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Lincoln is having a rough year, but at least its sales volume increased 0.63 percent in August 2013 compared to the same time last year. To spur sales of its luxury brand, parent company Ford is resorting to a stair-step incentive program in Washington and New York through September 30, says The Detroit News. According to the report, this type of of program is unpopular with dealerships because, as Don Chalmers, owner of Ford and Lincoln dealerships in New Mexico, says, "They're confusing to the market, they're not necessarily good for customer satisfaction, and when you see a burst of sales at the end of a stair-step program, there's always a payback. Right after that, the sales dip."
To be clear, a stair-step program is one in which incentives are provided to dealers based on number of sales. The bonuses usually come in tiers - $500 per car for the first ten over the course of the program, $1,000 per car for the next ten, and so on - hence the stair imagery.
They also seem somewhat controversial at Ford, with Ken Czubay, the automaker's vice president of US marketing, sales and service, reportedly saying Ford doesn't run stair-step incentive programs and Erich Merkle, a sales analyst, claiming that the program applies only to select Lincolns. 2013 model year MKS, MKX and MKT are the only Lincolns that qualify dealers for the incentives, which are realized as bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 for each unit sold. The more sales thresholds that are passed, the more bonus money the dealer gets for each car.
It's worth noting that during stair-step programs, discounts are often bigger than usual, and trade-ins can be worth more, so if you're in the market for a Lincoln and you live in Washington or New York, it's probably a good time to look for deals.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Lincoln is in serious need of some relevant products, and it looks like help is on the way. In addition to the MKC crossover, which we are almost certain to see in production form this auto show season, Ford's luxury arm is also working on the next-gen MKS sedan to go on sale in 2015 for the 2016 model year.
According to Car and Driver, the 2016 Lincoln MKS will go on sale in late 2015, and it will receive notable powertrain enhancements like a nine-speed automatic transmission (a product of the joint venture between Ford and General Motors) and a new 2.9-liter EcoBoost V6 to replace the current base engine, the 3.7-liter V6. Not much is known about this new engine other than it is codenamed "Nano" and it could put out around 300 horsepower; the optional 3.5-liter EcoBoost is said to be receiving a bump in power, too. When it comes to styling, we expect a major departure from the current MKS (shown above), and the Car and Driver article has some renderings of the 2016 MKS along with some recent spy shots of MKS test mules.Permalink | Email this | Comments
With recent news that the Secret Service has begun soliciting proposals for a new armored limousine, we've been wondering what the next presidential limo might look like. The current machine, nicknamed "The Beast," has a design based on a car that's no longer sold: the Cadillac DTS. If General Motors gets the job again, which wouldn't be a surprise considering the government still owns a chunk of the company, the next limo's shape would likely resemble the new XTS (below, left). But Cadillac hasn't always been the go-to car company for presidential whips.
Lincoln has actually provided far more presidential limousines throughout history than Cadillac. In fact, the first car modified for Commander-in-Chief-carrying duty was a 1939 Lincoln K-Series called "Sunshine Special" used by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the last Lincoln used by a president was a 1989 Town Car ordered for George H.W. Bush. If President Obama wanted a Lincoln today, it would likely be an amalgam of the MKS sedan and MKT crossover, as illustrated above.
And what about Chrysler? The only record we could find of a President favoring the Pentastar is Nixon, who reportedly ordered two limos from the company during his administration in the '70s, and then another one, known today as the "K-Car limo," in the '80s after he left office. Obama, however, has a personal - if modest - connection to Chryslers, having owned a 300 himself before he took office. A 300-based Beast (above, right) would certainly earn the U.S. some style points.
Of course, we can only speculate about what the next presidential limo will look like, as what's under the skin is a closely guarded secret by the Secret Service. Like The Beast's rumored underpinnings, the next limo will probably ride atop a heavy-duty truck chassis, which any of our domestic automakers could easily provide.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Published under Cadillac, Chrysler, Chrysler 300, Lincoln, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT | send this post
Tags: cadillac xts, limousine, military, Presidential limo, Secret Service, Sedan, Specialty, Spy Photos, the beast
Ford is recalling certain 2012 Taurus, 2013 Explorer and 2012 Lincoln MKS models over fuel tank concerns. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicles built between July 19, 2011 and March 15, 2012 may have been built with fuel tanks that have a "marginally sealed seam" on the side. Those seams may not provide the strength necessary to protect the tank from rupture during a collision. They may also leak. The recall covers a total of 3,037 vehicles. NHTSA says that leaked fuel, in the presence of an ignition source, could easily cause a fire.
Dealers will inspect the tanks and replace them as need be free of charge. Owners can expect to be notified once the campaign begins on or around April 22, 2013. You can read the full NHTSA recall notice below for more information.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Tags: 2013 ford explorer, Government/Legal, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nhtsa, Recall, recalls, Safety
Lincoln has released the first 30-second ad spot for the 2013 MKS, with its seventeen intial seconds spent covering the era of Lincoln glory from 1922 to 1976. The ad almost feels like an apology for the MKS, as if the ad team really wanted to sell the 2013 MKZ but was assigned the penalty-box MKS and had their protestations silenced with, "Just make something!"
We think the MKS deserves a little more love than that.
Scroll down to see Lincoln's latest commercial for yourself.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Tags: 2013 lincoln mks, 2013 lincoln mkz, ad, commercial, Lincoln, luxury, Marketing/Advertising, mks, Mkz, Sedan, videos, youtube
Lincoln is moving away from its current grille design, a source tells AutoWeek. Using diplomatic terms, the source says the new design will be less pronounced, which will hopefully translate to "a less disfiguring overbite" in the metal. The MKR-inspired waterfall grille has been applied across the entire line of Lincoln vehicles with varying degrees of success. What works on an MKS makes an MKT resemble a baleen whale.
There's a pile of cash being thrown at Lincoln right now, and with good reason - the brand sorely needs to differentiate itself from the lineup of parent company Ford if it has any hope of competing in the wider luxury marketplace. The new grille design may show up at the Los Angeles Auto Show on refreshed MKS and MKT models, which are expected to ride atop revised suspensions, redone brakes and updated steering.Permalink | Email this | Comments