...Continental moves over for two EVs in Flatrock...
Ford is preparing to launch a pair of mid-size crossover electric vehicles according to sources. One Ford and one Lincoln are code named CDX746 and CDX747 are similar in size to the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus and both will be 2023 models. The vehicles were originally destined for Ford's plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico but have been moved to Flatrock Assembly in Michigan just south of Detroit. Flatrock Assembly is where the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental are currently built.
These two EVs are slated for about 65,000 units annually and because of the move to Flatrock, essentially spell the end for the slow selling Lincoln Continental.... at least in the US. It is possible that Lincoln could continue building the Continental in China and import it to the U.S., however tariff concerns which killed the Ford Focus Active from being imported from China could also filter over onto the Continental.
The new Lincoln Aviator will be introducing an Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview that uses the forward camera to sense potholes in the road and adjusts the suspension to minimize the impact felt in the cabin. The system uses 12 sensors to monitor vehicle conditions like vehicle motion, body movement, steering input, acceleration, and braking. The sensors read at 500 times per second and can make adjustments 100 times per second, this totals out to 23,000 inputs per second of data. The system can operate each wheel independently. Lincoln developed the entire system in-house.
Additionally, in a nod to the air sprung Lincolns of the past, there will be an available Air Glide Suspension which replaces the coil springs with guided air springs, enabling the Aviator to ride at several ride heights. Over 70 mph, the Aviator lowers to Aero height for the best in efficiency and performance.
The Lincoln Aviator arrives in dealerships summer of 2019.
Lincoln is giving the Navigator a few styling updates along with some new tech for the 2020 model year. For those who dislike huge amounts of chrome, the Navigator will now be offered in a Monochromatic package available on the Reserve series. The Monochromatic package will be available in three colors, Pristine White, Ceramic Pearl, and Infinite Black and reflect the minimalist trend in interior décor.
On the technology side of things, Lincoln's Phone As A Key technology becomes standard. This technology will first arrive on the Lincoln Aviator this summer. Using the Lincoln Way app, the technology allows drivers to lock/unlock the doors, open the liftgate, start and drive their cars all without the use of a standard keyfob. Power runningboards are now standard, as are heated and ventilated front seats and a wireless charging pad for certain mobile phones.
The largest tech add is Lincoln Co-Pilot360 which includes, auto high-beam headlamps, blind spot detection, lane-keeping system with driver alert, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, dynamic brake support, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and rear-view camera washer.
Lincoln says that 66 percent of Navigator buyers are coming from other brands and when customers pick Navigator, they overwhelmingly choose Reserve or Black Label series at a rate of about 90 percent. The 2020 Navigator will arrive in dealerships in November 2019.
Lincoln says that their SUV sales are at an 18-year high.
Back in June we reported that the Lincoln MKC would be changing its name to Corsair. While previously used as an Edsel name, Corsair fits in with Lincoln's nautical naming theme for some of their SUVs, Corsair being a small sailing vessel. Now, this week TTAC has uncovered a NHTSA document showing the engine lineup for the coming small crossover and it includes a plug-in hybrid variant.
The plug-in hybrid will be a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder likely borrowed from the Fusion S. In that application it makes 175 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. There is no word on driving range yet, but one thing that is for sure is that the PHEV version is only available in all-wheel drive. Two other powertrains will be available but they are the 2.0T and 2.3T carried over from the existing car.
When will the Corsair arrive? That's anyone's guess, but our guess is that like its bigger brothers the Lincoln Nautilus, and Lincoln Aviator, it will be unveiled at the LA Auto Show this coming November.
Missed out? Lincoln will be doing a second run in 2020.
If you were hoping to get your hands on the upcoming Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition, then we have some bad news for you. Lincoln announced this morning that all 80 models planned for this year have been sold. Unlike most special models where you have to go through a unique ordering process, buyers could walk into any Lincoln dealer and place an order. Lincoln will notify the lucky 80 approved customers next month, with deliveries to begin this summer.
"Response from customers has been extremely positive, with interest exceeding the planned production for the limited-edition run," the company said in a statement.
Lincoln is planning a second run of Continental Coach Door models for the 2020 model year. More information will come out at a later date.
Back in March, we reported that Lincoln showed it dealers a Continental with rear-hinged suicide doors and announced plans to build it. We didn't have any details of when this model would launch or why - our speculation at the time was Lincoln showing some commitment to its car lineup. Today, Lincoln has revealed the suicide door version of the Continental.
The 2019 Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition pays tribute to the introduction of the Continental nameplate and one of its most iconic features - the suicide-hinged doors that were first offered in 1961.
Lincoln teamed with Cabot Coach Builders in Massachusetts to produce this special edition model. Lincoln did all of the engineering, metalwork and everything else required for this vehicle. The base vehicle and necessary parts are sent to Cabot which will produce the model. It begins with the Continental being stretched out six-inches. Aside from giving the space required for the suicide doors, it also makes for a more spacious rear seat, complete with a pass-through console featuring a stowable tray table and wireless charging pad. Lincoln says the changes only add about 100 to 150 pounds to the overall weight.
Power will come from the twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.
Lincoln is only planning on building 80 Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Editions for the 2019 model year, with pricing expected to begin above the $100,000 mark. The automaker did mention that it is planning to make a "limited" number of 2020 model year vehicles, though no number was given. If the rumor about the current Continental going away in next few years proves to be true, this isn't a bad way to give it a final curtain call.
Gallery: 2019 Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition
80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental Arrives In Style With Iconic Center-Opening Doors
Introduction of Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition pays homage to the iconic style of the 1960s
This limited-edition Continental offers nod to heritage while providing refinements for today’s discerning luxury client, such as an elegantly crafted rear-seat pass-through console with stowable tray table and tablet holder
Limited run of 80 units, honoring Continental’s 80th anniversary, will be produced for the 2019 model year, each personalized with a unique badge; Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition is scheduled to arrive next summer
NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2018 – “Notice the doors,” the vintage advertisement for the Lincoln Continental began. “And notice how they open. From the center, to make everyone’s entrances graceful.”
With that, an enduring automotive design legend was born – the coach doors – or center-opening doors, which conveyed elegance and a touch of Hollywood glamour.
Today, six decades later, Lincoln is bringing back a modern version of these iconic center-opening doors with the introduction of the Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition. A limited run of just 80 units will be produced.
The Continental Coach Door Edition arrives as Lincoln is riding a new wave of product momentum. Following the reveal of the all-new Lincoln Aviator at the Los Angeles Auto Show, this 80th Anniversary Continental celebrates the heritage of one of America’s most beloved luxury sedans.
“This Lincoln Continental echoes a design that captured the hearts of car enthusiasts around the world,” says Joy Falotico, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. “It’s something bespoke only Lincoln can offer in a thoroughly modern way.”
Glamour and allure
Lincoln Continental began as a custom luxury vehicle hand-crafted by chief stylist Eugene T. Gregorie for Edsel Ford in 1939. Years later, the 1961 Continental introduced the unique center-opening doors and a chrome-accented upper shoulder line that established a signature look for Lincoln.
“The center-opening doors became synonymous with the Lincoln Continental, even though they were only featured primarily in the ’60s,” says David Woodhouse, design director, The Lincoln Motor Company. “But they struck such a chord that they’re still remembered so fondly today.”
Woodhouse says the element is both dramatic and distinctive. “It was truly a watershed moment for us in terms of iconic design,” he adds.
Each of the 80 units in this limited production for 2019 will have a special door sill plate featuring its number in the run. A limited number of additional Continental Coach Door Edition sedans will be available as well for the 2020 model year.
The Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door provides the refinements and advanced features today’s luxury vehicle client desires. From the doors to the seating to the Lincoln Black Label interior, no detail has been overlooked. Rear-seat amenities are uniquely tailored, featuring an elegantly crafted pass-through console that offers a stowable tray table with tablet holder and wireless charging pad.
Rear-seat passengers will be more comfortable than ever. The six inches added to the car’s wheelbase allow for the placement of the larger coach doors, while also delivering best-in-class second-row legroom.
Celebrating form and function
The center-opening coach doors are a celebration of both form and function. Woodhouse says they showcase the interior of an exceptionally beautiful vehicle. The 90-degree opening makes for easy, graceful entry and exit by allowing passengers to turn to sit to enter, then exit the car by stepping forward and out.
“People appreciate elegance and glamour,” says Woodhouse. “And they want the easiest way to get in and out of a vehicle. These doors answer to both.”
The car is meticulously crafted inside and out, integrating technologies that both assist and entertain. This Continental senses a driver’s approach and lights up with Lincoln’s trademark sequential welcoming embrace. Its award-winning Head-Up display contributes to a custom driving experience by letting drivers choose what information is projected onto the windshield display. The feature is so innovative that it is visible even with ambient lighting and when the driver is wearing polarized sunglasses.
In keeping with the spirit of arriving in style, the 2019 Lincoln Continental’s innovative electronic door system allows doors to be unlatched in a smooth, single motion, making entry and exit both effortless and quiet.
With Lincoln’s exclusive 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, Continental delivers the power and performance today’s luxury clients expect with an impressive 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Three Drive Modes, including Normal, Sport and Comfort, allow clients to personalize their driving experience.
To complement its smooth, powerful drive, this special edition features Perfect Position seats that adjust 30 ways, plus Active Noise Control for a quiet interior. A Revel® Ultima Audio experience allows drivers to select one of three listening modes, including stereo, audience and on-stage.
Continental clients will have their choice of Lincoln Black Label themes, the brand’s most personalized level of luxury, including Chalet and Thoroughbred. Lincoln Black Label not only provides the highest quality of materials in customized designer themes, it also offers a host of membership privileges. These include annual vehicle detailing, anytime carwashes, and access to a selection of restaurants where noted chefs will provide a curated dining experience.
This limited-edition model is available to order now through Lincoln Black Label dealers. The Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition is set to arrive next summer.
Executives hope Grand Touring can do something similar to Ford's EcoBoost engines, popularize something consumers haven't fully gotten on board yet with.
The upcoming Lincoln Aviator will be offering a very potent plug-in hybrid powertrain offering 450 horsepower and a whopping 600 pound-feet of torque. But what will Lincoln call this Aviator model? Most competitors use something like E-Hybrid, PHEV, or a 'e' to the end of the model. According to Automotive News, Lincoln will be using the Grand Touring (GT) to designate electrified variants.
"Quite simply, it came down to, what does it do? And what it does is that it makes the vehicle more exciting to drive. It's the purest definition of Grand Touring," said Robert Parker, Lincoln's marketing chief.
Lincoln went through various names, "including variations of the letter E," in internal discussions and focus groups before landing on Grand Touring.
"Consumers may have liked the word but didn't know what it meant. If I have to go spend money to describe to customers what a new word means, I've taken money away from promoting Aviator," explained Parker.
"You can talk yourself into these letters and conventions, but when you go out into the consumer space, they're very confused. EcoBoost wasn't new; direct-injection technology was around in the late '80s, but nobody seemed to find the magic until EcoBoost."
We'll see if this works out for Lincoln when the Aviator begins hitting dealers next summer.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
Ford has been banking on China to help revive sales of Lincoln and made plans to start building models in late 2019. But the on-going trade war between the U.S. and China has caused the company to reconsider their plans.
“What we want to do is accelerate that. We will look for opportunities, but it’s a big undertaking and I think it won’t be a significant change in our plans,” said Joy Falotico, head of Lincoln and Ford’s chief marketing officer to Bloomberg.
Currently, Lincoln doesn't have any local production in China. Instead, the brand has been importing vehicles from the U.S. which has meant getting hit with a 40 percent tariff by the Chinese government. This has caused sales of Lincoln vehicles to slow to a crawl. Last year, Lincoln sales rose 66 percent in China. But in October, sales are up just 3 percent.
Ford is trying to move the timing of Lincoln production to sometime before late 2019. According to Falotico, moving the timing slightly would be a big help. The first model that would be part of this plan is the recently introduced Aviator.
Also under consideration is Lincoln plans to export some Chinese-built models to the U.S. Falotico said the brand would likely build the same models in both countries.
Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)
Lincoln launched a pilot program for its own subscription service through Ford's Canvas earlier this year in the Los Angeles and the San Francisco areas. Unlike other programs that offer new vehicles, Lincoln's program offered off-lease vehicles that ranged from 2015 to 2017 model years. This allowed Lincoln to offer lower prices than competitors - prices ranged from $500 to $950 plus variable pricing on the amount of miles per month. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lincoln's subscription service isn't doing so hot.
“I’ve been surprised how few people are genuinely interested in that type of ownership. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said this is the next big thing. A lot of people are struggling to make the math work,” said Lincoln’s director of marketing, sales and service, Robert Parker.
Parker explained that most of the customers who signed up needed a vehicle for a short time like searching for a new vehicle or needing something to get them around while their car was in the shop.
“The amount of people coming out after one or two months is very high. It’s just kind of an interim process,” said Parker.
Lincoln is going to be making some changes to their program, although it is unclear what those might be. Parker threw out the suggestion of involving Lincoln dealers in the service, along with expanding vehicle ability.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
While the Lincoln MKT will depart from consumer showrooms when the Aviator launches next year, it will be sticking around for some time to serve those in the livery market.
Robert Parker, Lincoln's marketing manager tells Automotive News that the MKT has become a favorite for livery services and funeral homes and they want to keep around for a just a bit longer.
"MKT can fill that role profitably for the company and will for the time being. We don't think it negatively impacts the brand," said Parker.
"It has a place. Just like a long snapper on a football team. Nobody knows their name, or cares, but if he screws up a snap, it's a bad day."
Why not have the Aviator take on that role? According to Parker, the brand doesn't want the new Aviator on rental lots which could be detrimental to their growing cache.
Consumers have completely forgotten about the MKT. Through August, Lincoln has only moved 1,653 MKTs, a 22 percent drop when compared to the same time last year.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
Dealers in the top 30 U.S. luxury markets are being asked
Lincoln is slowly rising back up with products such as the Navigator, the 2019 Nautilus, and the upcoming Aviator. This has given the brand confidence and is asking dealers in the top 30 U.S. luxury markets to split away from Ford and build stand-alone stores.
"Customers expect the environment to be equal to the product. They want to buy a luxury product in a luxury environment," said Robert Parker, Lincoln's director of marketing, sales, and service.
Executives point out that the stand-alone stores regularly outsell Ford-Lincoln dealers and are responsive for most of the sales gains in recent years.
About 150 dealers are located in the 30 markets that Lincoln says account for 70 percent of the industry's luxury sales. Already, about half of the dealers have either started construction or finished standalone. Lincoln wants the remaining dealers to do the same and is offering some incentives; help finding land for their new store, large bonuses for each vehicle, and allow them to sell the high-end Black Label models. Dealers can say no to this, but executives believe most will make the switch.
"This is the time for us to leverage this opportunity with the world-class products and continue to evolve and step up our client experience," said Greg Wood, Lincoln's sales and service manager.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
Unlike the Ford Fusion which will end production in 2020, the fate of the Lincoln MKZ is very unclear. Will it go away? Will it become something else? What we do know is that MKZ will be kicking around for a couple more years.
CarsDirect has gone through the order guide for the 2019 MKZ and pulled out some interesting tidbits. The first is the removal of the Black Label trim. Aside from exclusive interior appointments, Black Label also gave owners "membership privileges" such as 4-year maintenance plan, and getting special access to events and restaurants. This is likely an effort to reduce complexity of the MKZ lineup - now comprised of MKZ (base), Reserve I, and Reserve II.
If you desire the 3.0L biturbo V6, you'll need to jump up to the top-line Reserve II. Previously, you could order this engine on mid-level models. Depending on whether you opt for front or all-wheel drive, the V6 produces either 350 or 400 horsepower.
Like many Ford models, the 2019 MKZ will get the Co-Pilot360 suite of active driver assists as standard. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop & go capability, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams.
Pricing will now range from $36,990 for the base model and climb to $51,740 for the Reserve II with AWD.
Lincoln has been slowing transitioning their nomenclature system from three letter (MK_) to actual names - MKX to Nautilus for example. The next-generation MKC, due in 2020 as a 2021 model will see its name change to Corsair.
Automotive News reports the name was announced last month to Ford and Lincoln dealers at a conference held in Orlando according to those who attended the meeting. Corsair, the name of a pirate ship and a World War II fighter plane first came to light last year when Ford filed a trademark on. The name was last used on a badge engineered model between Ford and Nissan for Australia.
Sources at Ford said the name isn't final and could change before the model goes into production.
Dealers at the meeting were also shown the next-generation Ford Escape, Explorer, Mach 1 EV crossover, and the Lincoln Continental with suicide doors.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
Ever since Ford announced that it would cutting most of their passenger car lineup, questions arose as to what would happen to the subsequent Lincoln models. The Contiental and MKZ share platforms with Ford models that will be cut - Fusion and Taurus.
Thankfully, we have gotten an answer to this. A Lincoln spokesperson told Automobile Magazine they are "committed" to both the Contiental and MKZ. No other information was provided.
But there arises the question as to how long Lincoln is "committed" to both models. The MKZ has seen sales decline from 34,009 in 2014 (the year it was redesigned) to 27,387 units last year. The Continental hasn't been faring any better with only 12,012 units sold in 2017. The Cadillac XTS outsold it by 4,263 units.
As we reported last month in the rumorpile, plans for a next-generation Continental have been canned.
Source: Automobile Magazine
Lincoln only established itself in China back in 2015, but it is proving to be quite successful. Last year, Lincoln sold 54,124 models in the country. But the brand has big ambitions and believes it could sell more models in the world's largest auto market if they started building models there.
According to Reuters, Lincoln is planning on building up five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, Ford has announced a new crossover for the Chinese market in 2019. But sources tell the news service that the automaker is planning on building the upcoming Aviator in China by late 2019 or early 2020. This will be followed by the successors to the MKC and MKZ, and the Nautilus 2021. Wrapping up Lincoln's China production plans is a small, coupe-like crossover expected in 2022.
“Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China. Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing,” said Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski when reached for comment.
Moving production to China would help Lincoln immensely. Currently, Ford imports Lincoln models from the U.S. to China. This means they get hit with a 25 percent tariff and aren't able to compete with the likes of Cadillac and the Germans. Even if China does reduce the tariff on imported vehicles - something Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week, it might not make a big enough difference for Lincoln to close the gap.
“As long as Lincolns are not manufactured in China, the brand’s sales will no doubt suffer continuously,” said Zhu Kongyuan, Secretary General of the China Auto Dealers Chamber of Commerce.
Not helping matters is the war of words between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of a trade war on the horizon.
Lincoln is the latest automaker to launch a pilot program for a car subscription service. But this subscription service will differ from the others in one key way; Lincoln will be offering a range of pre-owned 2017 vehicles, not new models.
Lincoln's service will be run through Ford's subscription service, Canvas. Like Lincoln, Canvas allows subscribers to choose from a range of pre-owned Ford vehicles. The service will launch in West Los Angeles and the San Francisco area. No word on pricing, but Lincoln says a monthly payment will have a "mileage package," along with a warranty, maintenance, and insurance. Subscribers will also have access to Lincoln's Pickup and Delivery service where their vehicle will be picked up for servicing and be left with a loaner vehicle.
No launch date has been announced for Lincoln's program.
Press Release is on Page 2
Lincoln Expands Effortless Services, Advances Vehicle Ownership Experience
Beginning with Aviator, Lincoln will offer the driver considerate prompts through SYNC®, linking to the brand’s suite of effortless services
Lincoln is launching a pilot luxury subscription service offering a range of pre-owned 2017 Lincoln vehicles
Click-to-Purchase online program expands, along with Personal Driver™; Pickup & Delivery™ program continues to grow nationwide, and expands globally
NEW YORK, March 28, 2018 – The Lincoln Motor Company complements its line of elegant vehicles with an exceptional suite of effortless services. With the introduction of the Aviator production preview, Lincoln advances the brand’s holistic approach to vehicle ownership by bringing those services into the vehicle.
Through Lincoln SYNC®, drivers receive prompts, or cues, which are designed to deliver helpful information to them visually on the cluster display of the vehicle, recommending appropriate actions to help them overcome whatever situation they’re facing. Should they run low on fuel, for example, Aviator will notify them and seamlessly connect them with navigation to offer them the closest gas station options.
“Lincoln is developing services that make our clients’ lives effortless, and we consider very carefully how we connect those services,” says Joy Falotico, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. “We look at their lives, how they work and what they do, and then we look at what we can offer them from a Lincoln perspective to make everything more seamless and to save our clients what they value most – their time.”
The brand continues to advance and expand its other client services, which are available now:
Lincoln Subscription Service: Lincoln is launching a luxury subscription pilot service offering a range of 2017 pre-owned Lincoln vehicles in West Los Angeles. This expands the pilot offering 2015 Lincoln vehicles in both West Los Angeles and the San Francisco area. All Lincoln subscribers receive exclusive benefits.
With the service, offered through Canvas, clients have a vehicle 24/7 as if it were their own. A monthly payment covers their preferred mileage package, plus comprehensive insurance, warranty, maintenance and roadside assistance.
Lincoln subscribers for 2017 vehicles also will receive the benefits of Pickup & Delivery™, one of the brand’s most popular services, as part of their warranty package.
Lincoln Pickup & Delivery: Lincoln’s standard Pickup & Delivery service continues to grow. Available nationally, the service has completed more than 100,000 rides since its inception in 2016 and now plans to expand globally. Pickup & Delivery is designed to respect what Lincoln clients value most – their time.
The Lincoln Valet Service picks up a client’s vehicle for any service need, at any location, provides the client with a complimentary Lincoln loaner vehicle, and returns it in the same manner. Clients can book and track progress of service via the Lincoln Way™ app.
Lincoln is the only luxury automaker to provide standard Pickup & Delivery service as part of the vehicle warranty.
Lincoln Personal Driver: Lincoln Personal Driver™, a program first piloted in San Diego and Miami, will expand to Dallas and soon be integrated into the Lincoln Way app.
Personal Driver provides clients with a carefully screened driver when needed – allowing them to enjoy being a passenger from the safety and comfort of their own Lincoln vehicle. The driver can assist with other errands while clients attend to their engagements, which may range from personal or medical appointments to airport transportation.
Click-to-Purchase: The Click-to-Purchase online program allows potential clients to complete nearly every step of the buying or leasing process online.
Potential clients can search participating dealer inventories, calculate estimated trade-in values for their current vehicles using the Kelley Blue Book standard, apply for financing and create a payment plan. They’re shown a price for the vehicle with available incentives, as well as estimated taxes and fees based on their zip code.
They then print out a certificate with the pricing information, which also gets sent to the dealer. The pricing is honored for 48 hours. The client can make an appointment with the dealer to purchase or lease the vehicle. The program will be available throughout the U.S. by the end of the year.
Lincoln and CLEAR: Lincoln continues its collaboration with CLEAR to provide new Lincoln owners with a complimentary CLEAR membership, allowing them to speed through security checkpoints at participating airports and major arenas nationwide. New Lincoln owners receive a six-month complimentary membership for themselves and a partner. Lincoln Black Label clients receive yearlong memberships.
CLEAR delivers secure and easy travel to more than 30 airports and arenas nationwide. Members go to a dedicated CLEAR lane where they are greeted by a CLEAR team member. After a simple finger tap or blink of an eye, members are escorted straight to security screening, bypassing the usual long lines. According to CLEAR, members walk through security in minutes every time.
The Lincoln Continental isn't doing so well. So far in 2018, sales of the model have dropped 30 percent. As we reported earlier this month, there is talk that the Continental could be going away once its lifecycle is completed. But the brand isn't giving up on their flagship sedan just yet.
During the 2018 National Automobile Dealers Association show yesterday, Lincoln showed its dealers a photo of the Continental with rear-hinged (aka suicide) doors and disclosed plans to build it. The move is part of an effort by Lincoln to show commitment to its car lineup. No timeframe or additional details were given. A number of Lincoln dealers who were at the meeting revealed this news under the condition of anonymity to Automotive News.
A Lincoln spokeswoman declined to comment on the suicide doors.
Suicide doors are not new nor unique to Lincoln. Before World War II, a number of brands equipped various models with this type of door. The 1961 Lincoln Continental would feature this type of door, helping make this version of the Continental one of the brand's most iconic models.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
The grim reaper appears to circling around the Lincoln Continental if a new report is to believed.
Ford Authority has learned from sources familar with Lincoln's future product plans that the Continental will be end after this current-generation. No reason was given as to why the Continental could be shown the door. If we were to hazard a guess, it might be due to low sales number. Throughout its 18 months of being on sale, Lincoln has only moved 18,846 Continentals.
2016 (Sept to Dec): 5,261
2018 (so far): 1,573
The Continental is doing much better than the Lexus GS (1,009 models) and Acura RLX (285 models) so far this year. But it pales in comparison to the Cadillac XTS (3,163 vehicles, most going to fleets). The 2018 sales figures become more disheartening when you take into account that Lincoln spent close to a billion dollars to launch the Continental.
The Truth About Cars also notes that other models that use Continental's platform, CD4 don't have a bright future. As we reported previously in the rumorpile, the Ford Fusion will not be built in North America after 2020. Plans for a redesigned Fusion have also been canned. We wouldn't be surprised if this carries over to the sister MKZ model.
Ford has been working on a new CD6 platform that reportedly can be configured for front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive. A source tells The Truth About Cars that this platform would have underpinned the next-generation Continental, MKZ, Ford Fusion, and Mustang under CEO Mark Fields. With a new CEO, those plans have changed as the only models that will use CD6 are the next-generation Explorer and sister Lincoln model.
Source: Ford Authority, The Truth About Cars
Lincoln could be one of the next automakers to announce plans for electrifying their lineup. Reuters has learned from sources that Lincoln is planning to offer hybrid versions of all of their models beginning in 2022. One source said that the brand is also considering one or more electric-only models. This is a key to Lincoln's future in China where the country will be requiring automakers to sell a certain percentage of EVs.
Plans for Lincoln's electrification could happen as early as October 2nd, where Ford CEO Jim Hackett will update investors on the automaker's strategy. Sources said Lincoln has been working on this before Hackett became CEO.
A Ford spokesman declined to comment.
We already know that Ford is working on a hybrid variant of the Navigator and a plug-in version of the MKC that are expected to launch in 2019.
Lincoln is trying to stand out from the crowded luxury field by offering owners various services and perks. They have announced a new service that will begin with the 2017 Continental allowing owners not to visit the dealership to have their car serviced.
A Lincoln service valet will pick up an owner's vehicle and take it in for service. The owner will be left a courtesy car while theirs is being worked on. Once service is completed, the vehicle is returned to the owner. This perk comes at no charge for the owner.
“Lincoln Pickup and Delivery service revolves around complementing our luxury vehicles with outstanding luxury experiences. Our dealers view this as a way to differentiate the client experience for Lincoln owners,” said Lincoln North America director of sales and marketing Andrew Frick.
Lincoln has been doing trials of this service at select dealers and found it to be a success. Of owners who participated, 98 percent said they would have their vehicle serviced at the dealer again and 93 percent said they would buy another Lincoln.
Now Lincoln isn't the first to offer this service to owners. Hyundai offered this service with their Equus flagship. What makes this program different is it will be available on Lincoln's entire 2017 lineup.
Press Release is on Page 2
LINCOLN IS ONLY LUXURY AUTOMAKER TO PROVIDE STANDARD PICKUP AND DELIVERY SERVICE FOR ALL ITS VEHICLES TO SAVE CLIENTS TIME AND EFFORT
DEARBORN, Mich., June 28, 2016 – Lincoln adds the luxury segment’s only standard Pickup and Delivery Service across all 2017 nameplates starting with the all-new Lincoln Continental. The exclusive standard service builds on the brand’s commitment to providing a human, warm and personal experience at all Lincoln dealerships.
Lincoln Service Valet will pick up a client’s vehicle at an agreed location and, provide a complimentary Lincoln loaner vehicle, and then take the client’s vehicle to the dealership for service. Once complete, clients can arrange for their washed and serviced vehicle to be returned to them at the location of their choice.
“Lincoln Pickup and Delivery service revolves around complementing our luxury vehicles with outstanding luxury experiences,” says Andrew Frick, Lincoln North American director of sales and services. “This kind of Quiet Luxury provides an exclusive and personally crafted service experience that enhances their lifestyle and saves them what is a true luxury item – their time.”
Lincoln has been piloting this program with a select group of dealers since May 2015 with overwhelming results:
98 percent of clients indicate they would be more likely to receive service from that Lincoln dealer in the future
98 percent would recommend Lincoln and the service to a friend
93 percent are likely to purchase another Lincoln vehicle
“Our dealers view this as a way to differentiate the client experience for Lincoln owners,” says Frick. “No matter what Lincoln vehicle clients have from our portfolio, they have the peace of mind of getting that vehicle to and from service at a location of their choice, with a complimentary Lincoln loaner in order to maintain their busy schedules.
“When nearly 100 percent of clients receiving this service say they would recommend Lincoln to a friend, it clearly indicates positive momentum for the brand and our dealers,” adds Frick.
This exclusive Pickup and Delivery marks another milestone in Lincoln Motor Company commitment to merge great products, an outstanding experience and impeccable service – part of its original 2012 business plan. Since Lincoln began this journey, it has delivered four all-new products in four years, established a dealer network in China, built brand awareness, and increased volume for the brand and Lincoln products.
As part of Lincoln’s ongoing client experience efforts, these successful programs have already been implemented:
Lincoln Concierge: A trusted personal advisor – like the most attuned hotel concierge – assists clients 24/7 online at www.lincoln.com. While other luxury brands offer similar services, only Lincoln provides clients with an opportunity for video chat with a live person.
Black Label: Started in 2015, the number of participating dealers has increased to more than 90 committed locations. Black Label provides personalized shopping with dedicated personnel in the showroom, online, or in locations convenient to clients. Specially trained Black Label experience liaisons meet prospective clients at their home, office, or anywhere within 30 miles of the showroom to begin the experience. Acting as a personal shopping assistant, the liaison helps clients identify their ideal vehicle by sharing paint and wood trim samples, as well as material swatches. Lincoln Black Label owners enjoy special privileges – ranging from extended premium service and maintenance coverage on wear items to Culinary Collection membership that provides access to a curated list of restaurants from coast to coast.
Date Night: This extended test drive allows qualified buyers the chance to experience a Lincoln vehicle for up to 48 hours. In 2015, Date Night resulted in more than 11,000 sessions at select dealers, prompting nearly an 11 percent increase in Lincoln purchases. The program attracted nearly 70 percent of clients who had been with other luxury nameplates.
Lincoln Institute: Training for key client-facing individuals is provided through Lincoln Institute. The program, which combines all of the brand’s training efforts under one umbrella, has been expanded to include all Lincoln dealers. Lincoln Institute includes not only hospitality training, but an all-new series of workshops that provide participants with tools to help local teams develop and execute processes consistently for luxury clients.
Pickup and Delivery is an important milestone in Lincoln’s commitment to providing personal client services to match its unique luxury products, coming at the perfect time as Lincoln prepares to launch the much-anticipated 2017 Lincoln Continental.
The all-new Lincoln Continental returns as the brand flagship this fall, offering first-class travel for clients in America and China through warm, human touches and a contemporary design. The full-size sedan is designed to appeal to culturally progressive clients who define luxury on their own terms – craving superior quality, craftsmanship and safety.
“Quiet Luxury is Lincoln’s unique approach to ensure impeccable service is consistent with our outstanding products for the ultimate client experience,” says Frick.
Ford has big ambitions for Lincoln in the Chinese marketplace. CEO Mark Fields has said that China could eclipse the U.S. as the biggest market for the luxury brand. During the first year of selling vehicles in the country, Lincoln moved over 11,000 vehicles. According to Fields, this is the fastest start for a luxury-auto brand there “in recent history.”
“It’s different in the U.S. than in China. In China, our heritage plays very strong. Our favorable opinion in China is actually ahead of Lexus and on the factor of prestige, we’re actually ahead of Audi,” said Kumar Galhotra, head of Lincoln.
Ford wants to take the next step and possibly start building Lincolns in China. Bloomberg has learned from sources that the blue oval is in talks with its partner in China, Changan Automobile Group. The possible location is in Chongqing and would serve the Chinese market, along with acting as an Asian export base. One source says production could begin as early as 2018, but another says it could be 2020 or later as these discussions are still in the preliminary phase.
“There’s no detailed plan at the moment” on producing the Lincoln brand in China, said Zhu Huarong, president of Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. on the sidelines of a fourm earlier this week.
Want to know how much a Lincoln Continental will set you back?
Pricing for the 2017 Lincoln Continental has been announced and it will begin at $45,485 with destination. This will net you the Premiere front-wheel drive with a 3.7L V6 with 300 horsepower. Standard equipment for the Premiere includes leather, 10-way power front seats, 10-speaker audio system, HID headlights, 18-inch wheels, and remote start. All-wheel drive will add $2,000 to the base price.
Here is how the remainder of the 2017 Continental lineup breaks down:
Select: Have the choice of the 3.7L V6 or 2.7L twin-turbo V6 producing 335 horsepower. Features such as hands-free powered trunk lid, soft-closing doors, 19-inch wheels, and premium leather upholstery. Select prices range from $48,440 for the 3.7 V6 front-wheel drive model to $52,690 for the 2.7 twin-turbo V6 all-wheel drive.
Reserve: Adds the twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with 400 horsepower and all-wheel drive as a powertrain option. 24-way power front seats with ventilation, tri-zone climate control, and power rear sunshade. $54,840 gets you into the 3.7L V6 front-wheel drive Reserve. To get the 3.0L twin-turbo V6 engine, be prepared to drop $60,105.
Black Label: The top of the line trim comes with 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, Revel audio system, and the choice of three different “Designer Themes,” that brings their own color schemes. Black Label also gives the owner access to various “privileges,” such as concierge service at the dealer, remote delivery of the vehicle within 30 Miles of select dealers, complimentary car washes, complimentary annual detailing services, and the Culinary Collection - a 'curated' list of restaurants in the U.S. that will provide an “at-your-service” experience. The collection gives the owner one complimentary dinner for two at one of the restaurants on the list. Pricing starts at $63,840 for the 2.7 twin-turbo V6 front-wheel drive model and climbs to $69,105 for the 3.0L twin-turbo V6.
When compared to its closest competitor, the Cadillac CT6, the Continental undercuts by $9,005.
Lincoln says there is a lot of interest for the new Continental
The Lincoln Continental is turning out to be very popular with potential buyers. Automotive News reports that Lincoln has a list of 40,000 people who are interested buying the Continental.
“People are asking a lot of questions about the car. This is the most buzz I’ve seen in a long, long time,” said Dan Marks, chairman of the Lincoln National Dealer Council.
The list in question is the Continental “hand raiser” list, comprising of consumers who have provided contact information to follow-up once more information is provided. According to Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln, this list is longer than the one for the MKX crossover. But trying to get interested consumers into buyers is going to be a difficult task. One that could make or break the Continental.
Lincoln is sticking to the core products to get back in the luxury car game
With a updated MKZ and a new Continental readying for its debut, it seems Lincoln is on the right track. But what does the future hold for them? Those who were hoping for a return of Mark coupe series will be somewhat disappointed.
"We've said we need to cover the core segments first. Luxury coupes and sports cars are not the first place we need to go," said Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln to Automotive News.
That means focusing on their current lineup and making improvements. One of those improvements is updating its look. The 2017 MKZ is one of the first models to see this update with a new rectangular grille first shown on the Continental concept. Along with this, Lincoln is trying its best to separate itself from Ford. One of those is the MKZ not having the EcoBoost name on its turbocharged engines.
"If it is critical to the customer experience, we would change it," said Lincoln President Kumar Galhotra.
Lincoln is also readying two new products - not counting the Continental - that will be arriving by 2020. The luxury automaker is keeping quiet as to what those models will be. Sources tell Automotive News that one of new model will be a large crossover to slot between the midsize MKX and large Navigator SUV.
But a key point many Lincoln executives are quick to point that the luxury brand still has a long way to go in relevance. While sales are on the increase and early signs are pointing to some sort of relevancy in the market, Lincoln is still an unknown player in the luxury marketplace.
"The products are there," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific. "But I don't think they're hitting the targets they need to hit in the competitive world. I don't think anyone was expecting that yet, though. It's a 10- to 15-year plan."
When the Lincoln Continental begins production sometime next year, it won't be at Chicago Assembly plant where the current MKS is built. Ford announced this week that it will be phasing out the MKS in 2016. This announcement came at a event where the company was promoting the increase of Ford Explorer output at Ford’s Chicago plant.
“Chicago Assembly Plant is vital to our global manufacturing footprint and will continue to manufacture the Ford Taurus, Ford Explorer and Police Interceptor vehicles even after we phase out production of the MKS in 2016. We will continue to match production to demand,” the company said in a statement.
Automotive News says this statement echoes a comment made by Ford's President of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs earlier in the week.
“When the Continental comes out next year, the Lincoln fades away.But once it fades away, we’re going to use that capacity to make more Explorers,” said Hinrichs to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
So where will the Continental be built? Industry sources say the Continental could be produced at Ford's Flat Rock, MI plant where the Fusion is built. The Continental uses a longer version of the Fusion's platform, so building it at Flat Rock makes sense.
A Ford spokesman decline to comment on the Contiental's production plan, saying the location would be revealed closer to the vehicle's launch next year.
I don't care about the displacement and fear of it blowing up on me or not being able to handle the duties it's designed for.
I just love AMG V8's more than most anything else.
If you were honest and simply said, "I just want to hear a V8" rather than trying to say the 2.7T can't do truck things, I'd understand.