Jump to content
  • Custom Search


rmc523

Lincoln Again Asking Dealers to Become Standalone

Recommended Posts

20 hours ago, akirby said:

 

They were when cars were more popular because they shared all their platforms and drivetrains with Ford so overhead was really low.  Now that they're doing more differentiation and bespoke options and car sales dropped it might be worse but I would think with Navigator and Aviator pulling in high ATPs and Corsair and Nautilus filling in the low end that they should be doing pretty well.

 

One reason the Aviator might be such a game changer for Lincoln is that it has the potential of hitting the Navigator's big ATPs with volumes close to Corsair/Nautilus. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, rperez817 said:

Anyway, Ford's immediate concern with Lincoln shouldn't be profitability, but brand awareness which is very low.

 

Lincoln has a couple of problems including reputation but brand awareness isn't one of them.  This isn't a new brand like Genesis that nobody's ever heard of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, akirby said:

 

Lincoln has a couple of problems including reputation but brand awareness isn't one of them.  This isn't a new brand like Genesis that nobody's ever heard of.

Thanks akirby sir, pertinence may be a better word to describe Ford's priority 1 to fix with Lincoln. Excluding retirees, limousine companies, existing Ford and Lincoln vehicle owners, and some wealthy people in mainland China, the Lincoln brand is simply ignored by most people considering luxury brand vehicles. For good reason. Almost nobody who owns or leases a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Lexus, or Tesla is going to switch to Lincoln. Ford has to make Lincoln pertinent to more of these prospects, if they want to keep Lincoln alive long term.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

Thanks akirby sir, pertinence may be a better word to describe Ford's priority 1 to fix with Lincoln. Excluding retirees, limousine companies, existing Ford and Lincoln vehicle owners, and some wealthy people in mainland China, the Lincoln brand is simply ignored by most people considering luxury brand vehicles. For good reason. Almost nobody who owns or leases a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Lexus, or Tesla is going to switch to Lincoln. Ford has to make Lincoln pertinent to more of these prospects, if they want to keep Lincoln alive long term.

Some very good points here, but a little hyperbole.  If the bold text is absolutely true, the Aviator won't sell as well as I suspect it will. Lincoln is making progress with its most recent designs, but still has a ways to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

. Almost nobody who owns or leases a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Lexus, or Tesla is going to switch to Lincoln.

 

That may have been true 15 years ago, but with the saturation of information and overabundance of opinions available these days, it doesn't take much time to change an image for better or worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

Thanks akirby sir, pertinence may be a better word to describe Ford's priority 1 to fix with Lincoln. Excluding retirees, limousine companies, existing Ford and Lincoln vehicle owners, and some wealthy people in mainland China, the Lincoln brand is simply ignored by most people considering luxury brand vehicles. For good reason. Almost nobody who owns or leases a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Lexus, or Tesla is going to switch to Lincoln. Ford has to make Lincoln pertinent to more of these prospects, if they want to keep Lincoln alive long term.

 

On certain vehicles Lincoln was achieving extremely high conquest percentages - over 50% IIRC.   It will never match the brand snobbery of some of the german brands (neither will anybody else for those buyers) and they may not match the Lexus dealer experience, but they don't have to in order to be successful.   They've shown that if you build the right product you can sell it without huge discounts.   You don't build brand reputation overnight - it will take years and decades to build up but they are on the right track now with the new vehicles, black label and the push for standalone dealers.   Pushing big discounts or super low MSRPs would only serve to cheapen the brand which is opposite of what they need.   They have enough products to support stand alone dealerships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, akirby said:

 

On certain vehicles Lincoln was achieving extremely high conquest percentages - over 50% IIRC.   It will never match the brand snobbery of some of the german brands (neither will anybody else for those buyers) and they may not match the Lexus dealer experience, but they don't have to in order to be successful.   They've shown that if you build the right product you can sell it without huge discounts.   You don't build brand reputation overnight - it will take years and decades to build up but they are on the right track now with the new vehicles, black label and the push for standalone dealers.   Pushing big discounts or super low MSRPs would only serve to cheapen the brand which is opposite of what they need.   They have enough products to support stand alone dealerships.

 

All good points akirby sir. The challenge for Ford is that improving Lincoln's pertinence to luxury vehicle prospects is a delicate balancing act. On one side as wheeling said, Lincoln has to improve its "value for the money" to customers and prospects. On the other side, as you mentioned big discounts or super low sticker prices will degrade the brand. Also, huge discounts will erode Lincoln's already low resale values even more, making the value proposition for customers worse as well.

 

Ford is already doing the right things with Lincoln in terms of vehicle design, service and customer care, and the plan for standalone dealerships. If on top of that Ford can also add more features and quality to Lincoln vehicles and keep pricing structure the same or slightly lower but with fewer rebates and such, Lincoln should "come back" and maybe even grow market share.

 

Lincoln's transformation may not deliver any short term profitability to Ford. But some short term sacrifice may be worth the long term benefit. Ford seems to be more serious about Lincoln now than any point in the past 30 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rperez817 said:

 

All good points akirby sir. The challenge for Ford is that improving Lincoln's pertinence to luxury vehicle prospects is a delicate balancing act. On one side as wheeling said, Lincoln has to improve its "value for the money" to customers and prospects. On the other side, as you mentioned big discounts or super low sticker prices will degrade the brand. Also, huge discounts will erode Lincoln's already low resale values even more, making the value proposition for customers worse as well.

 

Ford is already doing the right things with Lincoln in terms of vehicle design, service and customer care, and the plan for standalone dealerships. If on top of that Ford can also add more features and quality to Lincoln vehicles and keep pricing structure the same or slightly lower but with fewer rebates and such, Lincoln should "come back" and maybe even grow market share.

 

Lincoln's transformation may not deliver any short term profitability to Ford. But some short term sacrifice may be worth the long term benefit. Ford seems to be more serious about Lincoln now than any point in the past 30 years.

 

This is why they dropped or limited the employee program they had, and that's why sales dropped last year with them cutting out those sales.  What you're seeing now this year is more organic/actual growth not inflated by such programs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, rmc523 said:

 

This is why they dropped or limited the employee program they had, and that's why sales dropped last year with them cutting out those sales.  What you're seeing now this year is more organic/actual growth not inflated by such programs.

This is a good example that price matters. Even if you have  great products, slightly lower price will attacked more buyers. Increase the sale volume and show room traffic is what Lincoln needs the most right now, and more volumes mean more profits. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Wheeling said:

This is a good example that price matters. Even if you have  great products, slightly lower price will attacked more buyers. Increase the sale volume and show room traffic is what Lincoln needs the most right now, and more volumes mean more profits. 

 

More volume does not mean more profit.

 

Do I have to keep reminding people that when GM went bankrupt they were #1 in sales?

 

And honestly, if you're talking about a $50K+ vehicle I don't think being $2K cheaper than the other vehicle is really going to matter.  At that point you're either buying on looks, features or performance, not price (up to a point).

 

Cutting prices to increase volume is almost never a good long term strategy.

 

Build great vehicles and price them accordingly and they'll sell.   The problem with past Lincolns is they usually had shortcomings and compromises that made them less competitive so price cuts were necessary.   Not so with Navigator and Aviator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Wheeling said:

This is a good example that price matters. Even if you have  great products, slightly lower price will attacked more buyers. Increase the sale volume and show room traffic is what Lincoln needs the most right now, and more volumes mean more profits. 

 

Or it means that the employees bought them only because they got a deal.  You missed the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way you increase traffic is by having more lower priced vehicles like Corsair not by reducing $50K-$90K vehicles by $5K.  Or by having strategic subsidized leases.   But once you go cheap you attract buyers who will only buy when it's cheap.   People don't buy other luxury brands because they're cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, akirby said:

The way you increase traffic is by having more lower priced vehicles like Corsair not by reducing $50K-$90K vehicles by $5K.  Or by having strategic subsidized leases.   But once you go cheap you attract buyers who will only buy when it's cheap.   People don't buy other luxury brands because they're cheap.

 

Like GM's constant 20% off, truck month, etc. sales.

 

GM buyers are conditioned to sales.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, akirby said:

 

More volume does not mean more profit.

 

Do I have to keep reminding people that when GM went bankrupt they were #1 in sales?

 

 

 

Yep, we lose money on each sale, but make it up in volume! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, akirby said:

 People don't buy other luxury brands because they're cheap.

 

That's true, cheap luxury is an oxymoron. 😄

 

Still, lower tier luxury brands can gain traction in the marketplace by offering better value to the customer. That doesn't mean big price cuts. Better value can be achieved by giving the customer more features, a higher level of service and customer care, and better quality for the same or slightly lower price. Genesis does this very well. Lincoln should too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not saying cut the price by 50%. Lincoln is struggling now to get on its feet as a legitimate luxury band.  How many potential buyers will even consider Lincoln as a valid luxury maker? Lincoln has great products now, all they need is to attract more customers. A better value, weather it is money, features, or service, sale! Costumers in this price range still do comparative shopping. A few thousand bucks may be all that is need to make a sale. Once the reputation is established again, Lincoln can ask any price they want. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Wheeling said:

I'm not saying cut the price by 50%. Lincoln is struggling now to get on its feet as a legitimate luxury band.  How many potential buyers will even consider Lincoln as a valid luxury maker? Lincoln has great products now, all they need is to attract more customers. A better value, weather it is money, features, or service, sale! Costumers in this price range still do comparative shopping. A few thousand bucks may be all that is need to make a sale. Once the reputation is established again, Lincoln can ask any price they want. 

 

Very well said Wheeling sir! :thumbsup:

As mentioned earlier, Ford is doing the right things with Lincoln vehicle design, its dealership model, and customer care programs. The final piece to get Lincoln back on its feet is to do just as you said: add a few thousand bucks worth of value to every model in the Lincoln lineup. That will broaden Lincoln's appeal and get luxury vehicle customers who completely ignore the brand now (and that's a lot of customers) to at least consider visiting a Lincoln dealership for a test drive. Or contacting Lincoln concierge service to bring a test drive vehicle to their home or workplace. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe Lincoln is happy with the sales volume vs profit formula right now on the new products.  It does no good to lower prices and increase volume just to make the same profit.  And it’s not that easy to just raise prices later.

 

I still say that if they make world class products like Navigator and Aviator they can demand and get premium prices.  Don’t judge Lincoln volumes without comparing to other luxury 3 row SUVs with similar size, performance and features.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Standalone Lincoln dealers should be plenty profitable in the largest metro markets. It is a good idea to build the brand and Ford should push this concept. Smaller markets is where the Ford-Lincoln dealership makes a lot more sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/29/2019 at 7:49 AM, rperez817 said:

Thanks akirby sir, pertinence may be a better word to describe Ford's priority 1 to fix with Lincoln. Excluding retirees, limousine companies, existing Ford and Lincoln vehicle owners, and some wealthy people in mainland China, the Lincoln brand is simply ignored by most people considering luxury brand vehicles. For good reason. Almost nobody who owns or leases a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Lexus, or Tesla is going to switch to Lincoln. Ford has to make Lincoln pertinent to more of these prospects, if they want to keep Lincoln alive long term.

I think that is a better way to phrase it. They have there work cut out for them, but they now have some compelling products, so that should help with that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What stings Lincoln is the Ford Association, either by using Ford platforms or by being both under the same roof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/29/2019 at 7:49 AM, rperez817 said:

Thanks akirby sir, pertinence may be a better word to describe Ford's priority 1 to fix with Lincoln. Excluding retirees, limousine companies, existing Ford and Lincoln vehicle owners, and some wealthy people in mainland China, the Lincoln brand is simply ignored by most people considering luxury brand vehicles. For good reason. Almost nobody who owns or leases a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Lexus, or Tesla is going to switch to Lincoln. Ford has to make Lincoln pertinent to more of these prospects, if they want to keep Lincoln alive long term.

Hi, I'm almost nobody.  I have an Audi Q5 and BMW X3  They are our daily drivers, the wife has the Q5 and I the X3.  Our first Lincoln is on order.  I know of two others doing the same thing.  The Aviator will be our travel car.  Tonight, a new Nautilus was across the intersection, my wife said what is that?  I told her, she said I like that.  I said that is the MKx in new clothes.  She said, it looks much better.  hmmm, two years ago the MKx was an old folks car, now it is good looking.  Guess a face lift can do wonders.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll throw in my prediction here for what it's worth... the Navigator, Aviator and Corsair will be the top selling luxury SUVs in their segments in record time. Not sure about Nautilus since it just had a facelift and an all new model is still a year or two away.  As I understand it, the Aviator and Explorer had completely different design teams, who worked at different locations and had very little collaboration.  Yes the teams started with the same basic "flexible platform", but the Lincoln team had the most influence on the platforms design because it had to accommodate Aviators superior suspension and much larger PHEV battery. Unlike years past the two models actually have very little in common now and it's no longer accurate to say the Aviator is just a dressed up Explorer... if anything, it's the other way around. The same applies to the Corsair and Escape and future products.

 

Ford owned Austin Martin, Jaguar, Range Rover, and Volvo and they gained valuable institutional knowledge from each of them.  They correctly decided to sell those acquired brands off to concentrate on Ford and now Lincoln.  They are also much further along on their path to EV and Autonomous Vehicle development than most may think. 

Edited by CoolScoop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×