Perhaps fearful that Lincoln buyers, like most new car purchasers, will take home a new vehicle and spend the remainder of their warranty period interacting with the dealer only when absolutely necessary, Lincoln Motor Company has a plan.
Announced late last week, Lincoln Access Rewards is a customer loyalty program that encourages owners to spend more to get more. More points, that is — redeemable for a number of things, some of them frivolous, but in keeping with the Lincoln lifestyle.
The man tapped to replace former Lincoln Design Director David Woodhouse is someone whose hands have guided the shape and curves of numerous recent Ford and Lincoln products.
As reported by Automotive News, Lincoln Motor Company’s chief designer, Kemal Curic, will replace the Nissan-bound Woodhouse. Having led design work on the new Aviator and upcoming Corsair and brushed aside competitors to win the job of crafting the 2015 Ford Mustang, Curic is an obvious choice for the job.
You read all about Ford’s midsize crossover issues last week, perhaps with great dismay. According to an extensive report, serious and sometimes hazy quality defects have kept thousands of 2020 Ford Explorers and Lincoln Aviators away from dealer lots.
It seems the automaker is hauling vehicles directly from Chicago Assembly to a hastily-arranged fix-it space at Flat Rock Assembly in Michigan — a stopover for quality control and repair on the way to the dealer. Some vehicles reportedly wait up to a month for a fix.
Bad news for Ford, but is it also bad news for those awaiting these two critically important models? Surely having these issues remedied before delivery to dealer lots is better than no fix at all? Certainly, it’s a better outcome for the automaker and buyer than the alternative. And yet, after visiting his local Ford dealer, one reader walked away shaking his head.
Ads for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator are scheduled to drop this Saturday, but those of us with internet access got to see them a day early. Lincoln’s “Fresh Take” campaign is a bit of a misnomer, however, because the person who’s chiming in on the new model is Matthew McConaughey.
Ford has used the Oscar-winning actor to showcase its premium products for years now, and this writer is not ashamed to say that he’s grown to love them. While not particularly substantive, they’re difficult to look away from. McConaughey muses about the vehicle in a calm, dreamlike haze. Occasionally looking into the rearview mirror before casually reapplying his attention to the always clear road ahead, he’s presumably talking to himself — but it’s really for our benefit.
And that’s why I’m so fond of them. In my mind, McConaughey is a polished lunatic — not quite a Patrick Bateman, but definitely unhinged. And it translates into comedy gold. Yet another viewer might see the ad and think, “Boy he’s handsome and calm — it’s like nothing is ever going to go wrong inside that car.”
There’s no doubt the next-generation Ford Explorer and reborn Lincoln Aviator are very important vehicles for Ford Motor Company. Advanced, stylish, and packing lofty MSRPs and projected volume that’s sure to make the Blue Oval tons of cash, the worst thing that could occur to these vehicles is a botched rollout served with a side of quality-related stigma.
It seems that’s exactly what’s happening.
While the two platform mates, just now appearing on dealer lots, have already been subject to recalls related to manually-adjusted seatbacks, missing manual park release covers, and instrument panel issues, a number of other problems is keeping Explorers and Aviators away from buyers. Ford is reportedly working overtime to fix the unspecified defects.
In the late Eighties, American auto manufacturers still sold large, traditional luxury sedans in decent numbers. Their aging sedan consumer base fondly remembered the vinyl and chrome of yesteryear and still relished brougham-style accoutrements.
Up for consideration today are three comfortable, luxury-oriented sedans from 1988. It’s hard to lose here.
My father has historically been a Ford man. Despite numerous forays into Chevrolet, Chrysler, Volkswagen and Toyota, he has always returned to the Blue Oval when the time came to purchase a keeper. Other nameplates came and went, receiving slightly less attention, but there was always at least one well-maintained Ford in the garage. As a result, I became familiar with dealerships using the suffix “Ford Lincoln Mercury” at a very young age.
For me, it was an opportunity to ogle the fancier sedans my father claimed didn’t make financial sense. “It’s the same car,” he would always say. “This one just costs more.”
When you’re eight and have nothing to distract yourself with other than the swizzle sticks you stole from the coffee area, fatherly advice has a way of sinking in. I’ve often wondered why automakers would even dare place their premium offerings so close to their less-expensive models. But times have changed.
Big, Detroit-made Malaise Era personal luxury coupes still keep showing up in the big self-service wrecking yards, more than 35 years after the last one rolled off the assembly line. Yes, the diminished-expectations Mark VI, the “What Oil Crisis?” Mark V, and the rococo Mark IV— examples of each of these will appear in your local U-Wrench yard from time to time.
Here’s a worn-out Mark IV from the year of Nixon’s resignation and Haile Selassie’s banishment from his throne in a lowly Beetle, now awaiting The Crusher in a Denver yard.
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator, a much-championed midsize crossover only just entering dealerships, has earned the second recall of its very short life. The crossover, along with the current- and previous-generation Explorer, the Ford Expedition, F-150, and Super Duty line are nameplates involved in a recall concerned with seatback strength.
According to Ford, vehicles may have left the factory “missing the third pawl required for seatback strength,” meaning that seatback may not stay in place in the event of a crash. The recall covers more than half a million vehicles sold in North America.
Following months of negotiations and tweaks, a temporarily shelved plan aimed at boosting the standing of the Lincoln brand is back on.
While Ford hopes to turbocharge Lincoln sales by compelling dealers to build standalone showrooms for the brand, the automaker’s Lincoln Commitment Program went back to the drawing board late last year after backlash from nervous dealers and a California dealers association. Now, Ford’s effort to make Lincoln customers feel special looks a little different.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it — Cadillac routinely bests Lincoln in terms of sales. General Motors’ luxury marque constantly carves out a larger portion of the domestic market and has managed to make global inroads Ford’s premium division has not. For example, Cadillac saw 228,043 deliveries in the People’s Republic of China last year. Lincoln only saw 55,315.
However, the race at home is much closer. Last year in the United States, GM shipped 154,702 premium-badged cars to Ford’s 103,587. But Cadillac has been losing ground in North America while Lincoln has remained comparatively stable, slowly rebuilding its strength. Cadillac may still outsell Lincoln overall, but the gap is beginning to narrow.
Got your eye on Lincoln’s upcoming Aviator? You’ll be pleased to learn the brand’s premium midsize crossover will enter your driveway with more bragging rights than previously thought. Specifically, more power for the same price.
As Lincoln doles out a small fleet of 2020 Aviators to a cabal of shrimp-loving auto scribes, the provided spec sheet held a surprise. The model’s certified power figures are not the same figures listed during the Aviator’s 2018 LA Auto Show reveal.
Until the refresh of the Cadillac Escalade arrives, you want the Lincoln Navigator if you need a premium American battle tank. It’s a Raptor-powered beast of a cruiser, and Lincoln is keeping it fresh for the 2020 model year by offering a new appearance package and more standard tech.
Starting with the visuals, there is now a Monochromatic Appearance Package for the Navigator. If you don’t like chrome, and this author doesn’t, then this is a box you’ll want to check. Yes, there’s still some chrome, it is a Navigator after all. But the Monochromatic Package on the Reserve series offers three different colors to “showcase the bold lines” of the Navigator.
J.D. Power’s 2019 Initial Quality Study (IQS) shows industry-wide problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) failing to improve for the first time since 2014. Genesis, Kia, and Hyundai take the top three spots, improving on their 2018 results, while 18 of the 32 brands studied declined.
Hyundai Motor Group’s brands continue their trend of increasing their advantage over their competitors. The Genesis brand improved from 68 to 63 PP100, Kia from 72 to 70 PP100, and Hyundai from 74 to 71 PP100. Ford and Lincoln round out the top five with 83 and 84 PPH, respectively. Land Rover is most-improved over 2018, improving by 37 PP100, but they still sit second from last in the study at 123 PP100.