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The problem was not the effort as much as it is the execution, and the Fusion in some ways to some people executes better in certain areas including aesthetically. I have no idea how vehicles that share so little immediately bring to memory each other at every glance...
What more could Ford have done to differentiate the MKZ from the Fusion in a practical fashion?
I suggest looking at this the other way around as well
ie
the Fusion should have been differentiated more from the MKZ
(personal preference: a notchback Fusion sedan + fastback 5-door)
&
as I said about the recent CD4+3 mule spy shots,
Even the mules need to be differentiated so there's no confusion as whether the test vehicle is a Lincoln or Ford
which
was definitely not the case when we saw Fusion & MKZ mules frequently mislabeled.
Imho it's never too early to fight ambiguity.

my expectations:
-- the dedicated Design Center for Lincoln should help keep future vehicles from looking like they were designed by Ford staff ... since they won't be.
-- the nextgen engines, starting to appear, should make direct Lincoln/Ford comparos MUCH more difficult (tho I still hope future LincolnMercury vehicles will be ALL variously electrified; including thru-the-road VirtualAWD)


...I suppose the only other way would have been to offer a totally different vehicle for a different segment, like a "Lincoln ATS" of sorts...
the LincStang(s), as I'm pretty sure you know Amphibian, are on the(ir) way

&
imho a lot the(ir) "bang" would be wasted if introduced into the current lineup...

...imho2 the "first edition" of this gen's MKZ is possibly as close to as advanced as feasible considering what it's rubbing fenders with at the dealerships;
the edition following intro of the MKC (& hopefully Navi MCE) & alongside nextgen X's & S's can reach much "higher" in a finally appropriate 'setting'
 

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A more pertinent question is how much differentiation is required by actual buyers.
As you say, the parts are diferent but are they different enough?

I think the proof coming in with sales and product mix says that buyers love the MKZ
but does that mean that Ford/Lincoln should be satisfied with that result when clearly
Max Wolff wanted to do more changes..
Lincoln has already admitted that the MKZ other than late running tweaks by Mr. Wolff was basically set in stone, and the MKC concept shows that in many ways Ford agrees with me because it is utterly divergent from the Escape on which is it based. I am not bashing Lincoln as a whole , and I am only suggesting that my opinion is that the MKZ needs improvement in the area of differentiation.

I suggest looking at this the other way around as well
ie
the Fusion should have been differentiated more from the MKZ
(personal preference: a notchback Fusion sedan + fastback 5-door)
&
as I said about the recent CD4+3 mule spy shots,
Even the mules need to be differentiated so there's no confusion as whether the test vehicle is a Lincoln or Ford
which
was definitely not the case when we saw Fusion & MKZ mules frequently mislabeled.
Imho it's never too early to fight ambiguity.

my expectations:
-- the dedicated Design Center for Lincoln should help keep future vehicles from looking like they were designed by Ford staff ... since they won't be.
-- the nextgen engines, starting to appear, should make direct Lincoln/Ford comparos MUCH more difficult (tho I still hope future LincolnMercury vehicles will be ALL variously electrified; including thru-the-road VirtualAWD)



the LincStang(s), as I'm pretty sure you know Amphibian, are on the(ir) way

&
imho a lot the(ir) "bang" would be wasted if introduced into the current lineup...

...imho2 the "first edition" of this gen's MKZ is possibly as close to as advanced as feasible considering what it's rubbing fenders with at the dealerships;
the edition following intro of the MKC (& hopefully Navi MCE) & alongside nextgen X's & S's can reach much "higher" in a finally appropriate 'setting'
Interesting counterpoint, and one that I can agree with as its not utterly divergent from my earlier points. I believe that the MKC is the first product that will actually show the differentiation that Lincoln should exhibit, and is truly capable of. Honestly when I heard that staff from Audi, and Lexus were poached in the creation of the new Lincoln Motor Company I had expected that their products would excel at differentiation from their Ford brethren.
 

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Lincoln has already admitted that the MKZ other than late running tweaks by Mr. Wolff was basically set in stone, and the MKC concept shows that in many ways Ford agrees with me because it is utterly divergent from the Escape on which is it based. I am not bashing Lincoln as a whole , and I am only suggesting that my opinion is that the MKZ needs improvement in the area of differentiation.



Interesting counterpoint, and one that I can agree with as its not utterly divergent from my earlier points. I believe that the MKC is the first product that will actually show the differentiation that Lincoln should exhibit, and is truly capable of. Honestly when I heard that staff from Audi, and Lexus were poached in the creation of the new Lincoln Motor Company I had expected that their products would excel at differentiation from their Ford brethren.
That's what we've been trying to convey and IMO, the "relaunch" of Lincoln was announced way too early
because the 2013 MKZ is not indicative of the increased differentiation being applied to next generation Lincolns...

The fresh approach with MKC shows how shared platforms can be used to create high series vehicles without
compromising brand integrity.... That effort is more indicative of the talented staff you mentioned above..
 

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That's what we've been trying to convey and IMO, the "relaunch" of Lincoln was announced way too early
because the 2013 MKZ is not indicative of the increased differentiation being applied to next generation Lincolns...

The fresh approach with MKC shows how shared platforms can be used to create high series vehicles without
compromising brand integrity.... That effort is more indicative of the talented staff you mentioned above..
I can emphatically agree with every part of this post, and I look forward to quality commentary on the MKC when it debuts.
 

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I was shocked when I sat in the Lexus ES at the NY Auto Show. Lexus has always had a reputation for nice interiors, though I was decidedly unimpressed with the ES. Especially with having no attempt to flow the door panels into the dashboard. Just simple, circa 1980's 90 degree angles. I came out thinking the interior had all the panache of my parents Buick Century station wagon from the 1980's. Though the quality of materials was ok. My opinion.

As far as the MKZ interior is concerned, yes, I do see similarities with the Fusion, however chances are the two vehicles will not be cross shopped, therefore not an issue.

To sum up this thread would we all agree that:

1) several of us are disappointed in the effort
2) more because we want Lincoln to go all out against the Germans (rwd, dedicated chassis, etc) vs. the Lexus ES approach (shares platform with the Camry)
3) the MKZ isn't a bad vehicle, see point #2
 

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I have long since given up my aspirations for Lincoln to be a tier 1 luxury make compared directly with the Germans, and I feel that I should expect at the very least a degree of differentiation equal to or beyond other near luxury offerings that share a platform with a more plebeian sibling.
 

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I have long since given up my aspirations for Lincoln to be a tier 1 luxury make compared directly with the Germans
and I feel that I should expect at the very least a degree of differentiation equal to or beyond other near luxury offerings that share a platform with a more plebeian sibling.
imho, tho it might be meaningless to speculate this far out
but,
after bringing the shared-platform Lincolns up to where they ought to be,
I could still see Lincoln (or Lincoln-Continental) bringing out ONE high-end/6-digits:$150k game-changer...
...tho don't think it'd be strictly petrol-powered
...and thinking of more than ONE defeats even my imagination
 

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imho, tho it might be meaningless to speculate this far out
but,
after bringing the shared-platform Lincolns up to where they ought to be,
I could still see Lincoln (or Lincoln-Continental) bringing out ONE high-end/6-digits:$150k game-changer...
...tho don't think it'd be strictly petrol-powered
...and thinking of more than ONE defeats even my imagination
That's exactly what I would do at this point. Work from the bottom up and after the house is in order, launch a RWD flagship.
 

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I saw a MKZ in the wild yesterday for the first time.

Don't know what the excitment is about. It's alright looking, but no great shakes.
 

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I saw a MKZ in the wild yesterday for the first time.

Don't know what the excitment is about. It's alright looking, but no great shakes.
You must not be a real luxury car buyer because everyone knows that the MKZ is actually forged from pure magic unicorn tears.
 

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You must not be a real luxury car buyer because everyone knows that the MKZ is actually forged from pure magic unicorn tears.
That must be it.

Honestly I thought the thing looked kinda chubby and graceless. Perhaps it was the metallic plum color? I dunno, but it did nothing for me.
 

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We recently spent a weekend on the winding mountain roads of the Berkshires with the 2013 MKZ, the car Ford designed to relaunch its flagging luxury brand, Lincoln.
It's a nice car, with a great body and some cool features. But it's marred by a series of flaws you simply don't see in similarly priced cars from luxury kings BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi.
I'd be curious what they mean by "similary priced cars" from the mentioned brands - especially what you would get for the same money..
 

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I have seen my first few MKZ in the wild. I must say they share nothing with the fusion. I will go further and predict it will sell better then the ATS or CTS depending which one you think it competes agaisnt. It is one of the most unique looking vehicles on the road. It stands out, you cant say it looks like.......it is differnt. For that reason alone it will sell. It is a competent performer, but both Caddy's outclass it. But looks alone it will win the sales crown.
 

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Aside from the fact that the MKZ is not as divergent from the Fusion as I would like we must understand that we are at least 6 months to a year from being able to call the MKZ a rousing success.
 

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Aside from the fact that the MKZ is not as divergent from the Fusion as I would like we must understand that we are at least 6 months to a year from being able to call the MKZ a rousing success.
If indeed the MKZ is no more than a clever trim option on Fusion Titanium, the new average transaction price being 20% higher than previous and uptake of hybrid option already make it a resounding success...for Ford.:)

It's quite amusing how the desire to rival German marques spurrs some car makers on to higher levels of standard and differentiation yet those new levels are no guarantee of conversion into an aspirational vehicle. Particularly when some of the more fancied German marques are now down valuing their own reputations by slumming in the bottom end compact luxury segments.

maybe in the end, remaining solid tier 2 is better for business than chasing the whims of a sometimes fickle market.
My heart goes out to Cadillac and its ATS/CTS plans to chase BMW 3 and 5 series buyers, I just don't see the conversion
happening but maybe Cadillac discovers or reinvents that segment by doing different things to the Germans?

MKZ will continue to trundle along making sales for Lincoln, my hope is that it's need to be front and center performer
becomes diminished by the arrival of other Lincoln products that deliver strong sales and stamp the brand's new identity.
 

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If indeed the MKZ is no more than a clever trim option on Fusion Titanium, the new average transaction price being 20% higher than previous and uptake of hybrid option already make it a resounding success...for Ford.:)
Truthfully Ford could easily call the very existence of the MKZ, and the very fact that Lincoln is not a shuttered brand today a rousing success so we must be careful with how we define success.
 

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Truthfully Ford could easily call the very existence of the MKZ, and the very fact that Lincoln is not a shuttered brand today a rousing success so we must be careful with how we define success.
And success or otherwise is dependent on which metrics are used and can only be gauged by the person doing the measuring.
The end objective of a business should be to make money, lots of it but somewhere along the line, emotion and ego creeps in and
we get a distorted view of what vehicles should achieve. So the view of success depends on which end of the microscope we view.

every MKZ that sells makes a profit for Ford, the numbers may vary up and down but even after 12 months or so,
I'd say the new Lincoln models are paid for and the rest is purely frosting on the production cake..
 

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If Lincoln's only focus is on profitability than we shall see the brand shuttered in no less than 5 years. If you create excellence, and you market to those who desire such excellence in a notable way the profitability will come.
 
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