MKZ Back on Track But Lincoln Still Has Problems TheDetroitBureau com

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MKZ Back on Track But Lincoln Has Problems

Jim Farley, Lincoln s boss and the global marketing for parent Ford Motor Co.

the classic good news/bad situation for Lincoln this

On the positive side, after a slow start due to production the luxury marque’s new MKZ is finally momentum and should set a record for the when May’s final are tallied. The bad news?  As Lincoln ground, the rest of the luxury line-up has been slipping.

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have the best month with the MKZ,” predicted Jim head of the Lincoln brand and the marketing chief for its parent Motor Co.

While industry sales due out until next Monday, the total suggests Lincoln wrap up the month with of around 3,300 MKZ sedans, the previous record of 3,092 set in May A year ago, Lincoln MKZ totaled around 2,400.

The figures are a big turnaround from the quarter when MKZ sales barely reaching into the digits.  Ford officials the problem was a snag in production at the plant producing the new sedan, but speculated it meant buyers had the new offering.

“We’re encouraged by our MKZ in May but we have a long, long to rebuild this brand,” Farley.

Indeed, the executive has suggested it take a decade or more to Lincoln truly competitive key imports like BMW, and Lexus, and he points to the slow by Audi and Infiniti as examples.

If May’s numbers are likely to be a bag for Ford’s high-line brand, Matt VanDyke, Lincoln’s service and marketing chief.

shoppers are really falling in with Z, so that’s putting on S,” said VanDyke, referring to the MKZ and the MKS sedans.

While the new MKZ does to be “conquesting” buyers from luxury brands, it appears it is also cannibalizing sales other Lincoln models, the MKS in particular. So, when asked overall Lincoln sales for VanDyke warned, “We expect to be if not slightly down” for the month due to a dip in for all models except for the new MKZ.

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Lincoln executives still to put a positive spin on the news, that there are a lot of positive For one thing, they are seeing new buyers checking out Lincoln or rolling into showrooms, customers driving brands BMW and Lexus.

One of the more significant with the MKZ is the strong demand for the version of the sedan, especially in import-oriented markets like Los as well as in Texas.

Lincoln took the unusual of offering either a conventional V-6 or the hybrid alternative at the same with the new MKZ.  Normally, carry a premium that can run the thousands of dollars.

“That has resonated with customers,” Farley, during a Friday call with reporters, that strategy is something will be considered with models.

Lincoln has so far committed to four new models in 2013 and starting with the MKZ. up is the compact MKC crossover, a concept debuting at the Detroit Auto last January. A next-gen of the MKS will follow, as will the remake of the aging Navigator SUV.

Beyond that, Ford CEO Mulally has confirmed to other products are set to follow.  includes a sporty Lincoln will share the new platform set to with the launch of the 50 th anniversary Mustang next year.

does have more to Farley hinted.  And though he to discuss specific plans, he that the maker will be looking for “new segments” might just be starting to traction in the market.

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