Let’s hope that this great Amercan make didn’t peak with the Mark VII.
Back in the mid-'90s, Lincoln was riding high. Ford’s primo brand was actually outselling GM’s Cadillac division, which at the time was purveyor of stolid starter caskets to the AARP crowd.
It was Lincoln that birthed the idea of taking a big SUV from the lower-key Ford line, chroming everything that wasn’t plastic and then reselling it as a kind of 4x4 McMansion to go into the garages of actual McMansions.
You know, the Navigator.
On the strength of this monster hit, Lincoln became A Number One, the Duke of New York (and the rest of America, too).
Well, nothing but miscues and debacles like the Blackwood, Aviator, and Mark LT. And misfires like the coulda-been-a-contender LS sedan. That one was genuinely sad. Not because the car was a stinker, but because it wasn’t — and because of what it might have been. It was good-looking — and it was rear-wheel-drive, with a manual transmission available. Instead of developing it, Lincoln just dropped it.
Lincoln built lemons — while Cadillac built a better Navigator out of the Chevy Tahoe — and then upped the ante by revamping its entire passenger car lineup to appeal to people who have not fallen and can’t get up.
Now Cadillac is A Number One.
But Lincoln is apparently not croaked yet. At the Detroit Auto Show, Ford CEO Alan Mulally announced a $1 billion commitment to Lincoln’s revival, and showed the press a new concept car that bears the “DNA” of seven soon-to-be-here Lincoln models, the first reportedly based on the show car and scheduled for production circa 2014.
That’s good to hear — but unfortunately, the new car has an old name: MKZ.
There is already an MKZ in Lincoln showrooms and the problem is it’s not leaving Lincoln showrooms. At least, nowhere near enough of them are leaving showrooms. In 2011, about 27,529 MKZs found buyers.
Total Lincoln production for the year — that is, all of Lincoln’s current models combined — added up to just 85,643 units.
It’s a small number in such a big market.
Part of the reason why is the current MKZ is too obviously a Ford Fusion with a higher price tag. A much higher price tag: $34k to start vs. about $20k to start for the mere Ford. Just as the current MKS is a tarted-up Taurus. And the MKX is a not-well-disguised Ford Edge.
Cadillac, meanwhile, went clean sheet and renamed its new models — none of which (other than the Escalade SUV) shared any “DNA” with mere Chevys. For whatever reason, the public accepts badge-engineered big SUVs like the Tahoe-Suburban based Escalade (and the Expedition-Navigator, which Lincoln of course still sells). But when it comes to cars, not so much.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?