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Lincoln Zephyr sales soar; 40% conquest

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ZEPHYR SALES SOAR, SURPASSING TARGETS, BRINGING BUYERS BACK FROM IMPORTS

By Chris Kassab, FCN

Sales of the new Lincoln Zephyr are soaring.

"They're hotter than a firecracker," said John Moroni, owner of Westgate Lincoln Mercury of Lombard, Ill., near Chicago. "We can't keep them in stock. Every one we get is sold."

Zephyr sales are surpassing company expectations.

"We set a target of 40 percent for conquest sales, and based on sales figures from October through February we've hit that number already," said Gary Barham, Zephyr marketing manager.

Barham believes that Zephyr's success is due largely to the way the vehicle is priced and packaged.

"Zephyr has the lowest MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) in its segment, and we have a lot of standard equipment on the vehicle that is optional on other cars," said Barham. "Customers are seeing Zephyr as a great value for the money."

"For what you get, the Zephyr is really a steal," said Moroni. "The content of what comes standard on the vehicle is far above and beyond what our competition has to offer. You get a heck of a lot of equipment for your dollar."

Some of those "standard" features include: 10-way power driver and passenger heated front seats, dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control, 17-inch machined aluminum wheels, a CD/MP3 audio system and security approach lamps. A keyless entry pad and six-speed automatic transmission ('06 model), also standard, are segment exclusives.

Barham says customers are also attracted to Zephyr's exterior and interior styling.

"They like the exterior lines of the vehicle, how it's shaped and its athletic stance," he said. "The car also has a luxurious, stylish interior with genuine wood accents and leather and satin nickel trim."

"The styling is very cutting edge," said Moroni. "It's a good-looking, sporty car."

In addition to owning the largest Lincoln Mercury dealership in the Chicago area, Moroni is also a member of the Lincoln Mercury National Dealers Council, so he's privy to valuable dealer feedback.

"We're seeing import buyers that we never would've seen in our showrooms before coming in to buy this car," he said. "If I had a half a dozen on the ground right now, I'd sell all of them."

And, Moroni says, the people buying the Zephyr are from diverse age groups.

"Surprisingly, we're getting the 35- to 50-year-old professionals, but we're also getting people 60 and 70 buying it also," he said. "So it hasn't been just that target market; we've kind of had a cross of both.

That doesn't come as a surprise to Barham. He says the older customers are traditional Lincoln buyers who haven't seen a new car offering from Lincoln since the LS in 2000.

"There has been a lot of pent-up anxiousness waiting for Lincoln to come up with a new car. Now that we have one, our Lincoln customers are rushing in to buy it," he said. "When you pull out the Lincoln customers, the age trends down, and we're seeing that younger customer in the showroom."

Moroni says he and his fellow dealers couldn't be more pleased about that.

"What I'm impressed with is the fact that we're getting people to our dealerships who never came to our showrooms before looking at and buying this vehicle," he said. "Any dealer you talk to will tell you that Zephyr and the Mercury Milan have both been a godsend to us.

http://media.ford.com/products/press_artic...$17$7

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the car is selling well and now they will rename it after one year.

nice.

the LS is a great car, and the Zephyr is a new age taurus, and look what is selling.

Edited by regfootball

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Can't wait to see the production version of the MK-S

I'm very happy to hear this. The Zephyr/MK-Z is a great buy. Next year will be even better with the 3.5l & optional AWD.

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The Zephyr and Milan have just the right amount of Queer Eye to turn Lincoln-Mercury around.

I don't think those two are particularly "gay" cars...they are stylish, but they certainly don't have the gay factor like most VWs and some Jeeps have...

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I don't think those two are particularly "gay" cars...they are stylish, but they certainly don't have the gay factor like most VWs and some Jeeps have...

They're definitely metro, then.

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I don't think those two are particularly "gay" cars...they are stylish, but they certainly don't have the gay factor like most VWs and some Jeeps have...

I didn't know Jeep made a "gay" car... Anyway, there's no such thing as a gay car anyway IMO. I think the Zephyr is classy. It's selling well which is great, but it makes you wonder all the more why Ford would rename a car that is selling well. Idiots...

Edited by Dodgefan

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Jeep makes the Liberty, which is a gay/chick vehicle...the Compass is also being referred as one. GC sometimes is/sometimes isn't referred to as one.

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But wait it can't be selling well, It's a FWD platform. Holy crap what are people thinking it has to be RWD to be popular.

Oh Wait maybe not. :)

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I knew Lincoln had a hit on it's hands when I first saw the concept...

This is EXCELLENT news!

It shows what STYLING and IMAGE can do for a car and car company! Just as the 300 did for irrelelvant Chrysler, the MKZ (Zephyr--god I love that name, WHY, Ford, WHY?!?!?!) and Milan are in a sense redefining the divisions...

AND I also think this reinforces the point that Croc and I made about Lincoln and ESPECIALLY Mercury being SO neglected that they DO NOT have an image in the consumers eyes (Or much of one) which makes it that much easier for this duo to turn things around.

Now if Ford will just KILL talk of discontinuing Mercury and continue to fund Lincolns return to mainstream, we'd be set! (QUICK, Ford! Revitalize Mercury with sporty, stylish (dare I say heritage?) offerings!!!)

The Fusion/Milan/MKZ *SHOW* what can happen when a Detroit company PROVIDES a no compromises product to consumers, even THROUGH 'damaged' or 'defunct' channels/divisions. PRODUCT SELLS and I'm sure the VERY STRONG and very good I might add, marketing campaigns for all of these products has helped lift public awareness as well. And it's only going to get better as the MKZ gets fresh hardware this year!

P.S. And just to think; a couple of years ago when a certain insider (Who shall remain nameless) got his first look at these cars his exact words were "Ford is so screwed."

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P.S. And just to think; a couple of years ago when a certain insider (Who shall remain nameless) got his first look at these cars his exact words were "Ford is so screwed."

I think this insider was referring to the entire Ford lineup. The 500/Montego sales are still pretty tepid, the Freestyle hasn't caught on at all, the minivans were DOA, the Explorer/Mountaineer aren't doing well, etc.

Overall, I'd say that insider was right. Ford has the power to push back some of their programs to address what went RIGHT in the Fusion/Milan/MKZ and apply these lessons to their upcoming vehicles if such issues are still present.

Ford seriously needs to content the trio, though...all of them are unavailable with common/popular options for their respective classes and while all have very competitive interiors now, in 2 years they will require significant upgrades to stay relevant to consumers.

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This sounds like something I've heard before...

I wonder how much more they could have brought in if it was the concept... and not this... like how they justify not bringing a huge RWD sedan to the market by praising the 427 as being success in the fact that it's front end made it unto a car... Oh well, half-ass-ers.

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Great, I guess... I was expecting the Zephyr to be a big flop.

You do realize this is a Ford press release? Wait another 6months before drawing any conclusions

Edited by toyoguy

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You do realize this is a Ford press release?  Wait another 6months before drawing any conclusions

You mean when it will have the 3.5l V6 & AWD??? Sure, I'll wait and see.

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They are beautiful cars, with the exception if the taillights on both the Zephyr and Milan.

Disagree on the Milan, and while I initially agreed on the Zephyr/MKZ...it's grown on me a lot.

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But wait it can't be selling well, It's a FWD platform. Holy crap what are people thinking it has to be RWD to be popular.

Oh Wait maybe not. :)

Good point, and proof that FWD does work as long as the car surrounding those components is very impressive and not a craptacular piece of ham like the Malibu and G6...

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You do realize this is a Ford press release?  Wait another 6months before drawing any conclusions

It may be a press release, but they're not making up those facts such as 40% conquest sales. Articles can be sugar-coated, but facts don't lie.

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Jeep makes the Liberty, which is a gay/chick vehicle...the Compass is also being referred as one.  GC sometimes is/sometimes isn't referred to as one.

HEY now......I have a Liberty......

:scratchchin:

But mine's as far from a gay/chick version as you can get......(black exterior, 6-speed MANUAL tranny, skid plate package, tow package, 4X4, etc., etc., etc...)

Liberty does have that "cute" image.....BUT that's ironic as it can go much further off-road than any "cute ute" before it ever could imagine doing....

NOW....that year I had a Miata.....yeah....you caught me....

^_^

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is there anything you feel you need to tell us?>...?

HEY now......I have a Liberty......

:scratchchin:

But mine's as far from a gay/chick version as you can get......(black exterior, 6-speed MANUAL tranny, skid plate package, tow package, 4X4, etc., etc., etc...)

Liberty does have that "cute" image.....BUT that's ironic as it can go much further off-road than any "cute ute" before it ever could imagine doing....

NOW....that year I had a Miata.....yeah....you caught me....

^_^

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HEY now......I have a Liberty......

:scratchchin:

But mine's as far from a gay/chick version as you can get......(black exterior, 6-speed MANUAL tranny, skid plate package, tow package, 4X4, etc., etc., etc...)

Liberty does have that "cute" image.....BUT that's ironic as it can go much further off-road than any "cute ute" before it ever could imagine doing....

NOW....that year I had a Miata.....yeah....you caught me....

^_^

It can go farther off-road than a Wrangler? That's news to me...and the Wrangler is the ultimate chick vehicle. I don't know a single girl who isn't all "OMG I LOVE THE WRANGLER! :wub: "

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It can go farther off-road than a Wrangler?  That's news to me...and the Wrangler is the ultimate chick vehicle.  I don't know a single girl who isn't all "OMG I LOVE THE WRANGLER! :wub: "

I don't know a single girl that drives one.

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