Check out the new 2013 Lincoln MKZ

With the all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ, get reintroduced to the Lincoln Motor Company. Check out the video below and you’ll see a new direction for the company which celebrates ninety years of history while also blazing new trails. You’ll see a very bold and aggressive new design and it will be interesting to see how this transforms the brand.

Get ready for holiday commercials for luxury cars

The political ads are over, so now we can be bombarded with ads for luxury cars during the holiday season.

Car shoppers will see so-called “loyalty” and “conquest” discounts in this year’s holiday sales campaigns. These deals essentially reward consumers for shopping the competition, even if they intend to stay with the brand they already drive. For example, a customer who owns a Mercedes could get an additional $750 discount for agreeing to buy or lease another. If the same owner went to a BMW showroom, he or she would likely be offered a similar amount to switch teams.

About 20% of shoppers on Edmunds.com who looked at a Mercedes C-Class during the last week of October also looked at a BMW 3 Series, according to data from the site. Among those considering the 3-series, 10% looked at a C-Class, and 10% looked at the Audi A4.

Dealers say discounts specifically tied to retaining existing customers have an impact. “It gives us something else to discuss, to look at a customer and let them know they are special to us,” says Robert Camastro, owner of Mercedes of Danbury, Ct.

The loyalty and conquest discounts vary by model and brand. Some Audi dealers are advertising discounts of up to $2,500 if you are trading in a rival luxury brand.

Lincoln, a brand of Ford Motor Co., is offering no-money-down lease deals on its MKX sport utility. Cadillac’s deals vary, but the brand is offering no-money-down, $399-a-month leases on its just-launched ATS model, which is designed to compete with the 3 series and Mercedes C Class.

It’s interesting to see Lincoln get in on the action, as their ad looks very similar to ads for the other luxury brands, but they need to do something.

GM CEO takes off the gloves in swipe at Lincoln’s viability

Things are heating up again between the General and the Blue Oval as GM CEO Akerson takes a hard swipe at the slumping Lincoln brand. GM must be very confident in the new Cadillac models coming very soon and flat out unimpressed on the new Lincoln’s coming to showroom floors. It’s time both brands look at targeting the real sales leaders in the luxury market and at this point I have to say the new Cadillac XTS and ATS are good starts.

From Auto Blog:

“They are trying like hell to resurrect Lincoln. Well, I might as well tell you, you might as well sprinkle holy water. It’s over.”

So says General Motors CEO Dan Akerson, speaking to reporters from The Detroit News. Fightin’ words to be sure, though it seems the suits at Lincoln, Ford’s luxury brand that competes with Cadillac here in the United States, have declined to comment on Akerson’s statement.

The dismissal of the Lincoln brand seems especially interesting given Akerson’s reported take on the current state of Cadillac. Akerson is said to believe that Cadillac isn’t yet where it needs to be, saying the brand needs another 12 to 24 months of gestation. By that time, there ought to be bookends to the current CTS in place in the form of the ATS (smaller) and XTS (larger, replacing the STS and DTS).

Still, Akerson doesn’t expect to “blow the doors off” Cadillac’s competition, saying instead that “they will be very competitive.” We’d think Caddy would be aiming squarely at something more like “class leading,” but what do we know?

Read the full article.

It’s time to break through for Cadillac and Lincoln

As Cadillac keeps working to gain traction against the imports Lincoln continues to fall further behind of everyone in the California luxury market. The numbers are clear and Lincoln needs a rear wheel drive platform more than ever but still no word on when this is going to happen. Cadillac is still behind the likes of Mercedes and BMW but with new offerings like the sleek and nimble Cadillac ATS that brand has a real change to increase sales for the General. Either way at some point Cadillac and especially Lincoln need to break out in the luxury market soon or it will start getting much harder to build any momentum.

From CNN.Com:

FORTUNE — Cadillac and Lincoln are two of America’s most storied car brands, with more than 200 years of automotive history between them. But in the country’s largest and highest profile luxury car market — California — they are regularly trounced by Europe’s upscale automakers and even the Japanese. Both domestic brands are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to catch up, but they have a long way to go.

Spend some time cruising the eight-lane freeways of Southern California as I did recently, and you will find yourself surrounded by fleets of Mercedes-Benz’s and BMW’s, sprinkled with an assortment of Audi sports cars, Range Rover SUVs, Jaguar sedans, and Porsches. These are mostly high-trim models, too, with AMG and M-sport badges in abundance. Black is the favored color. The Cadillac Escalade appears to be the most favored domestic offering — popular with hotel shuttle services — but you search in vain for a Cadillac CTS or any passenger car with a Lincoln’s in-your-face bow-wave grille.

Check out the full article!

Lincoln gets new ad agency but it really needs exciting products!

It’s good to see Ford is trying just about everything to rebuild Lincoln which included hiring a new ad agency for the brand. That’s all well and good but unless they deliver the sheet metal no agency out there is going to bring sales back to Lincoln. One of the problems is that Ford has went semi upscale with the Taurus Limited, Edge and Flex Limited so paying 10k or more for a Lincoln off the same chassis is a tough sell. I certainly don’t have the answers but time is ticking for Lincoln to finally get back on track!

From the Detroit Free Press:

Ford’s attempt to reinvent its Lincoln luxury brand will be sculpted by a new boutique ad agency that will relocate to more chichi digs in New York.

The new agency, which Ford and its chief advertising partner WPP have not yet named, will include an unspecified number of employees from WPP’s Team Detroit office and new hires in New York. The new team will start with about 45 employees, WPP said in a statement.

“New York is the center of the luxury market,” said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president for global marketing. “Assembling a talented, Lincoln-only creative agency team to build this brand is an important next step in our plan.”

Cameron McNaughton, an advertising veteran who has worked with other luxury automakers, will be president of the agency and report to Satish Korde, CEO, Team Detroit.

“Our goal is simple: To help our partners at Lincoln create a new future for their brand as it reinvents itself,” McNaughton said.

Read the entire article.

Lincoln MKT sales fall flat in October!

When the Lincoln MKT was launched there wasn’t a soul out there who predicited block buster sales but what we are seeing now is not good for any sales chart.

Sales figures released from Ford indicate the Lincoln MKT 3 row luxury crossover came in with a pultry 369 units sold last month! That is compared to only 506 MKT’s sold in October 2010. We’re aware that the Lincoln MKT is a large and fairly expensive luxury vehicle but 369 sales in a fairly strong month? Come on…..We tested this crossover and thought it was a solid entry but it might be time for the Blue Oval to cut the price on the MKT and start moving units out of the showrooms and into garage’s or this might be one of those great ideas that just couldn’t get traction. One area that might help the MKT is that the unit will be used as the replacement for future limo’s now that the Town Car is being laid to rest. That’s all fine and dandy but what does that do to help the retail market for the MKT? It’s high time to get creative and get the MKT selling or there will be alot of dust collected at Lincoln dealerships on this pricy people mover.

Can Lincoln make a serious comeback?

And a big sigh of relief from all of those Lincoln dealers is heard across America. This has to be a bold plan with alot of top designers dedicated to a long term plan. The luxury market is very fluid with brands getting smarter and better everyday so gaining share will be a real challenge. It’s really difficult to have an opinion until we start seeing and driving the products that will actually make it to the showrooms and for that we are looking forward to the excitement of a new beginning for Lincoln!

From Auto Blog:

The Ford Motor Company is finally marshaling the resources and money to transform Lincoln into a true luxury brand again. While the company is guarded in discussing the full details of its plan, it’s divulging enough for now to let the world know that this is going to be a serious effort. And the early signs are encouraging.

The linchpin to this turnaround will be daring new products and significantly upgraded dealerships. And the key to accomplishing that is a new organizational structure for Lincoln. Up through the 1950s, Lincoln was a stand-alone “house” with its own headquarters, designers, engineers and assembly. The new organization will not recreate that original “house” concept, but it’s a big step in the right direction.

Lincoln says it will not abandon its traditional customers, but it must attract a new generation of buyers, people with a different psychographic mindset than those who have been buying Town Cars for the last quarter century. Yet, while it may not abandon those buyers, saying they’ll suffer from benign neglect may not be too far off the mark.

Read the full article.

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