Friday, May 10, 2013

Lame Lincoln gets bump from the sale of the sedan brand

Paul A. Eisenstein, the Detroit Bureau - 18: 00.

Ford Motor Co. Lincoln struggling Division one began urgently break needed last month with a strong uptrend in sales for his new MKZ sedan after months of weak of demand, the questions about the luxury brand long-term survival.

Once a dominant signs in the US market, Lincoln on the radar screens of most of the American luxury buyers has fallen, senior company officials, add a downfall that start, had promised last year reversing published introduction of the new MKZ sedan. But the situation deteriorated because of concerns about quality problems, which forced to slow production and a close inspection of each MKZ Lincoln turned out.

As a result, Lincoln were sales in the first quarter of 2013 from 24 percentage-immerse to a level not seen in the Jahrzehnten--even as major luxury competitors posted double-digit gains. But claims to have these quality problems under control with parent Ford, Lincoln has finally started ramping up the production of the MKZ, deliver approximately 11,000 dealers in recent weeks, retail sales surging to about 4,000 in April alone – the nameplate best month ever.

The upswing could help to mitigate that Ford Lincoln moving brand may be forced, as it above some of the medium-sized mercury analyst criticism years.

But Ford global marketing Chief Jim Farley, recently head of the Lincoln brand named admits, that the crisis is not over.

"This is his remake of Lincoln, a long way..." he acknowledged during a media conference call. "It is not only to continue but accelerate to be competitive with us."

The big question remains how long. Farley has indicated Ford now it recognizes Lincoln one could so much as take two decades, luxury brand, a process to transform that require to make a significant investment in product and push the brand to a more global than North American, brand really competitive.

This is a long-term commitment, which rarely carry out American automakers. But Farley is fast on the slow slog faced by Audi to major competitors. Long a second-tier brand, which would have a retreat from the U.S. market in 1992 almost today Audi is one of brands fastest growing the American luxury market - neck and neck with rival BMW supremacy in the global automotive market high-line.

Lincoln saw comfort that is responsible for the slow comeback of city rivals rivals General Motors Cadillac brand take. Dominated in the early 1990s the two Marques the U.S. market BMW to foreign brands such as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz pushed aside. But Cadillac new dynamics offered such as the compact ATS has won. Directly targeted against the vaunted BMW 3-series, named can was North American car of the year the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

Lincoln wanted to achieve similar successes with the MKZ, but the new sedan, starting with $35.925, got off to a bumpy start. After early quality problems with several other new models like the Ford Fusion sedan and escape crossover decided the manufacturers to return production of the Lincoln model pare shipping each car to Detroit for close examination before releasing it to the dealer.

A costly launch campaign short-circuited the delay, wrapped around a few Super Bowl ADS and dealer left frustrated in many cases apologized to potential buyers, over pulled off to competing manufacturers dealer.

The increase in sales is in April can still save the Lincoln MKZ, if Farley has proposed that it could require an expensive second campaign launch.

Even the MKZ can start only the salvage of the Lincoln brand. These days, no single model can carry a manufacturer. Luxury brands are proliferating product in dizzying heights. Mercedes, offers, for example, an alphabet soup of sedans, Coupes, sports cars, crossovers and other models that do not fit the simple categorization.

Lincoln confirms plans for four new models late 2014, including the MKZ, a production version of the MKC compact crossover concept in Detroit in January revealed an update from the large sedan, MKS and long-overdue replacement for the massive Navigator SUV.

In addition, Ford CEO Alan Mulally has yet more to follow, including a sports Coupe with promised expected to be based on the same platform as the next-generation Ford Mustang.

The bump sales is welcome news at Ford, but no guarantee that Lincoln is out of the Woods in April. The manufacturer must continue momentum WINS, and extend their reach to a new generation of buyers who have given much thought not Lincoln. It is a process that will take probably years and not had a level of commitment of the luxury brand in decades.

Copyright © 2009-2013, the Detroit Bureau

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