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Lincoln Black Label Isn’t a Whisky, It’s an Impressive Batch of Upscale Trims and Ownership Perks
November 17, 2014
Alexander Stoklosa

More than a year ago, we introduced you to Lincoln’s new Black Label program, which serves as the new top-of-the-line spec for all upcoming Lincoln models. Not much has happened in the interim, but that changes at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show, where Lincoln is rolling out everything Black Label, from the high-dollar interior trimmings to the models it will be offered on, to the attendant and unexpectedly luxurious presale and ownership experience.

Our first brush with Black Label indicated that it would be merely a higher-specification special-edition trim level, essentially a 21st-century version of Lincoln’s rather excellent designer-edition cars from the ’70s and ’80s. That remains partially true, but Lincoln will also be adding a lot of extras. Starting from the moment customers express interest in buying a Black Label vehicle, they’ll receive a personalized and exclusive experience.

Eventually, every Lincoln will offer Black Label, but initially only those shopping for an MKZ or an MKC in California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Michigan will have the option. A full rollout comes early next year. All of this blue-chip, AAA-rated goodness will cost $5995 on top of a 2015 MKC or MKZ—a price we consider to be a good value considering the luxe trimming and all the bonuses. Perhaps more important, though, is that this sort of program can help Lincoln differentiate itself from parent company Ford and earn back luxury buyers’ interest. Lincoln had to go big or go home, and—for once—it chose the former.
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Glad to see that Lincoln is being proactive. While the price isn't super cheap, it's still obtainable and "affordable" at only $6,000.00.

Makes me wonder if Caddy shouldn't be following suite in offering some kind of bespoke customization package to their clients. You paying attention GM?

However, looking at FoMoCo's luxury intentions worldwide, I wonder how much of what's being offered by Black Label was learned/will be shared with the Vignale subbrand in Europe?
 
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Surprised by the hate. Luxury is about the experience and that encompasses the product and non-product elements. While Lincoln certainly doesn't offer product that the enthusiast loves, I do think it's possible that their ES350 competitor + the Black Label offering might be quite compelling for a certain kind of buyer. Be interesting to see how well it plays out.
 

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So I put up with years of so so product and service....then finally you begin to get your house in order....and you want me to pay extra for service and experience that should be part of the DNA....
 

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You're comparing high-end luxury buyers to Honey Boo Boo?
Are Lincoln buyers "High End Luxury Buyers"? Most Lincolns sold are about $45K and under. I'm not trying to be nasty here, but this will be the case for a while.

Black Label is a reflection of Fords "attitude" toward Lincoln. That is to do as much as possible with as little as possible. That's not a bad thing, mind you. And Black Label, for what it is, has been done well. I do share others skepticism though on its effectiveness in boosting sales.
 

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Makes me wonder if Caddy shouldn't be following suite in offering some kind of bespoke customization package to their clients. You paying attention GM?
No doubt yes. I wonder if we'll see something like it offered on CT6. Cadillac will be watching how Lincoln fares with Black Label.
 

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I really, REALLY like the black label interiors on the MKC and MKZ, but $6,000?? The way I see it these cars are already pushing overpriced status, so tacking on 6 grand for interiors that finally look/feel the part is jumping them up into a whole different tier of luxury competition.

If you could get a black label MKZ V6 in the low $40k range that would be cool, but I see that cracking $50k easy.
 

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Honestly, a lot of people are missing the point here. Black Label is another part of the strategy Lincoln is using to bring customer service up to a level where selling fully premium cars through their dealership network isn't a silly proposition. Since they literally cannot easily make dealerships provide a Lexus-like dealership experience, they keep looking for new strategies and end runs to dangle carrots in front of the dealership body in an effort to compel them to up their game of their own volition. The fact that Lincoln can package these incentives into something that plays into a higher end marketing ploy is just icing on the cake.

Wherever you may think these two brands are relative to product cadence, in terms of finding ways to provide a truly premium customer service experience Lincoln is leaps and bounds beyond where Cadillac is right now. In fact, Cadillac only really began taking this part of the equation seriously a little less than two years ago.
 

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It's the automotive equivalent of Applebees; a low quality cut of meat smothered with bacon and cheese until palatable for suburban Honey boo-bos
Isn't Hormel's best bacon also called "Black Label". Given the demographic similarities, it surely must've inspired Lincoln. I wonder if they'll do a product tie-in promotion? How about "Buy a new Black Label Lincoln and get free Black Label Bacon for a year" as a marketing campaign. I'll bet the people would really eat up an idea like that.
 

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Honestly, a lot of people are missing the point here. Black Label is another part of the strategy Lincoln is using to bring customer service up to a level where selling fully premium cars through their dealership network isn't a silly proposition.
Point well taken.
 

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Point well taken.
Thanks. Cadillac needs a bespoke marketing/ordering scheme and they need to use it to reward dealerships that provide the kind of service cars like the ATS and CTS deserve and need to thrive in the marketplace. Honestly, given the relatively more brash reputation Cadillac has always carried over the years compared to Lincoln, a bespoke marketing approach should be a slam dunk implementation for them.
 
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