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Ford Motor Co. is developing two sedans to freshen the tired Lincoln lineup, say suppliers familiar with the company's plans.

The new Lincolns will be based on the platform that underpins the Ford Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle sport wagon, which debut his summer. Suppliers expect the new Lincolns to replace the rear-wheel-drive LS and aging Town Car, the top-selling Lincoln, though that plan is not firm. The cars would go into production in 2007 and 2008.

The increased use of front-drive platforms shared with Ford Division contrasts with the strategy of Lincoln's archrival, Cadillac. General Motors spent about $4 billion on a dedicated rwd platform and new assembly plant for Cadillac.

To assemble the new Lincolns, Ford is preparing to redevelop its Atlanta assembly plant, which makes the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. That plant had been scrambling for future products. The plan adds more uncertainty to the underused Lincoln car plant in Wixom, Mich.

Ford has not completed the details, but it is working closely with suppliers and the UAW.

Ford declined to confirm the plan for Atlanta and the new cars. A spokesman said Lincoln has five new vehicles planned during the next four years.

As part of the plant redevelopment, Ford would invest in a new body shop and upgraded paint and general assembly areas at its plant in Hapeville, Ga. Ford could announce the Atlanta redevelopment as soon as August, said one source close to the project.

The redevelopment project replaces a plan to build a new greenfield plant in Georgia. That greenfield project was put on hold last year and deemed too costly. The price tag for an all-new plant likely would have been at least $1 billion, while redeveloping the existing plant probably will run about $750 million, sources said.

Gerald Bantom, the UAW vice president for the Ford department, wouldn't reveal details of the plans. But he expressed optimism for Atlanta's future in an interview last month.

"I feel pretty good about Atlanta," Bantom said. "I think Atlanta is going to get a new product."

A supplier park is being negotiated, Bantom said. The Hapeville plant sits on a small site tucked between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Interstate 75.

Bantom said the plan being considered for Atlanta would have the plant producing new product during the first quarter of 2006.

The early 2006 timing doesn't quite fit plans for the new Lincolns that the company shared with suppliers.

One supplier says the smaller Lincoln sedan, code-named d385, would go into production in July 2007 for the 2008 model year. The larger vehicle was described as an extended-wheelbase sedan code-named e386. It would launch in January 2008 as an early 2009 model-year vehicle.

Full Story HERE
 

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I have to say that after seeing the Lincoln pickup truck and FWD Zephyr sedan at the NY auto show, I was taken aback with the interiors. They were drop-dead gorgeous. Chrome and brightwork everywhere, nice layout, etc. I think GM underestimates the value of a pleasing interior, even though they say they're getting better.

The interior looks MUCH better in person--it sparkles like crazy.

 

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Originally posted by PontiacJ8@Jul 12 2004, 03:09 PM
The new Lincolns will be based on the platform that underpins the Ford Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle sport wagon, which debut his summer.
You would think that Ford would have learned from Cadillac's past mistakes (Cimmaron, Catera). The buyers of luxury vehicles don't want an upscale Ford as a Lincoln. Let Mercury sell upscale Ford cars. Jaguar took some heat when it took the Ford Mondeo upstream as a Jag X-Type, and today it sells only about 1/3 as well as Cadillac CTS (11,001 thru June vs 29,293 for CTS). Lincoln deserves its own platform.

2007 or 2008? I feel a bit sorry for the Lincoln-Mercury dealers. That's a long time that they will have only the LS and the Town Car to sell as Lincoln cars. Although I'm a GM guy, I hate to see a domestic car line slip like that.
 

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First point I'd like to make.. why is it that I even bother to read blueovalnews.com, when I get more Ford news here than I do there?

Second point.. The LS is a very nice car. It's no CTS competitor, but it's still pretty solid. I think the only way, however, that the new cars can be worth much in the luxury market is if they are exclusively AWD, because FWD luxury doesn't sell nearly as well as RWD. The ride quality is better and the handling more intuitive. But AWD is an easier sell in the northern climates than RWD, because so many people are still afraid of RWD cars in snow. Both the Freestyle and Five Hundred were built with AWD as a primary concern, so maybe Ford wants to position Lincoln as an American Audi (but with build quality). Or maybe it's just wishful thinking...
 

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"And now the end is near.......and so I face the final curtain....."


It's like the product planners at Lincoln sit around trying to come up with ways to screw up Lincoln.


"Hey Bob"

What?"

"You know what would really be screwed up?"

"What?'

"Lets add a Mazda based vehicle to our line"

"I like it...what else have you got?"

"Lets replace our big, popular, best selling sedan with a little cheese d**k FWD sedan, you know, like the same thing that we did to totaly screw up the Continental a few years ago?" and while were at it, let take our only performace sedan and replace that with a FWD SUV!"

"Yeah!"(high fives all around)

"If we work hard....we can have Lincoln out of business by 2008!"

"Hey Bob!...wannna try the Blackwood again?"

"Sure, why not, it was a bomb the 1st time, maybe we can loose even more money this time around"

(Sound of water bong bubbling)

"Heres a plan for a V8 powered, RWD sedan, coupe and convertible sedan, with a 6 speed automatic, center opening doors, we can sell this car profitably for $40-$50,000."

"HA HA HA.....who do you think we are Cadillac or something? Thats not something that will sell.....pass me that crackpipe....and give me those plans, the executive washroom is out of toilet paper"
 

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You guys are funny!

Truth of the matter both Ford and Lincoln could use some more product. Platform sharing is a great thing when we are talking GM's but not Ford?

Rember Fords can draw from Jag and Volvo aswell. The 500 isn't a Cimmeron or a Catera or even a Mazda. It is a mid to large size sedan,avalible in AWD, CVT or 6speed AisinAW trans, 0-60 faster than an Audi A4 and hugh inside.

I think a highly content model will fit well in the Lincoln stable. Maybe with the new rumored 3.5L v6
 

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Originally posted by MCGARRETT@Jul 12 2004, 11:44 AM
"And now the end is near.......and so I face the final curtain....."


It's like the product planners at Lincoln sit around trying to come up with ways to screw up Lincoln.


"Hey Bob"

What?"

"You know what would really be screwed up?"

"What?'

"Lets add a Mazda based vehicle to our line"

"I like it...what else have you got?"

"Lets replace our big, popular, best selling sedan with a little cheese d**k FWD sedan, you know, like the same thing that we did to totaly screw up the Continental a few years ago?" and while were at it, let take our only performace sedan and replace that with a FWD SUV!"

"Yeah!"(high fives all around)

"If we work hard....we can have Lincoln out of business by 2008!"

"Hey Bob!...wannna try the Blackwood again?"

"Sure, why not, it was a bomb the 1st time, maybe we can loose even more money this time around"

(Sound of water bong bubbling)

"Heres a plan for a V8 powered, RWD sedan, coupe and convertible sedan, with a 6 speed automatic, center opening doors, we can sell this car profitably for $40-$50,000."

"HA HA HA.....who do you think we are Cadillac or something? Thats not something that will sell.....pass me that crackpipe....and give me those plans, the executive washroom is out of toilet paper"
Just like we did with the GT, jacking the price up to $150,000 for 500+ HP was a splended idea, even though GM can do the same thing to their Corvette at $50,000
 

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The Mazda6-based Zephyr is not a badge-engineered Cimarron or Catera; as a prototype, it seems to be a Lincoln in every sense of the word. The new LS and Town Car replacements will be based on the same platform as the Ford Five Hundred, but that's based on the very impressive Volvo P2X platform (Volvo S80, S60, V70, XC90). I'm willing to bet that the new Town Car (and probably the new LS) will NOT be offered in a FWD version.

With the Zephyr, new Aviator, new LS, and new Town Car (and probably the Mark LT as well), Lincoln has a very competitive lineup. As a fan of old brand names, I wish Lincoln could get a unique platform or two, but that's not going to happen.
 

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I think this is good news. Ford is positioning Lincoln as their pure-luxury/American-luxury brand, vs. the Euro/high-tech luxury Volvo, high-end/sport-lux' Jaguar, off-road Land Rover, and exotic Aston Martin.

I'm not sure we'll see the end of the RWD sport Lincoln (Lexus does good business with the GS if not the IS, and the Lincoln LS is still a good seller if not very profitable) - however the focus is clearly on stylish, high-quality cruisers (whether in sedan, coupe, SUV, crossover, of pickup guize). I can't imagine they'll want to throw away their investment in the LS and Thunderbird at Wixom when they could still be very competative products with a makeover, and would fill a hold in the corporate lineup with Jag' going further upmarket with the new all-aluminum cars.

Another way to look at this is that Lincoln will have AWD available across their entirelineup, which is where the market seem to actually be headed (not back to RWD).
 

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...as for these two new cars (new Continental and Town Car?) lets hope Ford is smart enough to 1. give the new Continental suicide doors a la the stunning concept to set it apart from the competition, and 2. re-engineers the platform for the new Hurricane v8, which would give them the lead in the horsepower race.

As long as they out-bling and out-muscle the competition I don't see how they can lose.
 

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Originally posted by awalbert88@Jul 12 2004, 11:36 AM
First point I'd like to make.. why is it that I even bother to read blueovalnews.com, when I get more Ford news here than I do there?
The only news on Blueovalnews.com is about Ford recalls or some other anti-Ford biased article. The forums are the only thing worth a damn on that site. The owner can't seem to get over the fact that Ford tried to sue him about publishing confidential information on the web site.

I have not found a good website for Ford like there is for GM. This site, and to a much lesser extent Cheersandgears.com, do a great job keeping me up to date on GM and other companies.

Mark
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation Crown Vic/Grand Marquis are stretched Five Hundred/Montegos.

I saw a Five Hundred prototype at the "Taste of Chicago" almost 2 weeks ago. The rear seat room was huge. A Town Car on a stretched platform would be like a ballroom inside. I hope that the 3.5L DOHC V6 won't be the only engine option.
 

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The CV/GM will probably end consumer sales once the 500/Montego are out, being as those cars are actually bigger inside. Unless being larger out the OUTSIDE is a selling point I don't see the point of the Panther cars anymore.

RWD = not a selling point
Front bench = a very minor and declineing selling point
BoF = a selling point only for fleets
v8 = minor selling point, and again mainly to reassure fleet operators of their durability

And again I think this (500/P2) platform is being way under-rated on this board and elsewhere. The RWD Cadi's may have the edge in 10/10th handeling (do any perspective buyers of these kinds of cars care?) but these new FWD/AWD Lincolns should be much more polished, with more interior room and flexability, signifigantly safer, with more powertrain and transmission options all while offering more bang-for-buck.
 

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I don't agree about the decision to build Lincolns on the fwd/awd platform. To me, that is taking the brand downscale when in fact it should be moving upscale. Like it or not, rwd (with awd as an option) is still the choice in the luxury car market. If you want to be world class, you have to have rwd and extremely high quality.

The Zephyr was ok because I understood why that was being designed that way (i.e. Lexus ES330), but I figured the rest of Lincoln's car lineup would offer rwd platforms. The LS showed what Lincoln could do, now I guess Lincoln has decided to go the old Chrysler way - we don't offer any rwd sedans. A big mistake in my opinion.

Ford spends all this time and money on fixing up the Mustang and working every design detail on the GT sports car just to make it right, but when it comes to its luxury brand, "good enough" is the word. I think priorities are a little messed up. Toyota did its Lexus brand right, and I was hoping Lincoln was going to follow in its footsteps.

:flush:
 

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I ((HOPE)) this is (NOT) true the LS is the best Lincoln in years possibly ever! Why go FWD/FWD based AWD when Caddy is going RWD/RWD based AWD. Are they trying to position Lincoln to compete with Buick instead of Caddy? :huh: What are they going to do with the DEW98 platform becides the new version of it they use on the Stang? I would have thought they would have made a new Continintal on a streached DEW then streached it again to do a new Town Car. FWD/AWD Mazda based Zephyr--RWD/AWD DEW based Continintal coupe/sedan--RWD DEW based Town Car sounds good to me! <_< Again I hope for there sake this is (((NOT TRUE!!))) <_< If it is true may Caddy kick there *$%^%$*'s :D
 

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Originally posted by ByTheLake+Jul 12 2004, 04:28 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (ByTheLake @ Jul 12 2004, 04:28 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-PontiacJ8@Jul 12 2004, 03:09 PM
The new Lincolns will be based on the platform that underpins the Ford Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle sport wagon, which debut his summer.
You would think that Ford would have learned from Cadillac's past mistakes (Cimmaron, Catera). The buyers of luxury vehicles don't want an upscale Ford as a Lincoln. Let Mercury sell upscale Ford cars. Jaguar took some heat when it took the Ford Mondeo upstream as a Jag X-Type, and today it sells only about 1/3 as well as Cadillac CTS (11,001 thru June vs 29,293 for CTS). Lincoln deserves its own platform.

2007 or 2008? I feel a bit sorry for the Lincoln-Mercury dealers. That's a long time that they will have only the LS and the Town Car to sell as Lincoln cars. Although I'm a GM guy, I hate to see a domestic car line slip like that. [/b][/quote]
There is no evidence to support that GM isn't still sharing low class parts in their upscale vehicles. Despite a $60,000 plus price tag, the new Cadillac STS looks like a $25,000 car on the outside. GM continues to share parts across the board and the Sigma platform isn't just confined to Cadillac CTS, STS, etc.
 

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Originally posted by laserwizard+Jul 13 2004, 12:00 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (laserwizard @ Jul 13 2004, 12:00 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 12 2004, 04:28 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-PontiacJ8
@Jul 12 2004, 03:09 PM
The new Lincolns will be based on the platform that underpins the Ford Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle sport wagon, which debut his summer.

You would think that Ford would have learned from Cadillac's past mistakes (Cimmaron, Catera). The buyers of luxury vehicles don't want an upscale Ford as a Lincoln. Let Mercury sell upscale Ford cars. Jaguar took some heat when it took the Ford Mondeo upstream as a Jag X-Type, and today it sells only about 1/3 as well as Cadillac CTS (11,001 thru June vs 29,293 for CTS). Lincoln deserves its own platform.

2007 or 2008? I feel a bit sorry for the Lincoln-Mercury dealers. That's a long time that they will have only the LS and the Town Car to sell as Lincoln cars. Although I'm a GM guy, I hate to see a domestic car line slip like that.
There is no evidence to support that GM isn't still sharing low class parts in their upscale vehicles. Despite a $60,000 plus price tag, the new Cadillac STS looks like a $25,000 car on the outside. GM continues to share parts across the board and the Sigma platform isn't just confined to Cadillac CTS, STS, etc. [/b][/quote]
Well who is useing the Sigma at this time becides Caddy??? I would REALLY LIKE TO KNOW?? :angry: <_< :eek: :p
 

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Originally posted by Carguy@Jul 12 2004, 11:50 PM
What are they going to do with the DEW98 platform becides the new version of it they use on the Stang?
Ford will drop DEW98. I don't even think that the new Mustang has much in common with DEW98. I would not be surprised to see a new Cougar and Thunderbird be spun off the new Mustang platform.
 
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