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.

  

Lincoln MKT next-gen Town Car for Ford

Mulally Ford is not wasting time preparing for the end of the line for the venerable Lincoln Town Car. Ford is making their best pitch to NYC that the new Lincoln MKT has the chops to replace the fabled Town Car for chauffeured drives around town and to and from the airport. The MKT will have the capability to be stretched for limo usage and include all wheel drive which should make this the future ride for chauffeured passengers. The Lincoln MKT is a luxurously appointed vehicle that can fill a big void for Ford and also keep many workers building product that should turn a tidy profit as well.

Great planning by Ford/Lincoln as I have the feeling we’ll be seeing quite a few “stretched” Lincoln MKT Town Rides around the city!

From CNN.com:

FORTUNE — If you’re wondering what might replace all those aging black Lincoln Town Cars used as New York City limousines when they finally reach a state beyond repair — wonder no more. Ford Motor Co (F, Fortune 500). is offering a special version of its Lincoln MKT crossover, announed just ahead of the Paris Auto Show’s public opening on October 2nd.

Black MKTs (and make no mistake — livery drivers will insist on black) are already showing up in Gotham, being put through their paces by chauffeurs trying to figure out whether their clients judge them sufficiently prestigious and sufficiently sturdy to withstand the wear and tear of livery operation in the big city.

Read the full article here.

  

Why did Ford build the Flex?

Why did Ford build the Flex? This boxy vehicle was supposed to fill a gap in the lineup that was partially occupied by the Ford Windstar..ehhhhh do I have to mention the Freestar??? Even though Ford didn’t put huge numbers out there for the Flex to hit in regards to sales it has to be a disappointment for The Blue Oval. This Flex is so damn boxy and awkward it really turns a lot of us off and for the price tag you would hope for more better styling. (hint: Chevy Traverse or GMC Acadia to name a few)

It is interesting to see that Peter Horbury has been shipped out of the design studios for Ford after laying an egg with the under achieving big box Flex and has new assignments on his desk somewhere far away from Mulally’s office. This SUV/Crossover segment is huge and very profitable and Ford just blew it with this one. I know there are those of you who like the Flex and have even purchased one but how many of your friends or kids like it too? The Ford division is not in the business to design and build micro niche vehicles! (I just made up micro niche) Ford is and always will be a mass appeal brand and maybe, just maybe, the Flex box would have been better off as a Mercury. I know it would have been just as ugly but hey, Mercury is a very small division and isn’t expected to put up the big numbers like the Ford guys and gals.

The underpinnings of this car are actually solid and the new Lincoln MKT looks fabulous (even though the price tag is high) in a much better skin so maybe we’ll see a completely new Flex box next time around! Let’s only hope…

  

Lincoln goes after Generation X demo

2010-Lincoln-MKT

As a proud Lincoln owner, I know that they’ve been making great cars for years. The LS was a great vehicle, and the new MKZ is a great sedan as well. The MKS, the new flagship vehicle, is a beast that would satisfy most Lexus buyers with its styling and performance. Now they’ve added the new MKT crossover (pictured above) to the mix.

The marketing message is also starting to sharpen as well, as Lincoln targets buyers in their 30’s and 40’s – the Gen X market.

Generation X, often referred to as the “slacker generation,” has shed that stereotype and now is a coveted consumer group at the top of its earning potential, Ford Motor Co. officials say.

With pockets flush with cash, consumers born between 1965 and 1976 are the target of Ford’s Lincoln brand, which is trying to reinvent itself after years of giving ground in the profitable luxury segment.

“We have an aging owner body, and we have the ability to move it in the right direction and get younger,” Matt VanDyke-marketing communications director, tells Ward’s at a recent media event here.

“To think we could flip over and get young 20-somethings into a luxury product at this point and consider Lincoln is something that I think is too much of a stretch,” he says.

Lincoln brass spent considerable time determining the unique makeup of Gen Xers, which VanDyke defines as being in their mid-30s to mid-40s. Unlike traditional luxury buyers, these consumers don’t want to appear “ostentatious.” Rather, they are “folks that are time-starved and look at luxury as something that makes their life simple and easier.”

How are they approaching this? One is an emphasis on technology. The design of the cars evokes a high-tech feeling that bears little resemblance to older Lincolns, yet it’s not as edgy as the recent Cadillac designs so boomer buyers should feel comfortable as well. The other part of the strategy involves music. The campaign’s TV spots feature music that the Gen X group finds nostalgic. The ad for the Lincoln MKS features a remake of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” while the ad for the Lincoln MKT uses a version of the 1980s classic “Under the Milky Way,” by Australian alternative rock band The Church. Check out a clip of the video below.

The strategy makes sense. I remember the Cadillac ad several years ago featuring the Led Zeppelin song. Music can help to reposition a brand, so Lincoln seems to be on the right track.

  

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