Vehicles

Lincoln Pursues Multiple Client Bases With Newer Model Mix

Posted on November 20, 2013

The Lincoln MKT Town Car, seen here at the International LCT Show in Las Vegas, was designed and engineered for the luxury chauffeured client.
The Lincoln MKT Town Car, seen here at the International LCT Show in Las Vegas, was designed and engineered for the luxury chauffeured client.

Ford Motor unveiled another new Lincoln last week, the latest step in its campaign to close the sales gap with such luxury thoroughbreds as BMW and Mercedes. This one is a small SUV dubbed MKC. It has wood trim, an all-glass roof, and push-button gear-shifting. But it’s lacking something critical: the words “Town Car” plastered on the side.

Lincoln scrapped the Town Car in 2011 as it launched its bid to move upmarket. The model may not have been as sexy as a Mercedes E-class sedan, but it was a horse when it came to pulling revenue. For a number of years in the 1980s and 1990s, the company sold more than 100,000 Town Cars.

Here’s the interesting thing, though. The incessant string of newsmakers who sweep into Bloomberg’s New York headquarters often arrive in black Lincolns. The cars are Lincoln’s new crossover, the MKT, but they also carry the “Town Car” brand, bolted prominently on the side panel.

The marketing folks at Ford are employing a weird double-badge strategy to try to trade on both the Town Car legacy and the MK newness. The line is dedicated for liveries and has a few amenities not found in the mass-market version, including audio controls in the backseat and a higher ride height to make it easier to get in and out of.

“Obviously the Town Car name is kind of famous,” Lincoln spokesman Stephane Cesareo said in explaining the strategy.

Livery companies are great car clients. They buy in bulk and they burn through vehicles quickly. Lincoln doesn’t want to lose that business, but it also no longer wants to be known as the maker of fancy taxis; that’s what makes the zombie branding particularly sneaky. It wants to attract a younger, more diverse group of buyers while secretly shuttling around suits.

In short, the company would much rather talk about its new MKC. It will start stamping out the new SUVs in Louisville in the spring. They are expected in showrooms in the summer. We’ll have to wait and see if they too will be “Town Cars.”

-- By Kyle Stock, associate editor at Businessweek.com

View comments or post a comment on this story. (4 Comments)

More News

40 Passenger Coach Party Bus Has Low Miles

Vehicle Pick of the Week: This Temsa TS 35 mid-size motorcoach limo can take big groups out on the town.

Volvo S90 Builds On A Classic Legacy

Vehicle Review: Luxury is the order of the day here. Legroom was stupendous.

SUV Faceoff: Mercedes-Benz Vs. Range Rover

Vehicle Review: As two automotive editors prove, it's an unwinnable contest.

MCI Owner Reports Upbeat Results For 2Q

The company is investing in MCI's facilities and harmonizing its I.T. systems with those of New Flyer.

Spacious, Quiet, Comfortable Sums Up Continental

Vehicle Review: Not shared with any Ford models, this body is a unique Lincoln exclusive.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (4)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blog

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - August 2017 $12.95 MILLENNIALS/FAST 40 ISSUE COVER STORY: * How to Score & Keep The Best Young Talent * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close