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Old 08-10-2011, 10:33 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Report: Lincoln Gets Its Own Design Studio



http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2011...design-studio/
Quote:
It would appear Ford is getting serious about plans to revive its flagging Lincoln brand. The automaker will give Lincoln its own design studio within the Product Development Center in Dearborn.

While Lincolns will continue to be based on Fords – something most automakers do successfully between their mainstream and luxury brands – new Lincoln Design Director Max Wolff will be charged with giving the luxury versions a unique look.

According to Autoline Daily, Ford will also invest in unique interiors and powertrains, adding that those powertrains will offer big improvements in fuel economy.

The news comes on the heels of Ford’s recent announcement that it will invest $1.2 billion in new Lincoln models, with seven new vehicles planned for the next four years.

What remains to be seen is how much of an impact the new design studio can have on those new vehicles since the designs for at least some of them must already be set because of the auto industry’s long lead times.
But a unique design studio could be the key to resurrecting the luxury brand.

Critics have complained for years that Lincolns share too much in common with lesser vehicles from the Ford division. But luxury buyers won’t often pay more for a car that is similar to a car sold down the street for less.
In fact, TDB Contributing Editor Tim Healey laid out his plan for fixing Lincoln in a column this week. Click here to read the column.

While some pundits have suggested that Lincoln would go the way of Ford’s Mercury division and end up on the trash heap, that would go against recent convention, where automakers with high aspirations such as Honda, Nissan and Toyota have added luxury marquees.

It only makes sense. Luxury vehicles are cash cows, where automakers can charge hefty premiums for vehicles that sell in smaller volumes than their mainstream counterparts. But they also allow automakers to spread out development costs and give buyers more choices.

There’s also precedence for rebuilding a storied luxury brand and Ford need only look just down the street to General Motors for an example of making it work. For years, Cadillac made do with a series of badge-engineered cars that differed little from their mainstreamcounterparts. But in 1999, Cadillac started to show concept vehicles with its “Art and Science” design style, something the automaker has continued through its present lineup.

Lincoln needs a similar design template. Just as the Cadillac CTS is obviously of the same family as the SRX, Lincolns need to do more than just put the split-wing grille on the front and call it good.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
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Lincoln is badly in need of some sexy design, it's completely irrelevant as it stands today.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:38 AM   #3
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They got Max Wolf from caddy too..
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:58 PM   #4
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Still waiting for the day when they use the Fusion as the base for a sport-lux Lincoln. I can't believe it's taken them this long to come up with something. Should be exciting to see what Max Wolff and team can come up with.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:23 PM   #5
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John M @ autoline said 2013 MKZ will be amazing looking and gets its own door panels and some other parts, not just new lights and grill like existing model.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:47 PM   #6
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I hope so, since the premium you pay on the current one over the over the Fusion is pretty unwarranted. From what I saw from googling "2013 lincoln mkz" it looks like it may be delayed until 2nd half of next year. I hope the 260hp, awd, 30+mpg specs end up being true.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:59 PM   #7
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Much needed change.

If this can make Lincoln relevant in the auto world again, I'm all for it.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:03 AM   #8
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This could be interesting... Ford is making some really nice cars now, this means we could see some pretty cool Lincolns.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:33 AM   #9
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If it was possible the should have closed Lincoln and kept Jaguar while selling LR.
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