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    Under Consideration: Lincoln May Return to Actual Names


    One of the biggest issues with Lincoln deals with their nomenclature. The MK-insert letter naming system has brought confusion buyers and people who cover the industry. Saying you own a MKZ for example either meant no one understood what you said or had people wondering if that was the sedan or a crossover. But Automotive News says that common sense has possibly returned to Lincoln and that actual names is in the cards.

    “I get it. I know MKX and C and Z and T. I’ve studied them very well. I know them well, but we also understand the issue. It’s, frankly, where the auto industry -- the premium industry -- has gone, if you look at all the nameplates. But another way Lincoln could distinguish itself is to leverage its heritage. So I’ll leave it at that,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co.’s president of the Americas.

    “Without divulging the future. We’re very excited about the Continental name and the attention it’s gotten.”

    A lot of this talk sparked when Lincoln pulled the covers off the Continental Concept and became a big hit.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)



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    But another way Lincoln could distinguish itself is to leverage its heritage. So I’ll leave it at that,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co.’s president of the Americas.

     

    Yes, agreed.

     

    But, rather tired of companies leveraging their heritage ... & not being true to that heritage.

     

    *bites tongue*

     

     

    Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

    1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
    "Just another regret" __ All-American Rejects __ 'Dirty Little Secret'
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    But another way Lincoln could distinguish itself is to leverage its heritage. So I’ll leave it at that,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co.’s president of the Americas.

     

    Yes, agreed.

     

    But, rather tired of companies leveraging their heritage ... & not being true to that heritage.

     

    *bites tongue*

     

     

    Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

    1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
    "Just another regret" __ All-American Rejects __ 'Dirty Little Secret'

     

    Agreed, If you are going to leverage the Heritage, then make sure to incorporate some of it.

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    I think Lincoln is making the right move. I wish Cadillac would use names too. Even if they come up with new ones. Think about it... Escalade is selling and holding up the brand right now. It has a name. "ESCALADE". You know it is Cadillac. Why try to out German the Germans and the Japanese? GM and Ford( Lincoln) have this rich heritage they can embrace and use to their advantage. I do not think classic Cadillac names would steal from the brand. ATS and CTS are not selling right now even though they are great cars. Why? Because they are trying to be something they are not and Cadillac has to earn its way back up the prestige ladder. Plus Cadillac is playing in a segment they have never been in before. This is when you use who you are to your advantage. This why Oldsmobile failed at the end because they walked away from who they are instead of embracing it. I bet you if Aurora had been called Toronado and Intrigue was called Cutlass, it would have been a different story. It failed because of old GM mismanagement and failed marketing too.

    Buick is changing. It is succeeding where Cadillac is not. Buick is using real names. Names mean something to buyers. They resonate with them on different levels.

    That is why I hope the new leadership at Cadillac keeps making the changes they are doing, but reconsiders on the naming convention in their rebirth of Cadillac.

     

    Truth.....

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    Alpha numerics saved Pontiac, look at the success of G3, G5, G6, G8, oh wait, that didn't work.  I wish Cadillac would use names, they could even source "Aurora" and "Bonneville" for entry level cars if they wanted to.  Even though they weren't Cadillac names, they have been gone a while and are from the GM stable.  Lincoln could use "Mariner" for the MKC to pull a Mercury name back.

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    There was a Cadillac Aurora concept car around 1990.    Cadillac could use Aurora, Seville, Fleetwood for their sedans, Eldorado for a premium coupe.  Come up with another name for an SUV below the Escalade.  Sounds better than CT3, CT5, CT6, XT3, XT5, Escalade.

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    After the MKZ becomes the Zephyr, the Continental takes over for the MKS, the Sentinel can be their biggest car, and here is the Mark 9.  They build all these concepts then run a rebadged Fusion out there, gee I wonder why Lincoln is near dead.

    lincoln_mk9_columbous_33.jpg

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    The 1990 Cadillac Aurora show car

    90cadillac_aurora_1.jpg

     

     

     

    I actually remember seeing this.

     

    I also remember a discussion on a board (can't remember which ... maybe here?) a number of years ago of how much it looks(?) like the Oldsmobile Aurora....  Not sure I agree with "how much", but I can see some similar design elements.  Seems to me the post started out asking of this was a Cadillac or Oldsmobile (grill emblem was "hidden") ... & the conversation went from there.

     

     

    Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

    1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
    "Where's the mini skirt made of snake skin?" __ Bowling For Soup __ '1985'

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    No car was ever successful because of it's name. None!  You can plaster any great name  on any crappy car and it will not do a thing for sales.

     

    On the converse build a great car and you can call it what ever you like. Numbers, letters or a name like a Putz GT and it will sell.

     

    If Lincoln wants to save their future they need to build some damn good cars that are not just gussied up Fords. That is the plain and simple truth. You can slap some styling on and Continental and in the end it is still a Taurus under the skin with FWD/AWD and a V6.

     

    The real issue is Cadillac has done some damage to some great names with some real crap over the last 35 years. the names did not save the Seville or Eldo when they downsized in the 80's all they did was damage the names. They did help them some in the 90's but even then they still were cars that lacked the heritage of the name and Quality was iffy at best.

     

    The fact is cars like the 3M is not a great car due to the 3M name but the fact the car itself over the years made 3M mean something.

     

    The car should define and created the image of the name not the name doing a thing for the car.

     

    We all should have learned this when Olds slapped Cutlass on so many FWD models that it only damaged the name. They took their best known name and killed it because the cars defined the name even a great one.

    No matter how hard you try you can not put the cart before the horse and expect it to work out. You have to create car right and let it define what the label means.

     

    Anyone here bought a car just because you liked the name? Hands? Ahh just as I thought you bought the car because of the kind of car it was not because of what it was called. Time to stop this romatic notion that people buy because of the label here. Cars are a visual and tactual feel sales experience. You see it and feel it with a car and the name just is along for the ride.

     

    Take for example a 1963 250 GT SWB Lusso is one car that when I see it I feel in inside because of the sound of the engine and the styling. It is one of the greatest styling designs I have ever seen as it stirs you emotionally. As for the name it means nothing by itself but the car is what defines that name to me. Lusso today means one of the best looking cars ever done if I were blind it would mean nothing.

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    I am pretty sure if Ford called their sports coupe the Willard or the Henry or the Edsel back in 1965 rather than Mustang, it would not be here today, and would not have been a sales success.

     

    Name recognition matters.  Why not rename the Malibu, Impala and Corvette to CV4, CV6 and CV8-S?  Simple, CV = Chevrolet, the number for how many cylinders, and S for sport.  Wonder how that would affect sales.  Oh right it would crush them because no one knows what a CV8-S is and they want a Corvette.  Just like Lincoln is better off with Continental rather than MKS and Cadillac is better off with Fleetwood and Eldorado rather than CT6.

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    We all should have learned this when Olds slapped Cutlass on so many FWD models that it only damaged the name. They took their best known name and killed it because the cars defined the name even a great one.

     

    Ch#$r%*et & Pontiac & Buick did the same thing........

     

     

    I'd be willing to bet that the 1995-2007 "monte carlo" coupe would not have sold as well had it still had the Lumina name.  After all, the Lumina had replaced the Celebrity (NOT the MC) in 1990.

     

     

    Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

    1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
    "You've made a fool of everyone" __ Jet __ 'Look What You've Done'

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    How?

     

    If a car is not good to begin with how can the name help?

     

    I could have called the Aveo a Camaro but would that have helped sales? The Aztek could have been named a GTO but would that have changed things?

     

    GM just trademarked the Avenir name used on the Buick show car. Now that is a case where the car made the name to the point it has gone from not being intended to be used to being registered with the intentions of a road car. GM made it clear the car if gone into production would most likely not used the show car name. But that has since changed.

     

    Cars define names not names define cars. Accept for a GT 40 that was 40" tall.

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    Hard to say there as the Monte was a much better car than the previous Lumina Coupe.  Was it the name or was it because it was a much better looking car? Hard to prove there but I am willing to bet the styling has a lot more to do with it than the name.

     

    The fact is they tried to put a like Monte Carlo Coupe styling with the long hood and short deck lid giving the car a much better look. The car still lacked the real Monte trait of V8 and RWD so I feel it was the styling. 

     

    Even the Lumina sedan had better sales with improved styling.

     

    Like I asked before who here bought a car based just on the name?

    Edited by hyperv6

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    How?

     

    If a car is not good to begin with how can the name help?

     

    I could have called the Aveo a Camaro but would that have helped sales? The Aztek could have been named a GTO but would that have changed things?

     

    GM just trademarked the Avenir name used on the Buick show car. Now that is a case where the car made the name to the point it has gone from not being intended to be used to being registered with the intentions of a road car. GM made it clear the car if gone into production would most likely not used the show car name. But that has since changed.

     

    Cars define names not names define cars. Accept for a GT 40 that was 40" tall.

     

    I'm thinking about it the other way around.  Will the Continental sell better as the Continental rather than the MKJ?  Would the Navigator sell less if they changed the name to MKV?   Would the CT6 sell better if Cadillac used a real name?  Would the Escalade sell less if they changed it to XT9?  

     

    My guess is "yes" to all of the above.

     

    A good name can't help a bad car, but a bad name can hurt a good car.

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    I agree with Drew.  Take the Suburban for example, that is Chevy's longest running name plate.  If they changed the name, I bet sales would drop.  If Toyota changed the Camry name, sales would drop because people know what the Camry is, they are familiar with it and trust it.

     

    When you launch a new product and change the name, you need extra marketing to get people to know what it is, you have to build up emotion and get people excited about the product.  Case in point, the Ford Five Hundred, no one knew or cared what a Ford Five Hundred was, so off to the redesign studio and back came the Taurus because the Taurus is recognizable.

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    If you take an established successful name already on a successful product the name helps but the model has already made the name. 

    Now if Lincoln slapped the Continental name on the MKJ it would not do a thing to help that situation.

     

    The names we have today that resonate well are all on products that well define the name.

     

    Cars are like people you can slap the name Einstein to anyone but it will not make them a genius.

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