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Old 11-18-2013, 12:57 PM   #1
XDCX
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Default Concord Lincoln closing their doors after 23 years

News reports indicate that Concord, New Hampshire's only Lincoln Dealership will be closing their doors after being in business for 23 years. For the full report - click here

The report linked above is well written and I think the sentiments expressed by the Dealer Principal are ones that any stand-alone Lincoln Dealer would be able to relate to. Essentially the message is the Dealership was able to hang on because of their loyal customers and employees but reached a point where the store was no longer viable because they didn't have any inexpensive new cars to offer to potential customers.

With a certain sense of irony, the Dealer Principal indicated the decision to close the store was hastened by the fact the neighboring KIA dealership was looking to expand and agreed to lease the lot.

The linked report concluded that Lincoln remains hopeful that their new MKC utility vehicle (with LED lights that project a "Welcome Mat") will play a major role in returning the brand to the sales volume it once enjoyed.

Call me skeptic, but I don't think I'd bet too much money on Lincoln's revival based on what I've seen so far from Dearborn.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:47 PM   #2
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News reports indicate that Concord, New Hampshire's only Lincoln Dealership will be closing their doors after being in business for 23 years. For the full report - click here

The report linked above is well written and I think the sentiments expressed by the Dealer Principal are ones that any stand-alone Lincoln Dealer would be able to relate to. Essentially the message is the Dealership was able to hang on because of their loyal customers and employees but reached a point where the store was no longer viable because they didn't have any inexpensive new cars to offer to potential customers.

With a certain sense of irony, the Dealer Principal indicated the decision to close the store was hastened by the fact the neighboring KIA dealership was looking to expand and agreed to lease the lot.

The linked report concluded that Lincoln remains hopeful that their new MKC utility vehicle (with LED lights that project a "Welcome Mat") will play a major role in returning the brand to the sales volume it once enjoyed.

Call me skeptic, but I don't think I'd bet too much money on Lincoln's revival based on what I've seen so far from Dearborn.
I just don't know about Lincoln's future. I also can't see how Lincoln dealers stay in business - the lineup just isn't doing much in the luxury market right now.

I initially thought the MKZ would be a sharp sedan, but I went cold on it when the production version came out. The MKC appears to be a sharp looking compact SUV, but I'm not sure it will elevate Lincoln's image that much. Right now, I see Lincoln in Mercury's spot - a slightly more expensive Ford.

On the other hand, I think the MKC will give Lincoln a good selling SUV, and that is what Lincoln needs right now. Still, I am disappointed with Ford's remaking of Lincoln. The new product cadence is too slow and the new products aren't exactly setting the world on fire either. I was expecting better. Maybe in the future Lincoln will be something again, but right now, I'm not all that interested in a Lincoln.
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #3
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Lincoln a good selling SUV, and that is what Lincoln needs right now. Still, I am disappointed with Ford's remaking of Lincoln. The new product cadence is too slow and the new products aren't exactly setting the world on fire either. I was expecting better. Maybe in the future Lincoln will be something again, but right now, I'm not all that interested in a Lincoln.
For as much as Dearborn has done right (and that's a long list) their efforts/results with the Lincoln brand are probably their biggest failure.

I agree that the cadence of new products for Lincoln has been too slow, the products themselves have been somewhat underwhelming and the advertising (especially the commercials featuring Abraham Lincoln) have been ineffective.

I've said it before and I know it's water under the bridge at this point but I think Ford made a mistake when they killed Mercury and they should have retained the brand as an "old persons' car line."

I don't see any OEM that's really doing a great time marketing/selling to older customers. Granted, senior citizens aren't seen as a fun/sexy/vibrant demographic but the reality is they have money and they buy new cars.

Back in the late 80s I remember a Chrysler Brand Manager (I think it was Holden) who joked at a Dealer Meeting that the Chrysler Fifth Avenue appealed to "last time buyers" - a stark contrast to the "first time buyers" that most OEMs chase.

Back to Lincoln, I'm sure they can find success if they provide their dealers with compelling new products that are priced right - that been a formula for success of all OEMs. That said, it appears that Lincoln wants to chase the same demographic that Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes, BMW and Audi are chasing and that's a super-competitive segment. (Even more so since both Hyundai and KIA are trying to move upscale.)
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:52 PM   #4
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For as much as Dearborn has done right (and that's a long list) their efforts/results with the Lincoln brand are probably their biggest failure.

I agree that the cadence of new products for Lincoln has been too slow, the products themselves have been somewhat underwhelming and the advertising (especially the commercials featuring Abraham Lincoln) have been ineffective.

I've said it before and I know it's water under the bridge at this point but I think Ford made a mistake when they killed Mercury and they should have retained the brand as an "old persons' car line."

I don't see any OEM that's really doing a great time marketing/selling to older customers. Granted, senior citizens aren't seen as a fun/sexy/vibrant demographic but the reality is they have money and they buy new cars.

Back in the late 80s I remember a Chrysler Brand Manager (I think it was Holden) who joked at a Dealer Meeting that the Chrysler Fifth Avenue appealed to "last time buyers" - a stark contrast to the "first time buyers" that most OEMs chase.

Back to Lincoln, I'm sure they can find success if they provide their dealers with compelling new products that are priced right - that been a formula for success of all OEMs. That said, it appears that Lincoln wants to chase the same demographic that Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes, BMW and Audi are chasing and that's a super-competitive segment. (Even more so since both Hyundai and KIA are trying to move upscale.)
Isn't it ironic that the age group that has the most disposable income (60-79) is being ignored by the former big 3? It started with the big deal about "Gen-X" then others. The big 3 kept telling their dealers to forget the over 60 market as their next vehicle will be a hearse. Where my golf course and church parking lot were once loaded with the grey market (meaning older) driving Lincoln's, Cadillacs, Chryslers Mercurys etc...they now drive Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:15 PM   #5
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For as much as Dearborn has done right (and that's a long list) their efforts/results with the Lincoln brand are probably their biggest failure.
This sentence perfectly summarizes my disappointment with Ford Motor Company and Lincoln.

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I agree that the cadence of new products for Lincoln has been too slow, the products themselves have been somewhat underwhelming and the advertising (especially the commercials featuring Abraham Lincoln) have been ineffective.[/I]
What bothers me is that Lincoln has a team of 80 employees directed to design and market only Lincolns. That is what their only focus is supposed to be. So far, I am not impressed. Neither am I all that impressed with lead designer Max Wolff (from Cadillac) and marketer Jim Farley (from Lexus) so far. I know Alan Mulally owned a Lexus LS400/460 in the past and reportedly called it the best car he could buy. I thought for sure he would be very picky and extra sensitive about the engineering and quality of Lincoln products. Instead, he seems to be using the same playbook used by Iacocca, Eaton and Lutz when they were at Chrysler.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:30 PM   #6
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Back to Lincoln, I'm sure they can find success if they provide their dealers with compelling new products that are priced right - that been a formula for success of all OEMs. That said, it appears that Lincoln wants to chase the same demographic that Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes, BMW and Audi are chasing and that's a super-competitive segment. (Even more so since both Hyundai and KIA are trying to move upscale.)
According to Ford's PR, Lincoln is not supposed to chase the Cadillac, Mercedes, BMW, etc... buyers. Supposedly, Lincoln is chasing those buyers that want to be different and don't associate with those other premium brands. Lincoln buyers supposedly "walk to a different beat". I don't know if that is good strategy or not, but right now Lincoln isn't really doing anything. Of course, Ford executives do admit that it will be a slow, long rebirth of the brand. It won't happen overnight. So, I guess they are being realistic. Too bad their dealers have to feel the pain in slow motion.
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:57 PM   #7
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I know Alan Mulally owned a Lexus LS400/460 in the past and reportedly called it the best car he could buy. I thought for sure he would be very picky and extra sensitive about the engineering and quality of Lincoln products. Instead, he seems to be using the same playbook used by Iacocca, Eaton and Lutz when they were at Chrysler.
I give Mulally a lot of credit. I'll concede I was a skeptic when I first heard Mulally was leaving Boeing to run Ford and I really thought he'd fail due to his lack of industry experience.

While I'm sure he'll never state it publically, my bet is Mulally knew he had limited resources and all of Ford's efforts were directed toward saving the Ford brand. Mercury was killed off to save money and Lincoln was left floundering - waiting for resources once Ford was running strong again.

Now that the Ford Brand is doing well maybe Lincoln will be revived with the new products that are in the pipeline.

On a side note, Mulally's name is mentioned frequently in the Seattle press as being a likely replacement for Microsoft's CEO.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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According to Ford's PR, Lincoln is not supposed to chase the Cadillac, Mercedes, BMW, etc... buyers. Supposedly, Lincoln is chasing those buyers that want to be different and don't associate with those other premium brands. Lincoln buyers supposedly "walk to a different beat".
Wow, sounds like Lincoln's plans are to chase the same people who would typically buy Alfa Romeos, Saabs and Volvos. One more reason I'm glad I'm not trying to run a Lincoln store.....
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:18 PM   #9
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Isn't it ironic that the age group that has the most disposable income (60-79) is being ignored by the former big 3? It started with the big deal about "Gen-X" then others. The big 3 kept telling their dealers to forget the over 60 market as their next vehicle will be a hearse. Where my golf course and church parking lot were once loaded with the grey market (meaning older) driving Lincoln's, Cadillacs, Chryslers Mercurys etc...they now drive Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai.
I totally agree.

In fact, since the recession wiped out a lot of wealth from the middle class people who are still working, I think it could be argued that the senior citizen age group is even more important in terms of a demographic that has disposable income.

Concerning the types of cars that seniors are buying, I also agree that they'll often buy cars that were never targeted toward them. I've read that a large percentage of Scion xB customers are seniors who like the vehicle because it's easy to get in and out of and it offers great visibility. (The same can be said for the Nissan Cube, Honda Element and Mercedes GLK.)
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