All hands seemed to enjoy the voting-style poll of last Monday’s QOTD, so let’s try it again. And, yes, if you flake on your choice you can change your selection.
Trying to determine The Next Big Thing in the collector car world is akin to fortune-telling tomorrow’s lottery numbers. Still, it doesn’t stop gearheads from pontificating on which vehicle will be the next to skyrocket in value. We have four choices for you today.
Last year, Ford announced its intent to develop a rewards program aimed at keeping customers engaged — while also making it worth their while to stick with the brand for their next purchase. While customer rewards are old hat, regardless of industry, automakers are busy devising new ways of using the venerable marketing theory to improve customer retention. It’s an urgent gambit, given today’s cooling market.
General Motors launched its “My GM Rewards” loyalty program in 2018, using a points-based system to reward customers who use OnStar’s new services, purchase a new vehicle, or service an older one. Those points can then be redeemed, knocking some cash off a subsequent GM purchase. Meanwhile, Honda previewed “Dream Drive” at the recent Consumer Electronics Show — a concept with its own redeemable points system (one that incorporates some potentially unsettling gamification within the app).
While Ford’s FordPass-based efforts appeared similar, it wasn’t until this month’s North American Dealers Association (NADA) meeting that the automaker was willing to flesh it out.
Big base power and upscale skin? Check. Available hybrid powertrain for added punch and elevated virtuousness? Affirmative. A price scale that tops the $90k mark on the high end? Also correct.
Lincoln’s 2020 Aviator, which rolls onto the lots of jubilant dealers this summer, gives brand faithful and new recruits another midsize option in the hot luxury SUV segment. It also gives Lincoln an opportunity to energize flagging sales while growing the brand’s margins.
So, where does the Aviator start, price-wise, and what can you expect to get?
“Exceptionally popular” is a descriptor that does not jibe well with “Lincoln Continental,” as sales of the division’s flagship sedan haven’t exactly fallen into the category of scorching. Introduced late in 2016 as a 2017 model year vehicle, sales of the Continental fell 3.8 percent, year over year, in December, and 27.1 percent for the entirety of 2018.
While the Continental suffers from a crossover-inflicted illness impacting all cars, one Continental variant has no trouble generating demand: the lengthened, limited-edition Coach Door Edition, which bowed late last year with a price tag of just over $110,000.
People clearly want to be seen exiting from rear doors that open the wrong way.
Numerous observers walked away from the North American Auto Show, and more specifically Cadillac’s NAIAS Eve unveiling event, wondering whether electric crossovers are even more homogenous looking than their internal combustion brethren.
So, when Ford’s North American president, Kumar Galhotra, claims a Lincoln vehicle born of the Ford Mach E (or some similar name) will carry on the brand’s tradition of “quiet luxury,” one wonders how a vehicle without the need for a traditional grille will avoid getting lost in a sea of anonymity.
Plenty of digital ink and hurt fingers and bums occurred over the past few days, after Lincoln announced its limited run of Coach Door Edition Continentals (don’t call the doors by their common lexicon name).
But I’m here today to ask you whether any of it matters.
Considering they’re only making 160 of them, the suicide doors on the eighty Coach Door Edition Lincoln Continentals to be sold next year have garnered quite a bit of attention.
The use of rear-hinged doors on vehicles dates to the horse age. It seems that sometime in the 1930s the moniker “suicide doors” was applied to them, apparently due to people’s propensity for falling out of cars in the decades before Ford introduced the seat belt (as an option in 1956). There’s also, at least according to something frequently reproduced online, a connection with gangsters pushing people out of cars — though to my ears, that would be more like homicide doors.
I’m not convinced, though, it’s any easier to fall (or be pushed) out of a car with such doors, other than the fact that aerodynamics will help keep the door open while you’re falling (or being pushed).
Unless you lot have developed powers of which the rest of the world is unaware, you’re reading this post on a computer screen. Ok, maybe on your smartphone. Probably not.
The advent of Windows 3.1 allowed the common nerd to apply wallpaper to the background of the operating system running on their computer screen. The fact I used all those words places me squarely within that group.
Which brings us to today’s question: what car (and we know it’s a car because you’re reading this site) is currently plastered on your screen?
It’s true. You’ll soon be able to slap down a pile of hard-earned cash for a 2019 Lincoln Continental with [s]suicide[/s] coach-style doors. Well, 80 of you will.
To mark the 80th anniversary of the Continental nameplate, Lincoln Motor Company went the extra mile for heritage devotees, revealing a limited-edition model that dispenses with front-hinged rear doors and adds half a foot of wheelbase to pull it off. You’ve never had a better look at the Continental’s B-pillar.
So many of us want this to be more than just a sick tease that results in nothing new on the showroom floor. Would we buy it even if it wasn’t? That’s debatable.
Regardless, all we have now is the tease, plus plenty of clues. Posted Thursday afternoon to Lincoln Motor Company’s social media accounts, an image of suicide doors — a feature that graced Lincoln Continental sedans from 1961 to 1969 — has appeared, along with a cryptic message.
This time last year, Lincoln was busy promoting its Experience Centers — storefronts that promote the brand and its products, but don’t serve as active dealerships. Then, in August, it asked around 80 Ford/Lincoln dealerships to commit to building separate Lincoln-only facilities by July. It was an attempt to elevate the premium brand by making it appear more exclusive, akin to what Cadillac attempted with Project Pinnacle and what Hyundai Group wants to achieve with Genesis.
Unfortunately, all of these programs garnered a “mixed response” from dealers. Many complained that the cost of building a separate showroom for higher-end models is prohibitively expensive. That has also been the case with Lincoln. The California New Car Dealers Association even wrote Ford Motor Co. last month, asking it not to punish storefronts that fail to divide their facilities, and it looks as though the automaker has acquiesced.
Perusing sales data for the month of November, something popped out from the always entertaining Ford Motor Company file. While the company as a whole saw its volume fall 6.9 percent, year over year, last month, Lincoln finished November on a high note — something it hasn’t seen much of this year, Navigator sales notwithstanding.
Compared to the Ford brand’s 7.3 percent YoY drop, the Lincoln brand saw a 3 percent increase. Still down since the start of the year (a trait it shares with the Blue Oval brand), Lincoln’s November sales increase wasn’t just fueled by the hulking Navigator. A new nameplate appeared last month, tacked onto a pre-existing vehicle. Were buyers holding out for a new grille?
LOS ANGELES – A press release full of flying puns heralded the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator.
Tech is the key with this SUV – literally. One available feature is the ability to use your smartphone to unlock the doors and start the engine. Yes, that’s a very 2018 type of thing for an OEM to do.
Do not adjust your monitor. This full-size SUV is indeed painted something other than the piano black of livery companies and Uber drivers trying to emulate livery companies. I didn’t pick anyone up at an airport while driving this beast, nor did I drop passengers at a tony downtown restaurant.
It says something about our world when large luxury SUVs have become the default conveyance for the well-heeled. But this 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label turns that idea on its head, as beneath the the many plush layers is a proper truck, ready to haul in style.
Great things can happen when you combine something that’s already good with a symphony orchestra. Procol Harum’s 1971 live recording of Conquistador is proof of that. For Lincoln Motor Company, a marque which just suffered another disappointing sales month, the vehicle on which it has placed so much hope isn’t leaving any luxury stone unturned.
Next year’s Aviator, a rear-biased midsize SUV that makes the MKX look like a minivan, plans to woo buyers by taking them out on the town. You won’t be able to avoid a night at the symphony in this vehicle.