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Born Again: Lincoln Continental to Make NY Auto Show Return

Concept model to return in production form “sometime in the 2016 calendar-year.”

by on Mar.30, 2015

What you see with the Lincoln Continental Concept is largely what you'll get with the production model.

The Lincoln Continental, once one of the most elegant and widely respected vehicles in the U.S. luxury market, is making its return. And the concept version set to make its first public appearance at the New York International Auto Show will return in production form next year, a senior Lincoln executive has advised

The show car version not only will introduce such luxury features as “laser-assist” high beams, but also will reveal what company officials are calling “the new face of Lincoln.”

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“The concept is a pretty strong hint of what the production vehicle will look like,” Lincoln President Kumar Galhotra said during a Sunday night interview. The road-ready version, he added, will reach U.S. showrooms “sometime in the 2016 calendar-year.”


High-Tech Suspensions Smooth Out The Bumps

New systems improve ride and handling of luxury vehicles.

by on Jun.06, 2013

Mercedes improved the ride and handling on the S-Class for 2014 using a new system called Magic Body Control.

With more and more states and local communities struggling to balance their budgets, road repairs are among the first things to be cut. In places like Detroit, where winter is particularly tough on tarmac, that can translate into potholes that match the worst you’ll find in a third-world country.

But automakers and their suppliers are rolling out some high-tech solutions that can make all but the worst bumps and ruts virtually vanish.

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Electronically controlled suspensions have been around for several decades, but early systems did little more than firm up a vehicle’s shock absorbers and they usually seemed to either be too firm or too soft.


MKZ Back on Track – But Lincoln Still Has Problems

New sedan gains momentum – even as the rest of the line-up slips.

by on May.31, 2013

Jim Farley, Lincoln's brand boss and the global marketing chief for parent Ford Motor Co.

It’s the classic good news/bad news situation for Lincoln this month.

On the positive side, after a painfully slow start due to production snags, the luxury marque’s new MKZ is finally gaining momentum and should set a record for the nameplate when May’s final numbers are tallied. The bad news?  As Lincoln gains ground, the rest of the luxury brand’s line-up has been slipping.

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“We’ll have the best month ever with the MKZ,” predicted Jim Farley, head of the Lincoln brand and the global marketing chief for its parent Ford Motor Co.


Lincoln Flees Detroit

Ad team heading to the Big Apple.

by on Dec.16, 2011

The updated Lincoln MKT. An even more radical design concept will be revealed in Detroit next month.

So much for “Made in Detroit.”  Ford Motor Co. has announced it is shifting the advertising work for the Lincoln brand from Detroit to New York after the first of the year in a bid to rebuild the brand’s luxury image and cachet.

Lincoln and Team Detroit at WPP have announced the creation of a new “luxury-oriented boutique agency” dedicated to Lincoln’s brand reinvention and creative marketing communications strategy. The WPP-owned agency, based in New York City, will open its doors on Jan. 1 and be headed by luxury automotive veteran, Cameron McNaughton, who joins as president of the agency and reports to Satish Korde, CEO of Team Detroit.

The ad shift is paired with a significant new product strategy that will be previewed at the Detroit Auto Show next month, Lincoln sources confirm.

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“We’re reinventing the Lincoln product and ownership experience and working to make it a unique, compelling proposition for today’s luxury customer,” said Jim Farley, group vice president, Global Marketing, Ford Motor Company. “Assembling a talented, Lincoln-only creative agency team, in partnership with Team Detroit and WPP, to build this brand is an important next step in our plan.” Farley said.


New Look for Lincoln Coming to LA Auto Show

New design language will debut on MKS, MKT Updates.

by on Nov.11, 2011

Lincoln will introduce two updated models in LA, both revealing the luxury maker's new design language.

The upcoming L.A. Auto Show could mark a critical transition point for Lincoln.  Struggling to regain its position in the luxury automotive hierarchy, Ford’s upscale brand plans to use the event to unveil what it describes as a new design language for future products that will better distinguish them from down-market Ford kin.

That will begin with the redesigned Lincoln MKS and MKT models, both of which are on the docket to debut at L.A.’s Staple’s Center next week.

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The new design theme, Lincoln proclaims, is more “forward-looking and more elegantly crafted” than what we’ve been seeing in recent years, with most Lincolns little more than tarted-up Ford models.  But just how much further the automaker will go beyond basic body design remains to be seen.


First Drive: Lincoln MKX

MKX is good, but it doesn't stand out compared to Ford Edge.

by on Sep.02, 2011

Lincoln's MKX crossover was refreshed for 2011.

Ford has gone on record to say that it knows its Lincoln brand needs to step up its game. So what’s wrong? This MKX crossover offers a good chance to examine some of the issues.

The MKX is the Lincoln version of the Ford Edge. Both vehicles were freshened for 2011 with mildly updated styling and small revisions to everything from the engine to the aerodynamic aids. But the biggest change was the addition of MyLincolnTouch, a new graphic user interface that works with Ford’s groundbreaking Sync voice control system.

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The MKX’s relationship to the Ford version is evident immediately. While some Lincolns, such as the MKZ and MKT, get unique shapes compared to their Ford counterparts, the MKX and Edge differ mostly in front and rear-end treatments. Other automakers – such as Toyota which builds its Highlander and Lexus RX350 on same platform, for example – do a better job differentiating their luxury vehicles from the garden-variety ones.

Lincoln has at least established a good start on the styling front. The split-wing grille design is unique, yet it also looks back on Lincoln history.

But beyond the special grille, Lincoln’s styling isn’t expressive or cohesive enough. The MKX literally looks like an Edge with the fancy grille and some extra bright work throughout the rest of the vehicle.


Report: Lincoln Gets Its Own Design Studio

Luxury brand to also get unique interiors and powertrains.

by on Aug.10, 2011

Lincoln has recently shown the Lincoln Navicross concept, but future Lincolns will be designed in a new dedicated studio.

It would appear Ford is getting serious about plans to revive its flagging Lincoln brand. The automaker will give Lincoln its own design studio within the Product Development Center in Dearborn.

While Lincolns will continue to be based on Fords – something most automakers do successfully between their mainstream and luxury brands – new Lincoln Design Director Max Wolff will be charged with giving the luxury versions a unique look.

According to Autoline Daily, Ford will also invest in unique interiors and powertrains, adding that those powertrains will offer big improvements in fuel economy.

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The news comes on the heels of Ford’s recent announcement that it will invest $1.2 billion in new Lincoln models, with seven new vehicles planned for the next four years.

What remains to be seen is how much of an impact the new design studio can have on those new vehicles since the designs for at least some of them must already be set because of the auto industry’s long lead times.

But a unique design studio could be the key to resurrecting the luxury brand.


Opinion: How Ford Can Fix Lincoln

Can Ford revive a once-grand brand?

by on Aug.08, 2011

Despite high hopes, recent products like the MKS have done little to revive the ailing Lincoln brand.

Lincoln, Ford’s luxury brand, has been struggling of late, leading more than a few skeptics to wonder whether it’s time to abandon the once-grand marque, much as Ford recently dropped the long-suffering Mercury.  The Dearborn maker insists it remains committed to fixing Lincoln, with plans to introduce several new or redesigned models in the coming years, shuttering dealerships in over-saturated markets while renovating those that remain.

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While executives haven’t exactly been calling us for advice, we’re going to offer it anyway, because that’s what journalists do. If our plans for Lincoln succeed, we’ll expect our payment in a briefcase of $20 bills, thank you very much.

Just kidding—we give our advice for free. It’s up to the executives in Dearborn to take advantage. And Ford is taking the challenge seriously: The company has put together a 92-person task force to address Lincoln’s issues and hired designer Max Wolff away from Cadillac.


Ford Reveals $1 Bil Investment for Lincoln

Maker promises dealers it will make luxury brand competitive.

by on Jun.21, 2011

The Lincoln Concept C small luxury car offers a hint of what's to come from the Ford brand.

Ford Motor Co. has promised its frustrated dealers that it will invest $1 billion in a bid to make the struggling Lincoln brand competitive, with an assortment of new products coming to market by 2014.

Once locked in a bitter, ongoing battle with Cadillac for dominance in the American luxury market, Lincoln has become little more than an afterthought in recent years. It currently holds less than 1% of the overall U.S. market, despite the addition of new and updated models like the MKS sedan, and MKX and MKT crossovers.  At the current sales pace of barely 7,000 vehicles a month, Lincoln could end the year with volumes of less than a third of luxury market leaders BMW and Lexus.

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The “question is whether Lincoln will be viable,” IHS analyst Rebecca Lindland told the Detroit News, which revealed the new management commitment to Lincoln.

That was a relatively charitable way of putting things.  Earlier this month, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson suggested Lincoln is “over,” and that Ford might as well “sprinkle holy water over it.”


Is Lincoln Ready for a Remake?

Luxury marque considering compact crossovers, performance models and more.

by on May.03, 2011

Lincoln will likely update the Concept C show car for the L.A. Auto Show, later this year, possibly with a battery drivetrain.

With only two brands to focus on, senior Ford Motor Co. managers are getting itchy to rebuild the long somnambulant Lincoln marque – and are reportedly working on a wide array of new offerings that could eventually turn Lincoln into a truly global brand.

Sources say that Lincoln desperately needs the product infusion if it hopes to survive.  With the elimination of the long-struggling Mercury division the luxury brand needs to be than just a me-too clone of Ford products gussied up with leather seats and fancier electronics.

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A good indication of Lincoln’s global aspirations could be seen in the Concept C, the show car first unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, last January.  Based off the C-segment architecture used for the 2012 Ford Focus re-make, the Concept C takes aim at one of the fastest-growing segments in the global luxury market.

With a production model under consideration for mid-decade, Automotive News reports an update of the Concept C will make an appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show, next November.