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.

  

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.

  

Lincoln MKT “Town Cars” on the way!

Lincoln will keep the “Town Car” nameplate on limos after discussing the decision with those who operate livery businesses. Smart move on Ford’s part as the Town Car is iconic in the limo business and the Lincoln MKT is the perfect vehicle to take the torch and run with it! We reviewed the Lincoln MKT and we walked away very impressed with this top of the line luxury SUV so it’s not a surprise that the new black limo’s riding around the country will be Lincoln MKT Town Cars!

From the Detroit Free Press:

Lincoln debuted new limousine and livery versions of its Lincoln MKT large crossover today at the International Limousine Charter and Tour show in Las Vegas.

The new vehicles will replace the Lincoln Town Car, which will be discontinued later this year, but the Town Car name will live on.

Ford has named its new livery and limousine vehicles the Lincoln MKT Town Car.

Read the full article.

  

Related Posts