By on December 8, 2016

2017 Lincoln Continental - Image: Ford

There remains a select group of American car buyers who are actually buyers of cars. In fact, there are still American car buyers who want American cars. Indeed, there are still a number of American car buyers who want American luxury cars.

As an example, consider the all-new Lincoln Continental.

It’s not a hot seller — at least not in the conventional sense of the word. The new Lincoln Continental isn’t topping the sales charts. Indeed, given the fact, in November, the Continental was America’s 17th-best-selling premium brand car, it may not even be a warm seller.

But there are a couple of indicators that suggest the 2017 Lincoln Continental is over-performing; that it’s exceeding Ford Motor Company’s expectations. That’s not bad news for America’s remaining handful of American luxury car aficionados, especially with the measure of success being enjoyed by a cross-town Continental rival.

The Ford Motor Company’s replacement for the Lincoln MKS bears the name of a sedan that was dead for 13 years. Use of the Continental nameplate isn’t the only way in which Lincoln is reaching back. Unlike the prevailing mindset among luxury automakers, Lincoln was determined not to build a BMW chaser.

2017 Lincoln Continental Interior - Image: Ford

The Continental is Lincoln’s take on traditional American luxury — use of an old name serves to amplify that effort. Remember, when Lincoln was last America’s top-selling luxury brand in 1998, the brand was hardly an American version of BMW.

Ford began selling the new Lincoln Continental in September, reporting 775 sales. Despite a temporary plant shutdown at the Continental’s factory caused by excessive Ford Mustang supply, Ford nevertheless reported 1,222 Continental sales in October. November Continental sales jumped to 1,419 units.

But those admittedly mediocre numbers (the Mercedes-Benz E-Class sold roughly three times more often; the Volvo S90 sold less than half as often) don’t tell the whole story. These are early days, and Continentals aren’t enjoying extended stays in Lincoln showrooms.

CAN’T SIT STILL
Continentals are sitting at dealers for only 13 days. As a result, Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle says, “We’re going to be working very hard to fill out dealer lots and keep up with demand.”

As for the Continental’s ability to exceed Ford’s expectations, “We’re very impressed,” Merkle says. But the real reason the Continental has Ford excited isn’t the sales achievement itself. The Continental isn’t going to run up the score like an F-150. “But over half the sales are Reserve and Black Label,” Merkle told TTAC last week.

Continental pricing starts at $45,485 and rises to $48,440 with its Select trim. But the two higher trim levels, the $54,840 Reserve and $63,840 Black Label, are in another league, both in terms of cost — and more pertinently — profit potential for Ford.

That’s not to say Ford is getting those prices. Though incentives for the Continental are at a segment low, the average incentive spend for the big Lincoln stood at $5,125 in November 2016, according to J.D. Power PIN data.

As a percentage of the average transaction price, that 9.3-percent discount was also the lowest in the segment. For a new model, the discount seems hefty. But consider the $9,656 average incentive spend on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which also wears new sheetmetal, to get a clearer idea of the way the luxury sector rolls.

2016 Cadillac CT6, Los Angeles, CA - Image: Cadillac

GENERAL MOTORS, TOO
Cadillac likewise discounts the new CT6, a more upmarket sedan, with big dollars in order to move the big flagship sedan out of showrooms. The same data shows average CT6 discounts at $7,662 per vehicle, or 11.7 percent of the average transaction price. U.S. CT6 sales fell to a four-month low of 1,169 units in November, the first month in which the Lincoln Continental found more buyers than the CT6.

The CT6 is part of a lineup that’s achieving record transaction prices in Cadillac showrooms. At roughly $56,000 per vehicle last month, Cadillac’s November ATP was higher than ever.

CT6 MSRPs start at $54,490, 20-percent higher than the base price of the new Continental. This loftier price point — pricing for the CT6 stretches up to $88,490 before options on the AWD Platinum 3.0T — means the CT6 overlaps both the aforementioned Mercedes-Benz E-Class and its larger S-Class sibling.

BIG PICTURE
Last month, the still-surging Continental accounted for 35 percent of Lincoln’s 4,049 sedan sales; 15 percent of the brand’s total 9,429-unit output. Total Lincoln sales were up 19 percent — subtract full-size sedans from the equation and Lincoln was up 7 percent.

At Cadillac, where total volume is more than half again as strong, the CT6 pulled in 18 percent of Cadillac’s 6,359 car buyers and accounted for 10 percent of Cadillac’s 15,326 (up 15 percent) total sales.

Cars aren’t dead. American luxury isn’t dead. And if America can’t maintain American luxury automobile health, China will.

With a month remaining on the calendar, Cadillac sales for the first time soared past the 100,000-unit marker in China in November. China now accounts for 38 percent of Cadillac’s global volume, up from 29 percent just last year.

Thus far, Lincoln is a much smaller player in China; Ford didn’t seize upon the opportunity nearly as quickly as General Motors. But the Chinese market is nevertheless the target market for the Lincoln brand. Through the first three-quarters of 2016, Lincoln sales had nearly tripled, year-over-year, to 21,000 units.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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133 Comments on “Big, Plush, Profitable: Like It’s 1998, Americans Actually Want Lincoln Continentals Again...”


  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I like the look…reminds me of a Jag from the front. But honestly, I didn’t know there was even a market for a Lincoln like that anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      must be. it’s just been rather neglected ever since everyone (save maybe Lexus) has been trying to be BMW and Audi.

      • 0 avatar
        Len_A

        Yes, it has been a neglected market while everyone chases BMW (which, ironically, has seen their sales drop in the U.S.).

        I mystery shop regularly, and get assigned luxury car dealers. When the CT6 had been out for a few months, I shopped three Cadillac dealers. In all three dealerships, the sales person, in asking me what I did for a living, when I said “outside sales”, they tried to stress me away from the CT6 and toward, at that time, the SRX, saying that other outside sales people, including realtors and other sales people who occassionally take customers out to entertain, those sales people complained that the CT6 ride was too tight.

        Ford is on to something, going after comfort rather than autobaun performance. I’ve test driven the Continental and the MKX, many times as part of my mystery shops, and they are more comfortable than their European competitors.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          we had a ride & drive event last month for the Continental and MKZ. I got a Continental Reserve (missed the Black Label) which was pretty nice. It didn’t have the million-dollar seats but was a nice enough ride. not something I’d buy just yet, though.

        • 0 avatar

          I used to mystery shop a few years ago, it was pretty cool. Since I’ve worked on the other side of the desk, it was pretty easy for me to do it.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The market for actual metal didn’t change much. Just the branding. Luxury buyers still want big, soft, quiet cars with high torque, wafty engines, automatics, a premium badge and more bling and gizmos than their neighbor. Just like always. Which is why that is what BMW builds now. The only real difference, is that buyers now want their car with those qualities, to carry a badge that says they are somehow “sportier” than their parents were, when they wanted those exact same things.

        As a marketing effect, it’s very analogous to the Minivan/CUV dilemma. Everyone still wants all and exactly all qualities that add up to a minivan. They just don’t want a Minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      This just in: old people with money like comfortable, quiet cars (aka what Lincoln used to make). Chasing BMW like Cadillac, Jaguar, etc. are doing isn’t serving that increasingly available market segment.

      Plus, the continental looks sharp as hell. I’m a 33 year old sports car owner and I’d consider one if it weren’t for the weird transmission buttons.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        But… but… old people DIE. The market will disappear when all those old people are dead! THEN who will buy big, quiet, soft riding, comfortable cars?

        Besides, who ever heard of marketing your product to people who have the money to actually buy it? You want your product to have an aura of exclusivity as an aspirational brand, so market it to people who can’t afford to buy it for 15-20 years, if ever.

        That’s how you build a brand. Just ask the people at Cadillac.

  • avatar
    Hoodedhawk1

    I didn’t even know this car existed until I went into the local Ford house to buy an F-150 last week. I passed the Continental on my way onto the lot, and I asked the salesman about it. I haven’t done a double take on a car in a long time, but the Continental is an attractive car. I didn’t look at it too closely, but from my quick walk around, it looked like it might be a step up from what Lincoln has been offering recently.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I’m going to give props to Lincoln for the Continental.

      It looks way better, in a more coherent, American, bold way, the CT6 or CTS.

      I will bet it rides better, too, and will prove to have at least as good fit/finish and interior materials.

      Bonus points for not hobbling it with a wimpy and unrefined 2.0T motor, also, unlike the Crapillac CT6 and CTS.

      That it you undercuts BOTH the CT6 (20% less) and CTS in price is yet another smart move.

      And here’s the coup de grace: Cadjllac’s tab to reinvent itself – 12 billion USD, while Lincoln spent 1/12th of that.

      The Continental is now selling better than the CT6 (weak), CTS (weak) or ATS (weak), yet cost a fraction to develop as those total disasters.

      It probably rides just as well as the CT6 or CTS, is just as quiet, is more powerful, looks better, will be more reliable, and is better out of the box for 1/2 the nation that deals with snow and inclement weather.

      I’m not a big fan of Ford or Lincoln, and I think Lincoln should have gone with a larger, more bold, V8 powered LS460 type flagship, but all things relative, this vehicle at this time makes far more sense than any Cadillac (with those Cadillacs being pulled by base 4 bangers, being largely reliability gambles, and with aging/poor styling and assembly quality), but the Continental has about 12x higher odds of being successful and profitable than the CT6 or CTS, and was developed for a mere fraction of the cost.

      The moral of the story: If you’re not going to field a proper flagship to try and take on the big Lexus or bigger Mercedes-Benz with a full-throated V8, limo-sized backseat, absolutely plush & impeccable trim/finish and a rwd architecture, at least invest money wisely & efficiently instead of in huge, wasted, burning piles full of marketing, advertising, coffee house, and Millennial-speak failure, as Cadillac has done.

      Lincoln spends 1 billion total. Cadillac spends 12 billion.

      Lincoln ends up with better looking flagship and a much better chance of profitability.

      *These will be epic 2-3 year old, low mileage used vehicle bargains.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        Who are you and what the [email protected] did you do with DeadWeight?

        But yes, used Conti should be an excellent value. Hopefully people keep buying (leasing) them new.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The most important question to ask is, what is the book time on a water pump replacement?

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            *TRIGGERED*

            Probably 20+ hours.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Dear 28,

            We actually made it even more difficult to change the water pump on our new Lincoln Continental, just to annoy you.

            Sincerely,
            Mark Fields

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            When your water pump is a resident of V6 valley, replacing it is going to be a bad time.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            it’s actually not that bad on the 2.7/3.0 Ecoboost, since it’s external and driven by the FEAD. The Duratec/3.5 Ecoboost is an absolute b!tch since it’s inside the timing cover and driven by the timing chain.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            I think 28CL would prefer the 3.7L V6. ‘Tis a b!tch of a job on that engine.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            welp, Cyclone has been in production for over a decade now so if water pump failures were common we’d know about it. the elimination of silicates from antifreeze and the lower radial stresses of serpentine belt or chain drive means they just don’t fail that often.

            that is, except for BMW’s.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ve read its due to the transverse motor that its so difficult to change, on an equivalent F-150 or Mustang it was not so bad.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            They don’t fail that often, they are just a PITA when they do. Part of that is Ford isn’t having owners replacing their water pumps every 60k miles.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I am most impressed with how many details Lincoln sweated in terms of interior design, materials’ quality, and – the type, style and design of the seats (Cadillac should really be shamed, here, by comparison) – check this out:

          Front seats:

          http://www.theignitionblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/2017_Lincoln_Continental_BlackLabel_Chalet_Theme_006.jpg

          In black leather (check out real wood and brown leather center console contrast):

          http://indianautosblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2017-Lincoln-Continental-seat-Black-spied.jpg

          Rear seats:

          http://www.carsfav.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Rear-seat-2017-Lincoln-Continental.jpg

          Another shot of rear seat with black leather trim:

          http://indianautosblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2017-Lincoln-Continental-rear-seat-Black-spied.jpg

          But best yet,look at what even Consumer Reports says about pricing and motor options, and compare that with THE MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE (at base at high-level) Cadillacs:

          “But enough specifications. Lincoln execs stressed the 2017 Lincoln Continental is all about “quiet luxury,” not necessarily huge horsepower or performance figures. Their goal? That the new car creates a “personal sanctuary” for each buyer.

          There’s no question the interior is luxurious, at least in the top-end models on display. Leather abounds and the headliner is covered with a soft, suede-like material. The hugely contoured front seats take center stage, though. Private jets and high-end office furniture inspired the patented design, called Perfect Position. They are 30-way adjustable and feature heating, cooling, and massage, as well as quite possibly the coolest feature in the entire car: individually adjustable thigh support–for each leg.

          Lincoln says a goal with the 2017 Lincoln Continental was “Audi A8 levels of spaciousness.” We can verify the rear seat has enormous legroom, with decent but not spectacular headroom. Comfort is excellent, and the rear seats recline. You certainly get a high-end feeling when you sit in the car.

          Upgrading from the standard Lincoln audio system brings two premium stereos from Revel, the high-end home audio speaker branch of Harman. The mid-level system brings 13 speakers, and the top stereo counts 19 speakers.

          The base front-wheel drive 2017 Lincoln Continental has a starting price $44,650. The top trim Black Label is priced at $64,915.

          CR’s Take

          Between its luxurious, high-quality cabin and strong drivetrain options, the new Continental offers an intriguing alternative to offerings from Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. Lincoln is promising a lot of car for the money. We’ll be the judge when we buy a 2017 Lincoln Continental for evaluation.”

          Johan, Uwe, Melody & the rest of the MORONS at Crapillac should have been fired 3 years ago. The Escalade & CT5 are savingbtheir a$$es, barely, apparently.

          http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/lincoln-continental-road-test.htm

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            those are EXPENSIVE seats.

          • 0 avatar
            Len_A

            JimZ, they are expensive, but damn, they are the MOST comfortable seats of any car I’ve ever been in. Only seat close to as comfortable are the 22 way seats in the MKX. Makes me want to live in the car….

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            DeadWeight – – –

            I am solidly rooting for the new Lincoln Continental!

            I am so tired of Euro-style cars meant for high-speed cornering on an F1 circuit, but otherwise ride like crap on pothole-laden American streets. Who drives like a Grand Prix race here?

            I am old enough to want comfort and excellent ride quality.
            The Continentals I remember (1965-1966) were elegant luxo-barges, dearly loved. They could float (“Magic Carpet” style) over RR tracks or broken pavement at 50 MPH, and you wouldn’t feel a thing.

            You could take a 10-hour trip, covering 600 Interstate miles, and be rested enough for a late dinner appointment! Try that in a BMW 5-series, and you’d get to your destination exhausted.

            The existence of a good-riding, luxury-vehicle market may be confirmed by the hot sales of upper-level, 4-door, crew-cab pickup trucks, all decked out in luxury accoutrements. Lincoln also makes a luxury pickup, the Mark LT*: maybe now is the time to emphasize and re-intoduce it, as well as the Continental?

            —————
            *
            http://2016newtruck.com/2017-lincoln-mark-lt/
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okKIBVUlCw4
            http://www.2016fordfuturecars2017.com/2017-lincoln-mark-lt/
            —————

            ============================

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          Deadweight hates ford, except for when he can use ford to bash on his most hated brand.

          It’s good to have him back, this site was stale and boring without him.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I don’t hate Ford, but I am not fond of many of their vehicles, nor their quality control, nor the experiences I’ve had with their dealerships (and service departments).

            Ford makes some good vehicles (Fusion, new Mustang, F150), and occasionally a great one, but many tepid ones, and some awful ones, also.

            But yes, I detest General Motors (and Cadillac, the most bizarrely run “luxury” division in the world), the Mitsubishi of America, which makes Ford look good by comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Bonus points for not hobbling it with a wimpy and unrefined 2.0T motor, also, unlike the Crapillac CT6 and CTS.”

        China gets a version with the too-poynt-oh-tee.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Black label Lincolns get special treatment in the plant, too. There are added inspection and prep heads for Lincolns with additional for Black Label.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          The Continental Rhapsody Black Label has a gorgeous interior that matches the deep blue paint. I really dig that trim.

          • 0 avatar
            86er

            If I won the lottery, but it wasn’t Rockefeller money, I’d settle for the Reserve in Jade Green with the Terracotta seats.

            Odd but compelling.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            That is a good choice as well. I welcome the return of interiors of many colors.

          • 0 avatar
            86er

            Got me to do one of those “build and price” deals on the website for the first time in over a decade, so we’re makin’ progress.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Love the Rhapsody flavor. It’s the only way I’d want this car. Unfortunately Black Labels are jaw-droppingly expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            My Build & Price Rhapsody Conti with the 3.0TT and all the sweet options ended up being $78K!

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            78k is a joke for this.

            I realize that’s loaded, but still.

            The realists amongst us are aware this has MKZ bones; it’s not a unique chassis/platform/architecture, and the uplevel costs over platform mates is in the interior materials and some tech gadgets.

            I also realize that the 78k build-to-suite price does not include discounting, which will probably be in the 10% to 18% range.

            I realize I’ll catch $hit, but this should top out at 60k MSRP (so 52k max after incentives for top line model) being a MKZ platform mate.

            It’s going to be problem for Lincoln to lease this in competitive prices with BMW 5s, Mercedes Es, and Lexus ESs because of residuals, IMO (it may be even more a depreciation cliff-diver than most vehicles near the same price point).

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            DeadWeight, I actually agree with you on that one.

            I think the quickest way to make the Continental a relevant player would be to give it an unparalleled value for bling quotient.

            Every car of every trim level gets the stuff that makes it pretty (or just gaudy depending on your perspective): LED headlights, one of the top two wheel options, and the fancy front seats.

            Two trim levels, Reserve at $55k and Black Label at $60K plus just a bit.

            Only standalone options are the really extravagant stuff like the full-boat rear seat package and the Revel system.

            It’s the Acura pricing model, but with swagger instead of green-eyeshade rationality.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the funny thing is this is exactly why car companies don’t listen to you people.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Exactly, they would rather sell fewer models with that additional 12% margin. On something like this I think it is foolish, on something custom built like CT6 I at least see the need to make up for the unique platform development costs.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          I have to say that irritates me. Why aren’t all Contis subject to such treatment?

        • 0 avatar
          Keith Tomas

          The interior is gorgeous, but the exterior is rather plain and uninspired, made to look expensive only by the excess of chrome.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        As much as I want a Lincoln flagship that rivals a 68 Continental but I think they are doing it right here. Just keep building good stuff that exceeds expectations then people will notice that eventual flagship.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        I much prefer the styling on the Cadillac with the Lincoln looking like a mish mash of Azera in the rear, Bently in the middle and Jaguar in the front with those stupid comical exterior door handles that add yet another piece of complexity to an already ridiculously complicated car to start with. But I agree with most of what you said otherwise.

  • avatar
    mleclerc19xx

    Could it be that people buying a car want said car to have a NAME, instead of some undecipherable alpha numeric crap? I had to find some mnemonic trick to tell apart the MKS from MKZ. Continental has a nice ring to it. It’s memorable, even if the car is not.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Agree. To me it is crazy to not use the name “Continental”. Own that name and the heritage that goes along with it.

      I had no idea this car even existed and I’ll admit every time I see a Lincoln, from an exterior styling standpoint, I really like it(emotion). The trim level names, “Reserve” and “Black Label” , are genius.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      That must be why Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW sell so horribly. No names. Why, I can’t tell the difference between an LS and LX Lexus (said no one, ever, because Lexus).

      Its not as though the Continental itself is outstanding, hell, its not even memorable. Nope, its only selling because it has a name. That makes total sense.

      Sarcasm aside, I do like that they brought the name back, but I’m not ready to claim the *only* reason the car is selling is because it isn’t MK-something. Its a fine product, and it looks fantastic. That’s why its selling.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Think of this Continental as you would a 1988 Lexus LS400, but pretty much better by a factor of 700% in every way.

        It’s a game changer, but we’ve (those of us in the know) come to expect that from Ford/Lincoln.

        #FordRules

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I like the car but would feel way too much like an Uber driver.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Anything new(er) with four doors *could* be an Uber car.

      So, I guess you can buy a Buick Cascadia instead. It’ll be terrible, but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing nobody would mistake you for some poor sub-human Uber driver.

  • avatar
    ajla

    After being able to experience all three my opinion is that the Genesis G90 is better than the Continental and CT6. This depresses me.

    In the Conti’s favor it does have a price advantage and a real name.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    The thing is there is almost no adverting for the continental. There is the print photo spread and a Lincoln holiday commercial in which the Continental is part of the whole lineup.

    I have yet to see a commercial just for the Continental.

    The Navigator if it looks close to the concept is what is going to bring in the money for Lincoln.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Something about that center console *screams* “pre-facelift EUCD Fusion”. Lincoln needs to make it more distinctive. IMO they need to turn up the Frank Lloyd Wrightness of the interior up to 11 and put in a couple of huge flat screens. That uninspired center console ruins an otherwise successful design.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Beautiful car, I would like to see Lincoln keep retuning to NAMED cars. I understand the Aviator is next. I hope it looks as good as the Continental.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    A better headline would be:

    Like its 1962, Americans Actually Want Lincoln Continentals Again

    I’m just happy because this increases the chances of finding one off lease and having someone else eat the deprecation.

    Hey Ford, I know the Taurus is a sales turd but do up a discount version of this platform and call it “Victoria” (FWIW check your history kids, the “Crown” came later.) It might sell.

    • 0 avatar
      jim brewer

      Well ya know, it sounds like the Continental is more realistically priced out of the box at least for the lower trim level. Quite a concept.

      I also respect the soft introduction: Build something good instead of trying to bombard people with advertising until you fool them into thinking for a few months that a Chevy Cavalier is a Cadillac. (Yes I know. Different manufacturers. Ford has gotten good at this marketing ploy lately).

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      It would look nice with a black plastic grill, black steelies with dog dishes, a column shifter and rubber floors.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Can I get a real dash?

  • avatar
    1998S90

    I didn’t even know there was a Lincoln Continental. I thought they were all MKSomethingorother.

  • avatar

    Cadillac still outsells Lincoln by a wide margin.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I like the idea of a truly “American” full-sizer, but wonder how long it’ll be before even the “warm” sales figures drop off. It’s not a CUV or SUV. Then again, if the intent is for the Conti to be a halo car, then absolute sales numbers aren’t as important as if it brings customers to the showroom.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    How have both Bentley and Lincoln been able to sell vehicles called “Continental” at the same time? I realize the Bentley version at this time is technically called Continental GT / GTC / GT Speed, but still. Is it too generic of a term to be copyrighted?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Trademark law has its own peculiarities compared to copyright and patent law. Typically the litmus test for pursuing trademark infringement is “consumer confusion,” where you’re concerned a buyer might think someone else’s product is yours or even outright passing off. You can make the case that Lincoln and Bentley operate in “different markets;” no reasonable car buyer is going to confuse a $50-70k Lincoln with a $200,000+ Bentley just because of the model name.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      Maybe it’s OK because two different continents are implied?

  • avatar
    Chan

    People want luxury cars that stand out in some way. Be it value, or features, or appearance.

    Lincoln put in trick seats, trick door handles. Things not found on any other car that set it apart.

    These things make an impression on people, so I’m not surprised that it sells decently. It has personality.

    The Genesis sells on value. The Cadillac CT6, in comparison, offers nothing memorable.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    My neighbor, who lives like a minor potentate via looting and pillaging the underclass with his BHPH used car lot bought his wife a new Lincoln.
    It’s a pretty nice rig, although I suspect the depreciation factor will be monumental.

  • avatar
    jpk112

    I have been looking at the Continental as a replacement for my 2011 Audi S4. I need something slightly larger and since I now have a third car, I can trade sportiness for comfort. I have also driven the new Volvo S90 but am not satisfied with the 4 cylinder only option.

  • avatar

    The car still has godawful proportions. And that stupid chrome wart between the door and fender wherein the CONTINENTAL script lies is garbage; should be emblazned horizonatally the full width of the car across the rear.

    I’ve seen more than handful of CT6s on the road versus one Continental NOT on a dealer tag.

    The CT6 is a substantively better car with a terrible, forgettable, garbage moniker. Dub it the Seville, Calais, or ElMirFud and it would sell better.

    Sorry, I’ll take a properly-proportioned RWD V8 ’18MY CT6 and buy some old SIXTY-SPECIAL script and adhesive before the Fusion Vignale LWB.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Needs a waterfall grill.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    The Continental’s styling is certainly a winner. Not surprisingly, to me this backs up my previous assertions on various discussions here that the way for a luxury carmaker to succeed is by offering not just a proper luxury car, but a proper luxury ownership experience. That the Contis that are selling are often the luxury brand within a luxury brand Reserve and Black models that include their own premium ownership perks and benefits as well as status illustrates this. It also goes back to the idea that the product doesn’t matter as much as the presentation. After all, this FWD platform originated as a Ford Fusion.

    • 0 avatar

      Cadillac’s still outsell Lincolns by nearly a 2 to 1 margin. Lincoln has also committed design plagiarism by basically stealing its styling form Jaguar. Still, it is a nice looking car despite not being original. The previous generation Lincoln was far more original with its butterfly grill and bar light tail lamps.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I stumbled on what must have been a black label car (63k sticker) last week.

    I’ve seen 2 on the streets.

    The styling, well I guess it’s personal. Cuz to me something looks off on this car. And it has what I call droopy butt. Doesn’t seem to have presence and to me a car like this should have real presence on the road. The CT6 has it beat on exterior styling in my opinion.

    Now interior… Really impressive. I feel I could cruise in that back seat for days.

    Overall I suspect Lincoln might be onto the serenity thing. Everyone else has gone German, including Lexus. And honestly most luxury cars are way too fast and powerful for the way Americans drive (long and slow). As boomers age, and roads crumble in this country, a tomb of smooth and quiet is likely a good spot. Lincoln seems to have it figured what they were, what they are, and where they want to go, and that isn’t in trying to out German the Germans.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The Continental is not for me, as I still want a potent V8, rear wheel drive, torsionally rigid chassis sedan, that has snarl & bad-assery in spades.

      I want something that’s comfortable enough for daily driver duty, not meant for track days, with excellent reliability and durability, and is impeccably trimmed and crafted inside and out (though the Continental nails the seats, many interior materials, rear seat room, etc., I want more traditional analog gauges for speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, oil and coolant temp, etc.).

      BUT, if a Continental Black Edition with the Perfect Position seats and top-trim leather and top-level stereo and suspension (with AWD) stickers for 63k, can be bought new for mid-50s, and proves reliable with a quiet, plush ride, adequate and great customer service, it will KILL Cadillac’s sedan offerings, and may even cannibalize foreign sedan competitors.

      Give it a 6 or 8 year/80,000 mile bumper- to-bumper warranty with extremely good concierge service, and it will do even better.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “I still want a potent V8, rear wheel drive, torsionally rigid chassis sedan, that has snarl & bad-assery in spades.”

        +1000. This is my shopping list.

        On your second paragraph, I’m not much of a “luxury” car person if I’m honest, but the only way to get big power and/or RWD these days is to either go to a sports car, get a truck, or go to a premium brand (or buy FCA and been there, done that).

        What I really wish existed was a Toyota muscle car. I was hopeful about that new Kia GT but it sounds like another BMW chaser.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          If Lexus would do a AMG Mercedes Black sedan competitor with a potent V8, mean styling, relatively large rear seat, stiff but rigid (no squeaks or rattles) suspension/chassis, and aggressive exhaust note WOT, winner winner.

        • 0 avatar
          Noble713

          “What I really wish existed was a Toyota muscle car.”

          ^This. I’ve gone so far as to crunch some performance specs and estimated pricing for LS-swapped (LS376/525) Toyota sedans. Power/weight ratio of a C6 Z06 in a reliable 4-door chassis.

          I just don’t know enough about the business side of running a car customization business to put it forward as a startup enterprise idea.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I would love a CT6 with a proper name with the Continental interior. That would be a neat combo.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Lorenzo did a good job summarizing the Continental vs CT6 from a marketing and branding point of view in his Dec. 5, 2016 rant: http://www.autoextremist.com/

    Cadillac is totally lost with its obsession over hipsters. Other than a retro-hipster still into gangsta rap wanting a black Escalade, nobody else in that demo gives a **** about Cadillac, and artsy advertising on television (of all places!) isn’t going to change that.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “Cadillac is totally lost with its obsession over hipsters.”

      Cadillac needs this guy as a public face, the manager of that Oakland warehouse that burned:

      12news.com/img/resize/content.12news.com/photo/2016/12/06/Derick%20Almena_1481042882304_7257607_ver1.0.jpg?preset=534-401

      He doesn’t look the least bit charred and that’s ubercool.

  • avatar
    furiouschads

    Why isn’t Sajeev a co-author on this piece?

  • avatar
    donnyindelaware

    Now if only Sergio would give us a New Yorker or Imperial for Chrysler.

  • avatar

    I’m a two-time Lincoln (and five-time Cadillac) owner. I gave up on them when they did away with the Town Car (I had a 95 and 01).

    After checking out the new Continental at the Texas State Fair:

    1) It’s worlds better than the Conti that I sold (early Naughts)
    2) Lincoln is back
    3) It’s good enough for me to consider when I go to get my next DD in a couple of years


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