Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

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Thread: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Amphibian's Avatar
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    Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    I had an idea for a new series of threads to post occasionally (and anyone else who wants to): discussing past (or presently struggling) vehicles. What held it back? Did the market want it at all? What changes, if any, would have saved it?

    To debut this thread series, I am bringing up the Lincoln LS. Though it limped across the finish line in 2006 when the Zephyr largely replaced it, initial sales of the LS were strong, selling 51,000+ in 2000 (so says Wikipedia). But in 2004 sales were almost half that.

    What do you think should have been done? I'll add my thoughts in a while if this thread receives some attention.

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 MrCritical's Avatar
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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    Price. Quality control.

    If memory serves, there was some serious incentive money on the hood at times.

    But that V8 ran like a scalded Lance Armstrong on HGH.

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    Perhaps people knew it was just a tarted up Fusion similar to the new MKZ being built off the new Fusion platform. This will also be the downfall of the MKZ. Also the styling of the MKZ is disgusting to say the least.

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    Needed proper updating to keep it in the pack. The 2003 revision wasn't enough.

    It compared favorably to the E39, but was trounced by the E60.

    Jo Momma

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    Good to see some of my speculation is shared with others.

    For one thing, I think there was a sort of ideological mistake in seemingly keeping the LS from being as good as it could have been just so that it didn't get as "good" as its Jaguar cousin. I'm not positive that this was a concious effort at Ford, but it seems that way since Ford had nice V-8 options on their own that the LS was not allowed to take advantage of, instead receiving a smaller, less powerful version of the Jag V-8 (and they both used a Ford engine for the V-6 so for assembly sake a Ford engine couldn't have made much less sense).

    Out of the gate, the 2000 LS just needed a better interior than the bland and less competitive interior it ended up getting. I haven't been in either interior in many years, but I think even the 99-03 3.2TL had a nicer interior at a more attractive MSRP (FWD, true, but in the eyes of some customers that may have not been a big deal). The 2002 ES is a major player in this price range and had one of the nicest interiors of this price. Those in charge should not have finalized the interior if it couldn't even match a Passat. In comparison tests the LS often faced off with the 3-Series and what not but some of these offerings like the ES and TL are probably more along the lines of its real life competitors if I had to guess. And Ford could've snagged more headlines with a more macho V-8. The 95-98 DOHC 4V 4.6L in the Mark VIII made 290 horsepower, and in a particular Mustang (Cobra or something? I forget exactly) that version of the DOHC 4Ver made 320 horsepower. How about a 300 horsepower LS V-8? Might've ignited more interest a manual option for the V-8.

    Lastly, six years wasn't so long for a single generation, but even so the midlife facelift needed to be more notable. The interior could've had some things like a new wheel, center stack, other things that don't cost all too much to redo but are more visually substantially new. Similarly, more significantly changed front and rear ends would have kept the LS fresh. That 2003 refresh could have even jumped Cadillac in offering a bad boy American performance sedan by tightening it up and dropping in the Cobra's 390 horsepower supercharged V-8. Now you're talking M5 power for, say, 50-55K (starting).

    The LS had a lot of potential and early on it had a good run, but sadly I think it was held back somewhat and wasn't kept fresh. Ideally, I reckon it could have been kept fresh enough to hang on for the 2007 model year. The 2008 Falcon's platform could have been engineered for a more global effort. Two "efforts": A mid-luxury, LS sized Lincoln to battle the 5-Series/E-Class crowd. The second a smaller sedan to take on the (at the time) CTS, 3-Series, etc, replacing the LS as the entry Lincoln (or keeping the name and changing the size, whatever).

    Quote Originally Posted by Pisswilly View Post
    Perhaps people knew it was just a tarted up Fusion similar to the new MKZ being built off the new Fusion platform. This will also be the downfall of the MKZ. Also the styling of the MKZ is disgusting to say the least.
    The only vehicle related to the LS was the more upscale Jaguar S-Type.

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    "Car overall delivers luxury and drivability. I have had this car for almost two years and besides some minor issues the car drives like a champ."

    Lincoln LS 2000 - 2006
    Overall Rating:
    9 out of 10
    9 out of 10
    I absolutely love this car!,
    February 5, 2012
    By mjoi
    Value:
    9 out of 10
    9 out of 10
    Reliability:
    9 out of 10
    9 out of 10
    Driving Dynamics:
    10 out of 10
    10 out of 10
    Design/Interior & Exterior:
    10 out of 10
    10 out of 10
    Comfort & Convenience:
    10 out of 10
    10 out of 10
    Quality:
    10 out of 10
    10 out of 10
    Not At All
    10
    Definitely

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    Too many of the target market wouldn't look at a domestic brand, as the ATS may soon discover.

    Like the Catera, the LS lacked visual pizzaz, IMO.

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    Conservative euro styling that did not distinguish the car from the 'normal' Lincolns.

    Probably bad advertising as well ... LS seems to be largely unknown outside of the enthusiast audience.

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    The fact that it wasn't engineered to package the Modular Motor V8 is one reason.
    Pony Car: an affordable, compact, highly styled car with a sporty or performance-oriented image and an available V8.

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    If you read the comparison tests from that time, the LS was almost always close to the bottom. Add to that ho-hum styling, a dismal reliability record, and fast depreciation, not to mention a host of great alternative options at the time and you have a recipe for failure.

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    Ah the DEW98 platform

    When the LS first came out I loved it. I got all the initial marketing material for it (this was when car companies sent you thick sales brochures or other cool things when they were first releasing cars, DVDs, little toy cars, coupons for Eddie Bauer).

    I thought rather highly of the car. It drove well enough, had adequate power, very understated on the outside.

    But then over the following years Ford reduced marketing spending for the car. It was updated only once.. And rather mildly at that.. There was no Halo model. No IS F, CTS-V, or a model an enthusiast would want. Lincoln's stature in the marketplace was barely moved by this vehicle. Which is something else that also hurt this car sales in the years following its release.

    So no marketing.
    An understated bland design was allowed to become stale.
    The car became lost and forgotten about in the marketplace.
    Sold by a brand that couldn't sell it because Ford wouldn't allow Lincoln to "step on" Jaguar toes.
    And Ford said it was to expensive to build.

    The last year this car was for sale it was available with only the V6 engine option. And after dealer discounts loaded models were cheaper than the new for 2006 Zephyr.. A lesser vehicle than in my opinion.

    Something else, the present Jaguar XF still uses an updated version of this platform.
    "At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphibian View Post
    Good to see some of my speculation is shared with others.

    For one thing, I think there was a sort of ideological mistake in seemingly keeping the LS from being as good as it could have been just so that it didn't get as "good" as its Jaguar cousin. I'm not positive that this was a concious effort at Ford, but it seems that way since Ford had nice V-8 options on their own that the LS was not allowed to take advantage of, instead receiving a smaller, less powerful version of the Jag V-8 (and they both used a Ford engine for the V-6 so for assembly sake a Ford engine couldn't have made much less sense).

    Out of the gate, the 2000 LS just needed a better interior than the bland and less competitive interior it ended up getting. I haven't been in either interior in many years, but I think even the 99-03 3.2TL had a nicer interior at a more attractive MSRP (FWD, true, but in the eyes of some customers that may have not been a big deal). The 2002 ES is a major player in this price range and had one of the nicest interiors of this price. Those in charge should not have finalized the interior if it couldn't even match a Passat. In comparison tests the LS often faced off with the 3-Series and what not but some of these offerings like the ES and TL are probably more along the lines of its real life competitors if I had to guess. And Ford could've snagged more headlines with a more macho V-8. The 95-98 DOHC 4V 4.6L in the Mark VIII made 290 horsepower, and in a particular Mustang (Cobra or something? I forget exactly) that version of the DOHC 4Ver made 320 horsepower. How about a 300 horsepower LS V-8? Might've ignited more interest a manual option for the V-8.
    NO, The Ford V8s would not fit between the the tight spring aprons.
    Lastly, six years wasn't so long for a single generation, but even so the midlife facelift needed to be more notable. The interior could've had some things like a new wheel, center stack, other things that don't cost all too much to redo but are more visually substantially new. Similarly, more significantly changed front and rear ends would have kept the LS fresh. That 2003 refresh could have even jumped Cadillac in offering a bad boy American performance sedan by tightening it up and dropping in the Cobra's 390 horsepower supercharged V-8. Now you're talking M5 power for, say, 50-55K (starting).
    The DEW Platform was so expensive, it bled red ink all over the floor of Wixom
    The LS had a lot of potential and early on it had a good run, but sadly I think it was held back somewhat and wasn't kept fresh. Ideally, I reckon it could have been kept fresh enough to hang on for the 2007 model year. The 2008 Falcon's platform could have been engineered for a more global effort. Two "efforts": A mid-luxury, LS sized Lincoln to battle the 5-Series/E-Class crowd. The second a smaller sedan to take on the (at the time) CTS, 3-Series, etc, replacing the LS as the entry Lincoln (or keeping the name and changing the size, whatever).
    The LS was a great concept but DEW was basically too expensive to make it work, Ford desperately tried to save money where it could and paid the price of less than wonderful interiors, Had the LS been Falcon based, it would have been a huge success.Just my opinion of course.


    The only vehicle related to the LS was the more upscale Jaguar S-Type.
    Two groups working on separate projects for Lincoln and Jaguar with practically no networking and as a result,
    all the costs of one group were duplicated in the other making development horrendously expensive....
    Last edited by jpd80; 01-26-2013 at 05:59 AM.

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    What about the chassis was too expensive? Simply because Ford didn't use the chassis elsewhere, thus not defraying the cost? Or is it something about the chassis that was overly expensive - i.e. too much aluminum at a time when the industry was just learning about how to use it?

    My thought on the failure is that it was a contemporary car sold by a company strongly associated with old people. My guess is if Lincoln decided to go with some advertising like Caddy did (Led Zep), signaling change, that more people would've been interested.

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    Quote Originally Posted by towingservices View Post
    "Car overall delivers luxury and drivability. I have had this car for almost two years and besides some minor issues the car drives like a champ."

    Lincoln LS 2000 - 2006
    Overall Rating:
    9 out of 10
    9 out of 10
    I absolutely love this car!,
    February 5, 2012
    By mjoi
    Value:
    9 out of 10
    9 out of 10
    Reliability:
    9 out of 10
    9 out of 10
    Driving Dynamics:
    10 out of 10
    10 out of 10
    Design/Interior & Exterior:
    10 out of 10
    10 out of 10
    Comfort & Convenience:
    10 out of 10
    10 out of 10
    Quality:
    10 out of 10
    10 out of 10
    Not At All
    10
    Definitely
    But what are you rating your LS against? Are you rating it against it's direct competitors or your friends 10 year old Corolla (just making that up, but you get my point)?

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    Re: Why It Failed: 2000-2006 Lincoln LS

    I had the opportunity to drive a preproduction LS, 6-cyl, 5-spd manual. Handled great. I loved it, but only was able to put about 15 miles on it.

    About three years ago, being in the market for a cheaper, used car to be used as a daily driver, I looked for a manual LS. It was impossible. Couldn't find one. Sad.
    2005 CTS-V, LS6, Supercharged, Headers, and lots more. (garage queen)
    2011 Cruze ECO, 1.4T, 6-spd manual. (my DD)
    2012 SRX, 3.6, AWD. (wife's car).

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