Can Lincoln’s New Name Harken to Success of the Past?
Just a few weeks ago we heard about a potential name change for Lincoln. At the time, I thought it could be pretty big news and represent a shift in Ford’s luxury brand as it seeks to move it away from the stodgy associations of Town Car airport transportation and retired folks in Florida.
Where’s the excitement and performance of the 1961 Continental, and what happened to the luxury and class we haven’t really seen since, well, the 1938 Zephyr? The split grille of the old Zephyr shows up on modern Lincolns, but otherwise the cars are just Fords with a spit-shine and price increase.
And that name change foreshadowed not long ago? It’s really not a name change at all. Instead of being known as Lincoln, the brand will adopt the name Lincoln Motor Company.
And no one will care.
Lincoln doesn’t need a new name. Adding “Motor Company” to dealership stationery isn’t going to change anything. What Lincoln needs are good cars. Currently, a variation of any Lincoln model can be found with a Blue Oval logo at any Ford dealer, with many of the same luxuries and a much cheaper price. That’s the first thing “Lincoln Motor Company” needs to change.
To Ford’s credit, part the metamorphosis will include the creation of a Lincoln-specific product development team. However, that team will still likely be tied to existing Ford platforms, as anything otherwise is simply cost prohibitive.
Lincoln finds itself in the precarious position of falling way behind foriegn competition (Lexus, BMW, Audi) while also not keeping up with domestic competition (Cadillac and Buick). That’s a tough spot to be, and it will take a lot of great new product and heavy marketing to dig out. I’m already of the belief that the best Lincoln values are not found new at dealers, but in places like the CarGurus used listings.
We’ll see if Ford can change that.
Would you consider a Lincoln over other luxury car brands?