By on June 14, 2018

2018 Lincoln Navigator, Image: Ford Motor Company

As we told you earlier this month, the full-size Lincoln Navigator SUV plays a much larger role in the brand’s fortunes than in years past. The nameplate now accounts for over 18 percent of Lincoln’s sales. Over the first five months of 2018, sales of the square-rigged luxomobile rose 85.8 percent, partially offsetting the loss of passenger car sales and topping up Ford’s coffers with the model’s generous MSRP.

Sales aren’t the only thing on the rise when it comes to the Navigator.

According to CarsDirect, Navigator buyers stand to part with more of their money. On June 1st, Lincoln ratcheted up the price of all Navigator trims by $500 and inflated its destination charge by $100 (to $1,295). This means a base Navigator now leaves the lot for $73,850 after delivery. A top-flight, long-wheelbase Black Label L stickers for $98,700.

The price change doesn’t indicate the presence of any new features or equipment, and it only applies to vehicles ordered after June 1st. Older stock hanging out at your local dealer will carry the old price.

Should you choose to lease, you might find yourself facing an even larger increase. In California, for example, a 36-month lease of a base Premier will set you back $859 a month, with $5,909 due at signing. That works out to $1,023 a month, CarsDirect reports, or $131 a month more expensive than the lease deal offered in February.

Apparently, the Navigator’s popularity is strong enough for Lincoln to draw extra profit from it. Over at General Motors, however, Cadillac still has cash waiting for conquest buyers interested in an Escalade. $6,000 might change a few minds.

[Image: Lincoln Motor Company]

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74 Comments on “Lincoln’s Cash Cow Grows Hungrier...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The destination charge is so stupid. Can I save money by picking up my car from the factory?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    If Ford keeps this up, very soon even the Tesla Model S will be cheaper than anything Ford offers.

  • avatar
    Zipster

    An $80,000 codpiece.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      That base price is sort of staggering to me. I suspect the profit on that vehicle at that price is approaching 50%. Its amazing though that there are people lining up clamoring for Ford to take their money. Good problem to have for Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        ” I suspect the profit on that vehicle at that price is approaching 50%. ”
        — I would contend that the profit is closer to 100%.

        • 0 avatar
          deanst

          Great manufacturing efficiencies at ford if they can build a car for nothing…..
          .

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            100% PROFIT means selling at 100% over the cost to build it.

          • 0 avatar
            pale ghost

            I used to be involved in manufacturing project economic evaluations. We used to joke that if even half manufacturing cost savings projections came out to be true, the unit cost of manufacturing would be negative. We wouldn’t even have to sell product to make money.

        • 0 avatar
          thegamper

          Poorly worded on my part. 50% of the purchase price is profit, so yeah, 100% profit “margin”.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          No the profit margin on something that sells for $80K that costs $40K is 50%. The markup would be 100%. In general when a business person says their profit is XX% they are talking about margin not mark up.

          • 0 avatar
            Rick T.

            You are correct, Scoutdude, from a CPA of 40 years.

          • 0 avatar
            thegamper

            I stand corrected…..maybe, sorta…you numbers guys. Im half retarded so can you just take my original comment and run with it. Half of the sale price is profit. It costs half as much to make as the MSRP, The Markup is 100% in that you take the cost to make the darn thing and double it, the profit margin is %50 in that half of the sale price is the actual cost to make it. Im sure I screwed that up several times. But hopefully you get the idea. Ford puts in a dollar, and comes out with 2.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Lincoln and Ford are a bad joke.

      I’m going on record now and predicting Lincoln will eventually throw massive cash on the hood to moves these, or, they will see an ever-growing pile of them accumulate on their KIA-level dealership lots.

      • 0 avatar
        Zipster

        Any chance we can get your views on the Tesla situation?

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I respect Musk for being an ambitious, bright, ballsy guy, but Tesla is in a death spiral.

          He did not understand nor did he have the right KEY ADVISORS in place regarding the incredible difficulties of scaling up in the incredibly heavy capex industry of automotive manufacturing, and the company can’t be saved now (of may be bought out for its name and “goodwill” either pre or pending or post-bankruptcy).

          The Model 3 was the straw that broke Tesla’s back. He promised many more things than he could have ever deliver regarding the Model’3, and ran a slimy reservation/deposit system for it that screamed desperation, as a way to raise desperately needed cash, and it stained Tesla.

          Even though Tesla was still burning cash at a rapid rate pre-Model 3, Tesla would have had a better chance at ultimately breaking even had they stuck with 2 premium offerings (a sedan and CUV), built in relatively small numbers, and sold at a high transaction price.

          Finally, with Tesla burning through at least 2.2’billion annually, the very thing that made Tesla stand out originally, all-electric, premium, fast vehicles, with acceptable range, is a rapidly closing door, as Mich bigger and WAY better capitalized (and profitable) automakers are now ahead of Tesla’s tech, way ahead of their quality control, and have the ability to scale production up with the greatest of ease.

          I like Elon and respect much about him, even if he’s given to juvenilism from time to time, but Tesla is TOAST.

          He should be working right now to find a buyer (preferably a Chinese one), and cash out while he can.

          • 0 avatar
            Zipster

            Deadwood:

            From my rather limited prospective, I am inclined to agree. As events further develop, I will look forward to your comments. Thank you.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            “I like Elon and respect much about him, even if he’s given to juvenilism from time to time, but Tesla is TOAST.

            He should be working right now to find a buyer (preferably a Chinese one), and cash out while he can.”

            For the man that has everything, it doesn’t look like money or profit is his motive, so I doubt that would happen.

      • 0 avatar
        RSF

        Nope. Not going to happen.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        You must be right, I mean ATP being so high and demand as well, that’s the only logical conclusion.

        I here by go on the record as stating that when a car’s initial demand declines, they won’t sell as well. Wow, what a genius I am! All I need to do now is bring up a CEO’s name and make fun of it. Then I can make fun of them for building vehicles in Mexico and selling cars in China…UNLESS its Chrysler or Jeep, then its okay because I rented one and it was better than a Rouge.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          In fairness, that’s a misrepresentation of DW’s argument, JohnTaurus. He is not talking about drying demand, but rather hubris in ramping up production. In fact, DW is not even treating customer demand as independent, but as something that can be manipulated, if not outright controlled.

      • 0 avatar
        Higheriq

        How do you REALLY feel?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      “An $80,000 codpiece.”

      What’s wrong with that?

      If this were an equally high margin sedan the B&B would be singing its praises. Excess is excess whether or not you agree with it.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        “If this were an equally high margin sedan the B&B would be singing its praises. ”

        Nope, wrong brand/country of origin. Its automatically hot garbage if its from Ford or GM.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Ford could distance itself from this trend if it a) stopped making hot garbage (cough…cough…Ecosport) and wasn’t getting rid of everything that isn’t hot garbage.

          • 0 avatar
            Carroll Prescott

            My hot garbage 1997 Ford Escort is at 175,000 miles, cost $10k new, and routinely gets 45 mpgs per tank and can hit over 50 mpgs on the highway. It has been Honduh reliable and after 21 years, sometimes I have to replace an original part. Engine has had no issues at all – tranny has a clutch slave cylinder replaced (clutch is still original), and save for preventive maintenance on timing belt and water pumps, I only have done brakes one time at 60k.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            To be fair everything Ford is getting rid of now is lukewarm garbage at best. They are just discontinuing them instead of replacing them with new generations that we hope would not be hot garbage (no guarantee!).

          • 0 avatar

            Carroll,

            I don’t think anyone’s referring to the Fords of even ten years ago as “hot garbage.” FoMoCo had it goin’ on for a long time but there are serious questions presently.

            And I don’t know of anyone raving over EchoSport…which, when one of your core brands is “EECOBoost,” yet both begin with an identical “Eco” prefix…that’s Marketing 101, folks. And it’s a FAIL.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Hardly, the B&B was quite positive and optimistic on the Continental, especially once it became apparent that it would be cancelled.

          There is a reflexive, infantile hatred of everything crossover related here. Has nothing to do with brands or countries of manufacture. We can do better guys.

          • 0 avatar
            Nick_515

            The B&B was also universally positive on the upcoming Aviator. Hell, even EBFlex almost half-admitted he was in love with it.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The Aviator shows more promise than the Navigator, IMO.

            But Lincoln and its dealers will ask too much for it and end up sitting on them rather than actually selling them.

            “We’re a true luxury brand!”

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I always sort of wondered about that. More though the actual distance travelled from the factory. I live in Michigan, my wife drives an Enclave that was built 100 miles away in Lansing. The destination charge for a new Enclave is $995 whether you live in Michigan or California. That doesn’t seem right. A quick google search indicated it is 60 cents per mile to ship vehicles, possibly with a discount in bulk from the automakers. So that $995 is basically enough to ship an Enclave to California. I suspect, but don’t really know, that such long distance travel might be accomplished by rail which is dirt cheap by comparison but you still have travel costs on each end of the trip. It is certainly easier to have a single destination charge per vehicle, but as you can see, it is not tied to the actual cost in any way, shape or form. And no, you cannot pick up from the factory because the dealers need their cut lol.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I suppose its the same because its more of an average. It may cost more than the amount to ship to some places, less for others. It would be incredibly unfair to local dealers if you could automatically save nearly a grand, before negotiations, simply by buying the vehicle closer to the plant that produces it.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    I’m not happy about it because I would love to have one of these and will never be able to afford a new one. But if Lincoln can demand that much and get it than more power to them. We are living in the new gilded age.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      Well meanwhile you can pickup some shares for $11 and change, P/E of 6 and a 5% dividend, and usually a special dividend during the year.

      Just be ready to pull the “sell” switch if the bottom falls out for F-150s!

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Holy crap, a P/E of 6 in today’s market? Is everyone really that Tesla crazy? Time to log into Etrade

        • 0 avatar
          civicjohn

          sporty,

          You can also load up on some GM stock, currently they don’t have a meaningful P/E ratio and they reported EPS of -$3.79, but they are still kicking out a 3.45% dividend.

          Mrs. Barra has been successful in one regard, in that she has presented to the market her vision of Chevy Bolts without steering wheels and GM’s quest for autonomous driving. She’s essentially got the market to price GM as some kind of IT stock – we shall see if that ever happens. As a former holder of the “old GM” bonds and stocks, the absolutely abysmal treatment that bondholders got from the US government, by essentially turning bankruptcy law upside down, I will never, ever own a dime’s worth of exposure to GM – I even had my broker go through every ETF I hold and if they had GM on the books, we changed it to another similar ETF that didn’t hold GM.

          If I sound bitter, I am. GM should have went into a proper bankruptcy, the assets would be bought and the world would have kept on spinning – but no, we had to make sure that the UAW Pension fund was in good shape, argue with me if you want to, but I read every d**n document that was provided to me while they were screwing me, many others, vendors, etc. The “new GM” indeed.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            As a fellow bondholder of the old GM I think I made out pretty well.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            Most bond holders have similar complaints as Civicjohn. The market had already valued GM Bonds fairly low. I had a maybe $5000 face value of GM bonds. Face value was $25 per bond (paying 7% or 8%) and due somewhere around 2035. In that last spring before BK face value was ~$1.85 so my $5000 worth of bonds was now worth $390. I could accept the market value and sell, ride the upcoming rumored BK out or (what I did) double down and buy more. I invested almost $10,000 in the bonds. Ending up with $128,000 face value. After the dust settled I ended up with $35,000 worth of stocks and warrants.

            Was it fair? What is fair in this world. Would going through a regular BK gotten me more? Maybe but maybe not. The original bondholders where not wiped out in the BK they were wiped out before the BK and partially restored after it. If I remember correctly a year before BK my $25 face value bonds were selling for well less than $13 (could have been as low as $8) so its not like the original bondholders were wiped out overnight. The market saw this coming even if some of the the bondholders didn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            civicjohn

            @pragmatic, IIRC, without having to find all of the paperwork in my attic, the “Motors Liquidation Company” delivered this news in 2009 that I found on Wikipedia, they sent out a 200+ page document:

            “Management continues to remind investors of its strong belief that there will be no value for the common stockholders in the bankruptcy liquidation process, even under the most optimistic of scenarios. Stockholders of a company in chapter 11 generally receive value only if all claims of the company’s secured and unsecured creditors are fully satisfied. In this case, management strongly believes all such claims will not be fully satisfied, leading to its conclusion that the common stock will have no value. None of the publicly owned stocks or bonds issued by the former General Motors Corporation (now renamed “Motors Liquidation Company”), including its common stock formerly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “GM”, are or will become securities of General Motors Company (the “new GM”), which is an independent separate company. All of these securities relate to Motors Liquidation Company, and will be treated in accordance with the provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the rulings of the Bankruptcy court.”

            At the time, I think I had close to $50k in bonds, they offered 2 shares for every $1000 of bonds, and that was reduced further. I think I ended up with 40-50 shares, which would have been worth about $2k today, but I didn’t want it in my portfolio then, just as I don’t now. I didn’t want that bad karma anywhere near my other investments.

            Maybe you came out ok, but there were many people like me that got screwed. This started on Bush’s watch, but it was the 2009 deal the Obama administration did that was the final nail in the coffin, and the UAW came out the best by far.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            Civicjohn

            In the GM BK my $128K of bonds converted to 470 shares of new GM (worth $16450 at the IPO price of $35) plus warrants to buy 470 shares at a price of $10 (worth $11750) plus 470 warrants to buy 470 shares at a price of $19 (worth $7520) total value of $35750. Now if I had paid $128K I would have lost big time. I think the Gov’t BK was no worse (and quicker) than a drawn out court case. I don’t see how more value could have been draw from the GM carcass. In either case the union would have considerable sway. The retiree benefit cost would come ahead of the bondholders. Plus whoever was buying the existing plants and car models would have to deal with the union to keep production running. So the price for the assets would have been greatly reduced to keep labor peace.

            It sounds good saying just fire them all and bring in new workers but how as a new owner am I going to get production without a work force. If I hire new I delay start of production. Either way I won’t pay good money for the assets since there is too much uncertainty in continued operations.

            I can also see why you’d be annoyed and wouldn’t own GM securities or vehicles. If I had a major chunk of money in GM I’d feel the same way. I was only in for a little bit ($10K) in early 2009 so I could afford take a gamble and doubled down. Someone else was bailing out (willing to sell those bonds at less than 10 cents on the dollar) to avoid what they thought was going to be bigger losses in BK. I was willing to buy at less than 10 cents on the dollar and in the end got around 35 cents on the dollar once the dust settled.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    FORD THINKS THEY ARE AUDI AND LINCOLN THINKS THEY ARE MERCEDES WHEN IT COMES TO PRICING POWER.

    FUNNY – IN AN INCOMPETENT WAY – EXECS AT FOMOCO.

    p.s. – UGLIEST WHEELS EVER ON THAT SLAB SIDED BLOVIATOR.

  • avatar
    asphaltcowboy

    Can’t look at these thing in isolation. A quick check online shows that Cadillac, Infiniti and Lexus all charge $1295 for destination. Land Rover charges $995. So Lincoln buyers were getting a bit of a break before the increase. Also, the base price of the equivalent Range Rover, Cadillac and Lexus is also higher. The Infiniti is less, but it’s a dinosaur with poor sales.

    Looks like Lincoln is just adjusting to the market.

    Regardless of what you opinion is of Ford/Lincoln – the Navigator is arguably the best luxury full-size SUV on the market – the average of automotive reviews backs this up:

    https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/luxury-large-suvs

    The RR probably has the poorest reliability out of the bunch.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Two words: TOWN CAR.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    So, let’s get this straight – it is okay to have rebates to move slow selling units but it is wrong to jack the price up on one that is selling at sticker or better?

    Idiots.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “That works out to $1,023 a month” TO LEASE.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I remember when the first generation Navigator was all the rage. A contemporary piece in Wall Street Journal named Navigator the all-time most profitable vehicle Ford had ever produced–netting a $12k profit per unit to the factory–which, of course, does not include profit at the dealer level. The contemporary Expedition was next in line, earning about $8k for the factory.

    I reckon this new Navigator will knock the Gen 1 Navigator off its lofty perch, and I wish Ford all the best with their hit. This vehicle stands in stark contrast to the all the media attention paid to small, fuel efficient hybrid and electric vehicles. Those are a small niche, yes, but big, powerful, evocative machines, like Navigator, capture the hearts, and cashflow, of affluent Americans.

    Driving Navigator allows affluent Americans to enjoy true “Murican luxury with no apologies.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Navigators have always sucked a$$ in terms of driving comfort or anything remotely resembling a luxury vehicle.

    They were draped in cheap plastic and really, really bad faux wood.

    They had a wet noodle chassis.

    Here’s hoping Ford upped their game, from now to stern, and everything inside, by at least 8800%.

  • avatar

    Will Lincoln even survive. When the MKZ and continental follow the Fusion into obvilion Lincoln will have just three SUVs in their entire lineup

    Ford is toast

  • avatar
    Commando

    “A top-flight, long-wheelbase Black Label L stickers for $98,700”
    Not one of you realizes it’s really a $25k F-150, right?

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Navigator is NOT riding on an F150 chassis. Navigators ride on the T3 platform, which has, among other differences, independent rear suspension. No F150 has ever had that! F150s rock the P552 series platform–not related to T3. Both are body-on-frame construction, and will share drivetrain components, but they do NOT share platforms.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        R Henry WHAT?

        “Chassis

        The fourth-generation Lincoln Navigator uses the Ford T3 platform, developed under the U554 code name. Retaining body-on-frame construction, the Lincoln Navigator (and Ford Expedition) were engineered alongside the 2015 Ford F-150. The four-wheel independent suspension configuration was retained, with a redesigned rear suspension layout.”

        So, the NEW NAVIGATOR *IS* riding on a 2015 Ford F-150 platform (the T3, which you claim is NOT the F-150 platform), even if the Navigator gets a redesigned rear suspension (which is irrelevant t0as the fact that bottom the F-150 and Navigator DO ROCK – your words -‘the same platform/chassis).

        Also, the same holds true for the Ford Expedition.

        Also, also – ” with the 2015 Ford F-150, the body of fourth-generation Lincoln Navigator (and Ford Expedition) was designed as a part of a shift to aluminum body construction, with the use of steel largely reserved for the chassis frame rails.”

        It’s a covered F-150, dude, with a redesigned rear suspension.

        More power to Lincoln if these sell well at anywhere near MSRP because they will then probably be making a minimum of $22,000 to $30,000 profit per unit depending on trim level.

        Guangzhou Motors does the same thing with their Silverado-Sierra-Tahoe-Suburban-Escalade – GMT K2XX platform as K2XL:

        “The first GMT K2XX vehicles were light-duty 2014 model year Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups. The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade, and Cadillac Escalade ESV full-size SUVs followed, then the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD.”

  • avatar
    seth1065

    wow I would have thought it was more than 18% for this Lincoln barge, what else does Lincoln sell in any numbers

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    Pragmatic, I’d love to hear how you came out above water

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    The new Navigator drives very well. I took one 600 miles and thought the world of it — for that size vehicle. I mean, if you need it, there it is. I would compare it against the Ford Expedition, on which it’s based. My previous favorite among the big boys was the GMC Yukon Denali XL, which goes around 80 large out the door

    .

  • avatar

    These big SUV’s don’t turn and burn effectively enough for my tastes. Sometimes I get the impression some large SUV’s owners are actually proud of their vehicles lack of agility.


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