window glass, comfier seats, way more equipment and were more eye catching.

        I haven’t driven a new XTS but have driven an new style Impala so can’t compare these two but have driven MKS vs Taurus and MKZ VS Fusion and as you put it they are not comparable in many ways.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Bark, I wish your name was Reginald so I could disagree with you properly.

    If luxury brands are trim levels, all I see this doing is (on the average) raising the depreciation of the mainline brand. I don’t see it changing buyer habits or the market’s treatment of used luxury vehicles.

    Does the study account for trim levels within a given model? It doesn’t appear to.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I have been saying for a few months now that the ATS would be better as a Nova and the CTS better as a Chevelle.

    Then do a LWB alpha sedan for Buick as Invicta, which won’t light the world on fire here but would likely outsell all of Cadillac in China.

    The issue is the CUVs/SUVS. The Escalade, XT5, MKX, and MKC absolutely prints money for their parent companies. Would that still be the case without a “luxury” badge attached?

  • avatar
    StarAZ

    Just so you know: the first link in this article (I assume it was supposed to go to some of the ace of base articles) redirects to the article itself.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    after the next prolonged recession (whenever that may be), I’ll bet that Ford will give up even bothering to pretend and just turn Lincoln will turn into glorified trim.

    And after the next prolonged recession after that (whenever that may be), Cadillac will go the same way.

    There won’t be enough people born after 1980 interested in Cadillac and Lincoln in 2030.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The Edge doesn’t seem to be priced that stratospherically to me on the used market. I was looking for a relative a month ago, and found that, if I ignored the panoramic sunroof, I could get a ’15 Edge Titanium (that is the new bodystyle) for around $23K or $24K…or a loaded Sport with the 2.7TT for just under $30K. That’s not a bad deal considering those vehicles MSRP’d for over $10K higher when new.

    The new MKX can already be had in the low $30K range. It won’t be particularly well-equipped, mind you, but you won’t see any Lexus RX transact for such a low price when it’s as new, unless there’s something wrong with it or it has high miles.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    Unless I’m missing something, it’s very old news that luxury cars depreciate faster than their non-luxury stablemates. Hasn’t it been good advice since the 60’s that a used Caddy/Lincoln/Imperial was often a good value versus a new fullsize sedan? All the luxury options, well cared for by their first owners, heavy depreciation in the first few years.

    From the auto manufacturer’s POV, they obviously care about maximizing profit, and they don’t see any added profit from resale vehicles. The only reason I see GM caring about the depreciation curve of Cadillacs is in the residual value for calculating lease rates. Would GM increase total profit if Cadillac was a trim level of Chevrolet? Dealers might, but I suspect GM corporate would not.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well, a lot of obscenely priced cars from desirable brands depreciate steeply just because a) they *were* obscenely priced, and b) the demand for used examples isn’t that strong, because most of the people who can afford that car simply buy it new. That is why a two-year-old Bentley Continental GT can be worth as much as $100K less than a comparable new unit of the same. Or the BMW 6-Series in the list is another example. Luxury sedans and coupes, in particular, seem to depreciate faster than SUVs. A three-year-old E-Class is worth far less than 3-year-old M-Class, even if both cost the same when new.

      *But* the thing is that premium cars from undesirable or less-popular brands tend to depreciate faster still. A three-year-old Lexus ES can fetch quite a bit of money; by contrast, a three-year-old Lincoln MKZ is worth less than a three-year-old Avalon…let alone a Lexus. By year three, there’s almost no price differential between an MKZ and a well-equipped Fusion Titanium. Ditto for Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Agree with BOC. The badge engineering increases markup without incurring cost — the depreciation, except for lease rates, is the consumer’s problem.

      Where Cadillac and Lincoln hurt their makers is when they expensively tool up for bespoke models that don’t sell. That’s why Lincoln’s much-ridiculed “lipstick on a pig” business model is much more sustainable than Cadillac’s, except for the Escalade. I could see Cadillac surviving only as the Escalade, sold exclusively in the poshest corner of Chevy or GMC dealers. It’s simultaneously Cadillac’s biggest seller and its cheapest car to engineer and tool up for.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I agree. Although, to be fair, badge-engineering is not strictly using the same platform across multiple brands. You’d be surprised how flexible a “platform” is.

        Badge-engineering is having little differentiation between vehicles other than the badge. Typically, we say that when multiple brands utilize the same bodyshell. In your example, only the Tahoe / Yukon / Escalade would qualify…and even the Escalade has an interior that is much improved from its lesser-branded siblings. Another example would, of course, be the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition.

        But the MKX is not a badge-engineered Edge. They have completely different bodyshells, interiors, switchgear, and powertrain lineups (there’s overlap with the 2.7TT V6, but that’s it). They just share a common architecture.

        Also, I wouldn’t describe Lincoln’s approach as lipstick-on-a-pig. I get what you’re saying when you mean that Lincoln does not have dedicated platforms like Cadillac does; however, the FWD (Ford) CD4 platform that Lincoln has been using for its new products is extremely well-engineered. The problem is that the Fords are nice enough that buying a Lincoln purely is out of wanting the luxury badge and maybe a few gimmicky features. Unlike Lexus, Lincoln’s badge isn’t all that desirable, and in some cases, the Lincoln versions are arguably less-pretty. However, this is probably a better approach than Cadillac’s method of building dedicated platforms, pricing the cars into the stratosphere (versus what customers were used to), and then wondering why they don’t sell.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          “They have completely different bodyshells, interiors, switchgear”.

          Headlight switch is a corporate unit
          Stalks on the wheel are corporate units
          Door switches are corporate units

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I’m talking about the switchgear in the center stack more than things like stalks and headlight switches.

            But, actually, the 2017 Continental and refreshed 2017 MKZ have all-new, Lincoln-specific steering-column stalks, headlights switches and such. They also, for the first time *ever* have a key that has a different shell than the Ford version. So they are headed that direction.

            http://images.auction123.com/b6bc082e-5144-4a28-aefd-113ad8f9f2ad/3LN6L5HC2HR620370/47.jpg?wtrmk8nw

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Cadillac’s current pricing on the ATS and CTS is for sure on the high side and one of several contributing factors in there slowed sales. The Escalade is priced into fantasy land but because it is a large powerful Sport Ute and still quite popular with low gas prices it still manages to sell quite well for the division. Note that the current Navigator doesn’t sell as well despite being noticeably cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      There is nothing new under the sun, except to a younger person who thinks they already know it all.

      You are exactly correct. Luxe models have always had the steepest depreciation. But leave it to a somewhat clueless auto writer to immediately jump off the cliff and say that this means the brands are worthless.

      Criminy.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    In a parallel world Cadillac could have been an American Bentley. GM clearly does not have the money and talent to do justice to what Cadillac should be.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, GM should spin off Cadillac or sell it to another automaker. Jaguar Land Rover has done pretty well under Tata. Maybe Mahindra & Mahindra or a Chinese automaker can give it a go.

    But yes, if they stay on this trajectory, they will not make it when the next shock comes to the industry. My guess is that rather than a recession, it will be some combo of EV/Driverless/Rideshare that will disrupt the business and lower the barriers of entry.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      GM caved to Cadillac dealers too much. They wanted volume product so that’s what they received. Cadillac should definitely be more upmarket than it is, especially since they decided to keep Buick.

  • avatar
    GoHuskers

    All of the cars on the list depreciate from 34.6% to 30.0% why single out Cadillac and Lincoln? They are appreciably no worse than any of the others.

  • avatar
    la834

    Ford actually doesn’t have Lincolns in Europe, so there you can get a Lincoln-grade Mondeo Vignale that has no Fusion U.S. counterpart in Ford showrooms. Basically, it’s Europe’s Lincoln MKZ.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      The (new for 2017) Fusion Platinum is basically a Mondeo Vignale. I think that was a mistake for them to do; on one hand you want to grow Lincoln but on the other hand you release a Fusion that is very nearly MKZ-level?

  • avatar
    JimZ

    The fact that Lincolns have been little more than better trimmed Fords is the entire problem. Why would I pay more for a used MKS when I can probably get a well equipped Taurus for the same (or not much more) money?

    but there’s two things here:

    1) Lincoln is just now making the serious effort to elevate itself above the Blue Oval. The MKS, for example, was for all intents and purposes a Taurus with a different grille, better leather, and a different door chime. The Continental is its own thing, separate from the Taurus (no shared platform,) and quite clearly its own car. The MKX was just recently replaced with the new model. If the Continental’s resale tanks, we’ll know there’s trouble afoot.

    2) a big part of buying a luxury brand is the dealership and after-sale experience (Which I’m sure you know well, much more than I do.) I still see a few Lincoln dealers which have such dismal showrooms that I don’t know why they’re still in business. there’s one in Dearborn which basically is a small glass box with little more than card tables for the sales people. Who’s going to buy a Lincoln out of a place which looks like a BHPH?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Who’s going to buy a Lincoln out of a place which looks like a BHPH?”

      This. The Lincoln dealer in my area recently remodeled…but is right next door to an auto-pawn/BHPH place. Wrong neighborhood entirely.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well, to be fair, there is a Taurus on the same platform as the Continental; see the Chinese-market CD4.3-based Taurus. Ford has no plans of offering that car here, since the Fusion does well enough as a family sedan for the vast majority of people. But even if Ford *did* sell the CD4.3 Taurus here, the Continental would feel different enough to be worthwhile on that merit.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      I remember when Ford said that the 2009 MKTaurus was supposed to be the savior of the brand because of how vastly different it was than the Taurus. Didn’t happen. Then next was the MKFlex. Same thing…brand savior, yadda, yadda, yadda….didn’t happen. Then the 14th version of the MKFusion came out which was supposed to save the brand and it never happened. Then the MKEdge with the horrible split wing grille came out…same result.

      Ford will say anything yet reality is always very different. Lincoln–as a trim level–is a joke and there is no indication that is going to change. Ford just doesn’t care about Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar
      plee

      Actually the MKS came out late spring/early summer of 2008 as a 2009 model first. The Taurus came out at least a year later as a 2010 model. Common error that is made.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      There are far more differences than better leather, the door chimes and grilles between a Taurus and MKS. The MKS came out before the Taurus for starters and doesn’t share a single body panel with the Ford. The Taurus has a 288 HP 3.5 vs the Lincoln’s 305 HP 3.7 V6. The Taurus can also be optioned with a 240 Hp 4 cylinder EB engine. They both share the 3.5 EB but in the Ford it’s on a sportier harder riding SHO trim. The Lincoln’s interior is also nicer and more comfortable and there are far more features when you compare base model to base model. The MKS can also be ordered up with features not available on the Ford. There is a difference in how they drive too.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    I for one am thrilled about these resale values. I bought my wife a Navigator for just this reason and I’m looking hard at MKS and MKX for myself. I’m totally fine with the fact that they’re just tarted up Tauruses and Fusions, in fact, all the better. I can’t find an AWD Fusion sport for hundreds of miles, but I can find MKX AWDs all day and for peanuts. I just have to live with the fact that I’ll be driving something that is perceived as geriatric, but I don’t care if I can get a deal out of it.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Meh. This assumes that the market will never swing back to wanting luxury sedans. It also ignores that the sedan business is a still a huge deal to the likes of BMW and Mercedes – certainly smaller now, but still critical. If GM and Ford want to play in the luxury market, they need the stuff that (at this moment) isn’t selling. Better styling and more exclusive (or at least highly modified) drivetrains for Cadillac would help.

    Personally, I’d say GM and Ford would be foolish to do this.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Not sure what this was in response to, but the days of Cadillac/Lincoln being able to charge more than an inflation adjusted ~$55K for a sedan are way, way, way behind them… dead and gone.

      Sedans are big business for die Germans, but at an increasingly smaller clip. 5 series & E class sales in the US are nearing recession volumes in a growing auto market, and falling. 7 series sales are at less than 1/2 their E65 peak. People just aren’t interested in big sedans… they are a relic harkening back to a time of no relevance to most people today.

      So for their bottom line as well as image Lincollac should play to the position it has pigeon-holed itself into over the last half-century…. rebadges can be done in ways that make sense for everybody involved and that’s the route they should go.

      Keep in mind Lexus’ two most successful models by a wide margin are just modified Camrys. Every luxury brand can’t and shouldn’t dedicate resources to try and compete at a 6 figure price point.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “So why do the Lincolns and Cadillacs tank so hard? Simple — they don’t have a brand anymore.”

    These things tanked hard ten years ago when they had more going for them than they do now.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      what did Lincoln have “going for them” in 2006?

      The Zephyr? it was far closer to “badge engineered” back then than the current MKZ which still draws that accusation.

      The LS? Long-in-the-tooth and expensive to build.

      The Town Car? heaven’s taxi cab on an ancient architecture.

      Aviator? borderline badge-engineered Explorer.

      Mark LT? Bald-faced, cynical re-badge.

      Navigator? one of the two vehicles still relevant to today’s lineup.

      What Lincoln was 10 years ago is *why* Lincoln’s rep is where it is now.

  • avatar
    plee

    High line imports are in many cases even worse. I spent many years selling Porsche, Audi, MB etc. I will never forget the customer who had a 2013 (then current) BMW 7 series Alpina, MSRP $140000. He wanted to trade it for a new 2013 Audi S8. The highest wholesale offer we could get for the BMW was $85000. Believe it or not, he actually made the deal and we wholesaled the Alpina immediately. Yes it was low miles and with a good Car Fax. Panamera’s and 911’s take a brutal hit also the more loaded they are. Lesson for all, the more you spend, the more you lose when you try and trade or sell it with few exceptions.

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    While I agree that piling on options means you suffer more depreciation, unfortunately this piece is flawed.

    The used price of vehicles is partially a function of what brand new ones are selling for. In most cases, these are vehicles currently being sold new at huge discounts from MSRP.

    Example: This summer Volvo was selling S60’s at $8,000 off MSRP with the various hidden dealer incentives and rebates to customers. Obviously you can’t sell your used version for anything close to that.

    It is also a function of perceived reliability and future repair costs. This is why a 5 year old BMW sport sedan will become a “hot potato” few want at a high price, while a 5 year old pickup or SUV holds its value well. The more complex and expensive the engine and transmission, the higher chance of a total write-off if your older fancy car dies on you. Worst case scenario on a simple Domestic engine/transmission is far easier to deal with financially than on a German car.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    I’ll call this a form of wealth redistribution. Rich folks who can afford to pay thousands extra for little more than a snobby hood emblem help GM and Ford pay UAW wages and benefits.

  • avatar
    pickypilot

    If Cadillac would get off their asses and build the Ciel and other cars to compete with MB, BMW, AUDI and the like, they might regain some respect. All their show cars are vaporware.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Lincoln HAS been a trim level since at least the mid to late 90s. Up until a few years ago, Lincoln was just a shade of silver paint applied to the interior controls and buttons of your basic Ford appliance.

    Ford still has yet to show any interest in turning Lincoln around. At least with Cadillac there has been effort put fourth.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Cadillac should be priced like how Buick or formerly Oldsmobiles were and Lincoln should be at something like Mercury. They will never go toe to toe with brands like Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, etc so why try? make a car model that’s a step up but under price the import luxury competition.

    I’m amazed they have been able to bamboozle people for as long as they have that are cross shopping with those brands. The idea of a $90,000 cadillac CT6 just seems like a strategy where the company just hopes there’s enough wealthy “Greatest Generation” customers still hanging around.

    • 0 avatar
      Nedmundo

      I largely agree with this. For years, Cadillac struggled largely due to inferior product. Then, when they finally made world-class sport sedans, they thought they could just charge the same as BMW and M-B. They needed to significantly undercut the Germans and Lexus, and raise prices only when they had the prestige to command those prices. Building that reputation takes years. Otherwise, they resort to rebates to move the metal, just like “bad old” GM, which in turn damages their reputation. The more things change…

      Still, I think Cadillac makes sense provided the products are different enough from Chevy, and they are definitely moving that way. Buick is the issue IMO, and only exists because of the Chinese market.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The brand may, just may, have gotten to world class with the second Sigma Catera, excuse me, “CTS”. But afterward its devolved tremendously to the point where happy leaseholders did not renew their CTS lease for an Alpha CTS/ATS but either switched products or left altogether.

        FWIW the major sticky point with Cadillac’s 1993-2010 is the Northstar, the rest of it is halfway decent for what it is.

        “Buick is the issue IMO, and only exists because of the Chinese market.”

        Buick is its own distribution chain and dealerships, it exists to sell Chevrolet and random import product at a premium and to honor the legacy channel.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    I say this is an unfair article. American luxury has been missing in action for years. Caddy is just trying to come back. Lincoln has been nothing more than rebadged Fords. It is too early to make a statement about Caddy. IMO we have to wait another 10 years. Reclaiming Caddy’s status as a premiere luxury brand will take time. CTS and CT6 and CT5 are on the way back. Escalade is already there. ATS needs tremendous improvements. Give Caddy more time I say. I see a light at the end of tunnel. As for Lincoln, I still don’t see it.

  • avatar
    LUNDQIK

    Breaking news: Luxury cars plummet in resale value. Also water is still wet.

    Between this and the worst human in the world… the Bark articles as of late are getting a bit click bait-ish.

    You are Jack are the main reasons I come here. Don’t go the DeMuro route…

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      The latest gem from DougBot is that VW Things require premium fuel: https://youtu.be/WWrkENGbkNs?t=112

      I don’t expect the average person on the street to understand the difference between RON and AKI, but I do expect it of someone who reviews cars.

      On second thought, don’t click that link, as it will only help DougBot’s cause. In a nutshell, he points to an “Oktan min 91 ROZ/RON” placard in the Thing’s (front) trunk and then asks in feigned exasperation, “Can you imagine buyin’ this thing and then havin’ to put in premium?” No, Doug, I can’t, because unlike you I’m not an idiot.

  • avatar
    Igoaround940

    Lincoln, by Ford… Cadillac, by Chevrolet. It’s been done before with disastrous results. Anyone remember Cimarron, by Cadillac?

  • avatar
    plee

    All the effort for Cadillac to sell ATS and CTS. Do you all know that some months Lincoln MKZ outsells the both of them combined? But “its just a Fusion” people say. Check out the numbers for 2016 calendar year on Good Car Bad Car site.

  • avatar

    At first I thought it was a mistake for Lincoln to put the new Continental’s grille on the restyled MKZ before the Continental went on sale, but on second thought, it’s probably a good idea. It introduced what will be the brand’s identity going forward and the Continental still has a presence that the smaller car doesn’t have.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Hmmm… Might as well price as follows, based on current Impala:

    Chevrolet Biscayne – Base trim, all-black grille. Fleet grade.
    Chevrolet Bel Air – Chrome surround on all-black grille. Rental grade.
    Chevrolet Impala – Chrome door handles and all-chrome grille. Better rental.
    Chevrolet Cadillac – Chrome everything. Aspirational rental.

    Same scenario for Ford if using the so-called “Taurus” as a base. I say “so-called” because that car SHOULD BE A GALAXIE!

    Chrysler? Who cares?

  • avatar
    Boomstick0

    As far as Lincoln, I largely agree. They have been rebadged Fords for years. The new Continental looks to finally change that, but it may simply be an exception.

    As far as Cadillac, this couldn’t possibly be any more off the mark.

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