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Lincoln Changes MKX New Car Smell for China

Brand caters to cultural preferences with new entry.

by on Jan.13, 2015

The new car smell that Americans love so much, isn't well liked by the Chinese, which caused Lincoln some problems with the new MKX.

While the development of a new vehicle is a team effort, but at some point every bit of a car eventually falls into the hands of engineers.

“We are focused on delivering engaging and refined luxury vehicles with innovative and thoughtful technologies,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln, during the unveiling of the MKX at the North American International Auto Show. “The all-new Lincoln MKX reflects that focus.”

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In the case of the new MKX, engineers were faced with an unusual problem: interior odors. (more…)

Lincoln Looks to Build Momentum with Redesigned MKX

Maker moves redesigned crossover up-market.

by on Jan.13, 2015

The new Lincoln MKX will be offered in standard trim or with the choice of two optional Black Label "themes" this year.

Looking to carve out a niche in the crowded crossover market, Lincoln has unveiled an all-new version of its midsize MKX at the North American International Auto Show, adding new engine choices, improved technologies and its new Black Label personalization program.

The debut of the 2016 MKX comes at a critical time for Lincoln which has just begun to see some daylight after years of declining sales and market share in its home market. And with its recent launch in China, the maker is now ramping up plans to expand its narrow product line-up.

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“We are focused on delivering engaging and refined luxury vehicles with innovative and thoughtful technologies,” said Kumar Galhotra, the new president of Lincoln. “The all-new Lincoln MKX reflects that focus.”


Lincoln Looks East – But Can China Save American Icon?

Luxury maker betting China could become its largest market.

by on Apr.23, 2014

Lincoln is betting it can gain ground in China by focusing on its dealer experience.

It once vied with rival Cadillac for dominance in the huge U.S. luxury car market, but the last two decades have been tough for Lincoln. Sales have steadily slid to the point that some anticipate parent Ford Motor Co. might eventually abandon the once-grand marque.

Lincoln has rolled out several new products over the last two years, and it plans to add at least two more by 2016, but that’s a fraction of what rival Mercedes-Benz has in store – at least one all-new or completely updated product every three months through the end of the decade.

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While Lincoln officials acknowledge they can’t keep up with that product blitz, they’re far from ready to admit defeat. But while they continue to struggle to find ways to lure more American buyers back to the brand, they’re looking East, towards China, to gain some much needed momentum.

“It’s strategically important for us to go to China,” said Matt Vandyke, Lincoln’s global director, a few days before the Ford luxury brand made its official debut at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show.


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.


Exec Says Journalists Need More Training on MyLincolnTouch

"The customers are happy," he says.

by on Jan.10, 2011

A Lincoln executive says media criticisms of MyLincolnTouch could be solved with additional training of journalists.

Criticisms of MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch, Ford’s revolutionary new graphical interface for Sync, could be solved by providing additional training, a Lincoln marketing executive said Sunday.

C.J. O’Donnell, group marketing manager for Lincoln, said that customer response to the system has been overwhelmingly positive.

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MyFordTouch is the latest update to Ford’s groundbreaking Sync system. Ford expanded the system’s vocabulary of accepted commands and added multiple customizable screens, including a touch-sensitive screen in the center console that operates everything from climate control to navigation.

But several journalists have panned the system. Consumer Reports (subscription required) removed the Lincoln MKX and Ford Edge from its recommended lists simply because of the new system. The magazine called the system too complicated and more difficult to use than traditional knobs and buttons. Car and Driver has also criticized the system because its too complicated and the touch-screen “buttons” are too small.


First drive: Lincoln MKS EcoBoost

EcoBoost is wonderful, but Lincoln's flagship sedan needs new infotainment interface.

by on Nov.11, 2010

The Lincoln MKS has a rather conservative design, but the performance of it's optional 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 is anything but conservative.

Here’s the problem with the Lincoln MKS, as it stands for 2011. The Ford Edge/Lincoln MKZ twins.

Yes, the MKS’ new EcoBoost engine is awesome, providing an extra 82 horsepower over the standard 3.7-liter V-6 with better fuel economy to boot. But the rest of the car is largely unchanged.

This year, Ford is introducing MyFordTouch – MyLincolnTouch in Lincolns – a new graphical interface for the automaker’s Sync infotainment system. First to get the new system are the Edge and MKX corssovers.

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Instead of the slick soft-touch buttons or optional touch screen system, the MKS, Lincoln’s flagship car, soldiers on with Ford’s old-style center console, old-tech instrument panel and antiquated steering wheel design.

Lincoln Offering Free Maintenance

Push to rebuild brand before Mercury is abandoned.

by on Jun.18, 2010

Lincoln will offer free maintenance to help boost demand for its expanding line-up.

Struggling to kick-start sales before its sibling Mercury division permanently closes its doors, Lincoln will offer a free maintenance incentive program that extends til the end of the summer.

The program, which covers such routine repairs as brake linings and tire rotations, will cover new Lincoln products for up to 3 years or 45,000 miles.  The campaign runs until September 7, though considering the success other makers, like BMW, have had with similar programs, Lincoln could very well decide to extend the offer beyond the summer.

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“Our commitment is to further grow the Lincoln brand and offer our luxury customers the premium experience they deserve and expect,” said Ken Czubay, vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service for Lincoln’s parent, Ford Motor Co. “Our free scheduled maintenance offer marks only the first step in our plans to further upgrade the Lincoln experience.”