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Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln MKT’

Cadillac Aims to Fill “Limo Gap” Left by Lincoln

Maker gets big endorsement with order for XTS Livery Package.

by on Feb.19, 2013

The Cadillac XTS takes aim at the livery market with a custom limo package.

Lincoln left a rather large hole in the livery market last year when it finally abandoned the long-lived Town Car. And while the Ford Motor Co. luxury brand has been trying to woo limo customers back with its MKT crossover, demand has so far been tepid, at best.

That’s left a “limo gap” that cross-town rival Cadillac believes it can fill with its new-for-2013 XTS sedan. And Caddy’s new flagship has gotten a boost from Carey International, the world’s largest limousine company, which has put in an initial order for 150 of the sedans equipped with a new Livery Package that includes such niceties as rear heated seats, window shades and a charger for smartphones and tablet computers.

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“We are bringing a new formula to the livery customer. Every experience in a Cadillac, front seat or rear seat, meets a higher standard for luxury, performance and technology,” says Don Butler, U.S. marketing director for the General Motors brand.

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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.

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Lincoln Hopes MKT Can Replace Town Car

Special edition earmarked for fleet use.

by on Nov.22, 2011

A Town Car by any other name? Lincoln will offer a Town Car version of the 2013 MKT crossover.

The Lincoln Town Car is coming back to life – though long-town limo fans may not immediately recognize the replacement.

With its long-in-the-tooth Town Car now out of production Lincoln has been looking at the prospect of losing its long-time grip on the so-called “black car” market.  But it’s hoping to regain a dominant position in the livery world with the addition of a special version of its newly-updated MKT crossover vehicle.

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Ford’s luxury division will attempt to win back limo companies and other customers by emphasizing the roominess of the MKT as well as its all-weather capabilities, a potential advantage over the old rear-wheel-drive Town Car sedan.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Town Car Lives on as Limo Version of MKT

Vehicle will be offered in two versions, Livery and Limousine.

by on Feb.15, 2011

The Lincoln Town Car will live on - as a limousine version of the MKT crossover.

So you thought the Town Car was dead. Think again.

While Ford will end production of the Lincoln Town Car – and its platform mate the Ford Crown Victoria – at the end of the year, the automaker isn’t ready to let go of the Town Car name.

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Lincoln introduced the chauffer-dedicated MKT Town Car at the International LCT (Limousine, Charter and Tour) show in Las Vegas.

The Town Car version of Lincoln’s big crossover will be available in two versions, Livery and Limousine.

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Ford’s MyTouch Takes Fire From Consumer Reports

“Overly complicated and distracting,” magazine pulls recommendation from two Ford models.

by on Jan.04, 2011

Consumer Reports berates the MyFordTouch system as "overly complicated."

It has frequently been hailed as one of the most significant new technologies to show up inside an automobile, but Ford Motor Co.’s new touch-screen MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch systems are taking fire from the influential Consumer Reports magazine.

The non-profit publication – which has given kudos to Ford’s steady increase in quality – has declared the two touch-screen systems “overly complicated and distracting.”  In turn, Consumer Reports has decided not to give a much-coveted recommendation to two new Ford products, the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers using the MyTouch technology.

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The Ford MyTouch technology is designed to control a wide range of infotainment systems, from onboard route guidance to handsfree phoning.  Ford has billed the system as an easy-to-use alternative, ironically, to some of the more complex controller-based infotainment systems, such as the BMW iDrive.

Ford’s system actually offers three different ways to control in-vehicle electronics, which the maker claims permits a motorist to use whichever they find the simplest and easiest: a large touch screen at the top of the center console, a pair of five-way controllers on the steering wheel – or voice-activated controls.

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Lincoln Wants To Eliminate A Third Of Its Metro Dealers

Ford outlines broad restructuring of brand to retailers.

by on Oct.06, 2010

The 2011 Lincoln MKT making its debut at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

More than a third of the dealers representing Ford Motor Co.’s only remaining luxury brand will be eliminated under a dramatic go-it-alone restructuring plan for the Lincoln division.

Bringing Lincoln’s retail network more in line with its import competition is just the first step in a broad brand transformation that will also yield seven all-new or significantly updated models for the marque in the next four years. (Click Here for that story.)

“We are fully committed to transforming Lincoln into a world-class luxury brand,” Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas, told about 900 of the division’s dealers and their representatives during a meeting in Dearborn, Michigan.

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But the presentation also outlined some serious challenges for a Lincoln revival.

Until about a decade ago, Lincoln was a strong contender in the U.S. market, locked in an ongoing battle for sales dominance with its cross-town rival Cadillac.  But the new millennium saw a shift away from domestic to import luxury brands, with makers Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz surging to the top of the sales charts.

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Lincoln Ready For A Brand Re-Make

New ad campaign only setting stage for major shift in direction.

by on Oct.04, 2010

The Lincoln MKT, one of the brand's newest offerings, will soon be followed by seven other all-new or significantly redesigned offerings.

This past weekend saw the launch of a new ad campaign and an all-new tagline for Ford’s long-struggling Lincoln brand.  “Smarter Than Luxury,” as it’s been dubbed, will emphasize the Detroit marque’s technology – with features like the voice-activated Sync system.

The goal is to “challenge people’s perception,” by emphasizing technology, style and craftsmanship,” explains Matt VanDyke, Lincoln’s marketing communications director.

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But senior company officials admit that no advertising campaign alone will be enough to right what’s been wrong with Lincoln, a brand that must stand on its own, now more than ever.  And that means a dramatic shift in product direction that will begin to surface over the next several years, company insiders hint, as well as a restructuring of the Lincoln distribution network.

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