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Lincoln Sounding Off with New Revel Audio System

Top-line system will make its debut on next-generation MKX sport-ute.

by on Dec.04, 2014

Lincoln made another move to continue attracting luxury buyers by signing a 10-year deal with Revel to supply the brand's sound systems.

Audiophiles may want to trade in their living room couch for a seat in one of Lincoln’s new MKX sport-utility vehicles. Or so the Detroit luxury maker is hoping as it signs an exclusive, 10-year deal with audio system manufacturer Revel.

The top-line brand within the Harman International family is developing a series of customized sound systems for Lincoln, starting with the debut of the next-gen MKX next year. The partnership is part of an evolving effort by Ford Motor Co.’s luxury brand to upgrade its products – and its image – among high-line consumers.

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“We waited 20 years to find the right automaker” to partner with, said Phil Eyler, senior vice president and general manager of Harman’s car audio operations, during a background session at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall, a facility considered to have some of the best acoustics in the U.S. (more…)

Lincoln Counting on New Black Label to Draw New Buyers

Exclusive interiors, upscale “experience” targeting elite motorists.

by on Nov.17, 2014

Lincoln's new Black Label Series kicks off with the MKC as well as the MKZ for 2015.

Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln brand is trying a new approach to attract the sort of upscale opinion leaders that can help put the struggling luxury marque back on track.

The new Lincoln Black Label “experience” is designed to offer potential buyers a blend of exclusive vehicle interiors and a more personalized ownership experience that will include access to exclusive restaurants, unlimited car washes and an annual vehicle detailing.

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The launch of the brand-within-a-brand comes as Lincoln makes its first serious push to go global, with the first of its new dealerships opening in China this month. Black Label will debut in the U.S. on two of Lincoln’s newest models, the MKC compact crossover and the MKZ sedan, noted Group Marketing Manager Andrew Frick, adding that “Black Label will be (added) on every new Lincoln that comes out over the next few years.” (more…)

Lincoln Getting $5 Billion Infusion to Resurrect Brand

CEO Fields staunchly supporting brand’s renaissance.

by on Oct.28, 2014

Lincoln is hoping a new series of ads featuring actor Matthew McConaughey will raise the company's profile and boost sales.

Ford’s leaders are doubling down on their investment in the Lincoln brand in hopes of coming up with a winning hand as other luxury brands, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and even Cadillac, have stronger followings than long-suffering Lincoln.

However, it has been difficult to know what that meant, in terms of dollars, until now. In September, Ford executives suggested the plan called for a $2.5 billion cash infusion into the brand; however, Ford CFO Bob Shanks said last week that the figure was low because it excludes engineering and some sales-related expenses.

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Some experts put the number closer to $5 billion. (more…)

Lincoln Sticks with Old Name for (Almost) New Truck

Major update in the works – but not for now.

by on Sep.22, 2014

The most visually obvious change to the 2015 Navigator is the use of the new Lincoln grille.

Already confirming plans for four new vehicles by 2016, Ford Motor Co. has a number of additional new products in the pipeline for the years that follow, including a sporty coupe that will share the same platform as its new-for-2015 Ford Mustang.

There’s also a new version of its long-in-the-tooth Lincoln Navigator in the works – though, for now, buyers who want the full-size luxury SUV will have to settle for a largely warmed-over version of the big truck.

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At least they won’t have to try to figure out a new nomenclature. While everything else in the Lincoln line-up has adopted a name starting with MK, the Navigator will remain the Navigator going forward.

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Lincoln Adds Sizzle with New Pitchman: Matthew McConaughey

Texan gets multi-year deal to extol virtues of luxury brand.

by on Aug.21, 2014

Lincoln is hoping a new series of ads featuring actor Matthew McConaughey will raise the company's profile and boost sales.

That easy-going twang Americans have heard telling us that beef is what’s for dinner is now hitting the road with Lincoln. Actor Matthew McConaughey inked a multi-year deal to lead a new ad campaign for the struggling luxury brand.

The Texas-born actor known for his good looks and physique leads a new style of advertising for Ford’s luxury unit that focuses on his folksy storytelling style about Lincoln’s attributes. The first set of ads features the new 2015 Lincoln MKC small crossover.

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“Authenticity is a word that kept coming up in our initial meetings. It was clear from the start they appreciated me as an individual first and foremost, and I would be able to be myself in this collaboration,” said McConaughey in a statement. (more…)

Buttons, Dials and Paddles – This Isn’t Your Father’s Old Transmission

New tech improves performance, mileage, user operation.

by on Aug.11, 2014

The new Lincoln MKC opts for a pushbutton transmission rather than a conventional shift lever.

Button, button, who’s got the button?

Slip inside Lincoln’s new MKC and you may be in for a surprise when you fire it up and reach to put the 2015 crossover into gear. That’s because the traditional shift lever is gone, replaced by a set of buttons on the instrument panel.

The new Chrysler 200 sedan, as well as the maker’s big Ram 1500 pickup, adopts a rotary dial to shift gears. Jaguar uses a similar system on its XF sedan, though here the knob rises out of the center console when the driver presses the start button while an indicator light pulses like a heartbeat.

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A growing number of new models, from the new Mini Hardtop to the Porsche Panamera Turbo, have adopted paddle shifters akin to what you’ll find in a Formula One race car, meanwhile. Mercedes-Benz and BMW, meanwhile, have downsized the steering wheel-mounted shift levers, while Maserati and Alfa Romeo’s center console shifters are little bigger than the joysticks you’ll find on videogame controllers.

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Ford’s Fields Makes Mark with New Appointments

CEO replaces Farley as head of Lincoln.

by on Jul.22, 2014

Kumar Galhotra is succeeding Jim Farley as President of Lincoln. Farley remains in charge of Ford's global marketing efforts.

Less than a month after taking over as Ford Motor Co.’s CEO, Mark Fields is making his first tweak to the company’s leadership team by replacing Jim Farley as the head of Lincoln with Kumar Galhotra, who had been vice president of engineering. The pair will report to Fields and the change is effective Sept. 1.

Farley, who came to Ford from Toyota with a reputation as a brilliant marketer and will remain in charge of global marketing, was charged with creating a new approach to customers for the company’s struggling luxury unit.

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However, as Lincoln rebuilds and expands it’s only natural that the brand has a dedicated leader, Ford officials said. (more…)

Lincoln Lands Top Spot in Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

Much-needed victory for struggling luxury brand.

by on Jun.16, 2014

The MKZ led its segment, as did two other Lincoln models - while Lincoln was top-rated brand overall.

Pushing past such rivals as Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac, Ford Motor Co.’s struggling luxury brand Lincoln was named the highest-ranked brand in the annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards by AutoPacific, Inc.

The announcement comes as Lincoln prepares to move ahead with a product roll-out plan designed to put itself back on the radar screen of luxury buyers who have largely written the brand off in recent years.  Lincoln products, such as the MKZ sedan, also topped their individual segments in the annual VSA study which is based on responses by more than 92,000 people who purchased 2014-model cars, trucks and crossovers.

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General Motors’ GMC truck brand, meanwhile, was named the most satisfying mainstream brand. In fact, Detroit makers took 12 of 23 individual product categories, though imports still led in such key segments as midsize passenger cars, premium luxury models and minivans.

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First Drive: 2015 Lincoln MKC

A new look and feel from an old brand.

by on Jun.11, 2014

The 2015 Lincoln MKC is more than just a new compact crossover, it shows that Lincoln actually can challenge key competitors like Acura and Audi.

There was a time when change in the luxury market came at an almost glacial pace. No longer. Old models are being refreshed at an ever-quicker pace, while all-new products are coming to market so quickly it’s difficult to keep up – and they’re filling “white spaces” you might never have even considered before..

Consider Mercedes-Benz, which recently revealed plans to roll out 30 new or completely updated products by decade’s end, about one per quarter. BMW and Audi aren’t far behind. Now, compare that to Lincoln which has promised to add just four products to its line-up between the end of 2012 and 2016 – five, if you count the minimal revisions coming to the big Navigator SUV.

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No wonder many observers – and upscale buyers – have written off Ford Motor Co.’s luxury brand. Once rivaling Cadillac for dominance, it is today given barely an afterthought. But Lincoln fans shouldn’t abandon all hope, not just yet. After spending a day logging several hundred miles behind the wheel of the new 2015 Lincoln MKC we have to pause and reconsider. If this compact crossover is any indication, there just might be some life left in this long-struggling Detroit brand.

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High Hopes and Global Ambitions for New Lincoln MKC

New crossover could soon become brand's best-seller.

by on Jun.06, 2014

The 2015 Lincoln MKC is one of the lowest-priced models in its rapidly expanding segment.

No, the “C” doesn’t stand for “China,” but it might as well.

Lincoln has a lot riding on the upcoming launch of its new MKC crossover, the latest in a series of all-new models intended to help revive the long-struggling luxury brand. With sales of compact CUVs booming, in fact, the new MKC could soon become Lincoln’s top seller, company officials noted during a media drive in Santa Barbara, California.

Cross Over!

But preliminary orders for the compact crossover are already exceeding initial expectations in China, a market that could be the make-it-or-break-it for Lincoln’s long-term turnaround.

“The (compact CUV) segment remains on fire here, as well as globally,” said Matt Vandyke, the director of Lincoln’s worldwide expansion plans.

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