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Entries in Lincoln (3)

Thursday
Sep262013

Detroit Luxury

We have read, continue to read, and literally see on the streets the evolution of Detroit Luxury.

What do we mean by Detroit Luxury? It gravitates around the historical luxury nameplates from Detroit, Cadillac, Lincoln, Buick, Mercury, Chrysler and so on...back in the day a few generations ago those nameplates exuded luxury, the same as what very different name plates exude today. 

Lets agree that the remaining nameplates are Cadillac, Lincoln, Buick...with Mercury, Monarch, Oldsmobile, Imperial, DeSoto all gone.

Its fascinating to see how did entrenched luxury nameplates in North America become extinct, and others trying to resuscitate themselves?

True Story...

Lets go back a few decades (mid 1980's), a major auto show in Canada, here is GM featuring the Cimarron, here is a German manufacturer featuring their new sedan (E Class) which subsequently became the benchmark of the planet. At that time the price difference between the Cimarron and this new sedan was marginal. 

The crush of people on this new German sedan was so much that door panels were dented. 

From a mechanical perspective, its the mid 1980's nothing is very sophisticated, side door beams, energy absorbing bumpers are as good as it gets, and ABS brakes were a quantum leap in technology. Minimal horsepower, and so on. It was easy for most manufacturers to be on an equal technology footing. 

The elaborate 5 link rear suspension on the German sedan was almost identical to the rear suspension of the Corvette of the time. 

The rest is history as they say...but here is Cadillac in the mid 1980's totally outdone, its doors blown off, by a manufacturer that during Cadillac's hey days barely existed in North America.

We could keep on going here...at some point Detroit (Cadillac) finally emerges from its stupor and embarks on a mission to regain a foothold in the luxury segment. 

Since the auto industry abhors a vacuum, by the time Detroit wakes up from its stupor, not only are the Germans better entrenched, the Japanese have gained a foothold in the segment. Its not just the product, its the entire brand experience, from the dealers, the ownership experience and so on...Detroit is behind the 8 ball by a wide margin.

Detroit boldly embarks on a long term mission to reinstate some of their luxury brands.

As you would expect certain vehicles are inspired, other less so, but Detroit endures, marches on and progresses. 

Cadillac:

Remains the undisputed "Detroit" leader in the segment with inspired cars, and others less so, suffice to say that when a Cadillac is good its really good...although the missed generation remains a challenge to overcome.

Buick: 

We all know that its a popular luxury brand in China, and perhaps why the LaCrosse endures in North America. The Regal is phenomenal...the question remains...who in the market for an entry level luxury car understands a Buick, unless they can go back a couple of generations. Interesting enough the Verano, Enclave, Encore do very well.

Lincoln: 

To think that Alan Mulally at one time drove a Lexus! They are walking a precarious fine line with the new MKZ.

SUV/CUV:

As you would expect all three do well with their respective CUV/SUV be it the SRX, Enclave, MKX.

What do you think? 

 

Tuesday
Jan082013

The Love Affair Endures

1962 Lincoln If you are of a certain age, you remember the various comments that cars in North America, were huge, with monster engines, not refined, heavy, land barges, gas guzzlers, and another gazillion describers. 

Back then the difference between a luxury car (Cadillac) and a regular car (Chevrolet) was substance with most components and size being bigger on the luxury car, than the regular car. Those old school luxury cars had a size advantage, as well as a performance advantage compared to regular cars, or European cars with 4 cylinder engines. 

They had an imposing physical presence, accompanied by performance to substantiate the presence.

The best selling vehicle in Canada is a Ford F Series (a pick up), could you compare an F Series to an old school Lincoln with a 460 cubic inch engine, and suicide doors on the 4 door version. 

Is a Ram the equivalent of an Imperial with a 413 cubic inch wedge motor, or a 440? 

Is a Silverado the equivalent of an Oldsmobile 98 with a 394 V8?

Is a GMC Sierra the equivalent of a Cadillac Fleetwood with a 429?

The old Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobiles, Imperials would pull any kind of trailer, same as a modern pick up. The old cars easily accommodated 5 passengers, same as a modern crew cab. The trunks were positively huge, comparable to a 5 and a half foot box on a modern crew cab with a short box. The old luxury cars were from the Detroit 3, same as modern pick ups...perhaps some things never change!

The old cars were body on frame, same as a pick up. Solid rear axle, some with leaf springs same as a pick up.

The old luxury cars were physically imposing, similar to a modern pick up.

Need we mention big gas tanks...

In 2012 F150's, Rams, Silverados, Sierras are 15% of the Canadian market, back in the day Lincolns, Imperials, Buicks, and Cadillacs were 15% of the Canadian market? 

Can we conclude that the love affair endures with vehicles that have morphed from old school North American luxury cars to modern North American pick ups.

What do you think?

 

 

Friday
Dec072012

Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Always "Dream Big"...Its the first Friday of the month, Christmas is approaching fast, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino, join the conversation.

While uploading the photo of the Cadillac ATS, we noticed that we are at 80 vehicles in our Wall of Reviews, now if someone a few years ago would have told us....

We are confident that through our reviews we have assisted folks to finalise their vehicle decisions. 

In case you missed it, scroll down and take the time to watch the Project Re Brief video, its an hour well spent...fascinating to see differences, and similarities.

Canadian sales in November continue to uphold their momentum, which is developing into a strong year...one of the strongest. Encouraging to see sales at such a robust level for the year. Yes...we anticipated slightly softer sales results.

Some time ago we started publishing our thoughts on Canadian sales, which have garnered interest, have been dowloaded, have been widely read. We have to clear impression that some folks are emulating what we started...are we flattered...should we be flattered...what do you think?

This week Lincoln provided a myriad of pundits with fodder on their renewed vigor to establish a presence in the luxury segment. There are folks that probably remember Lincoln being a luxury car in the distant past, when the pecking order was Cadillac (GM), Lincoln (Ford), and Imperial (Chrysler), and at some point they all lost their ways, and gave the segment to others (we all know who they are).

Cadillac after literally being pounded underground a generation ago, has been in revival mode for close to half a generation (10 years), with moments of brilliance, and moments that have been less enlightening. Some of the cars are much better than the sales numbers indicate...a case of the product not getting a fair opportunity in a competitive market, and branding gone astray.

Now Lincoln is emulating Cadillac from half a generation ago, lets see how well they do, what innovative thinking they will bring to the segment, how much fortitude, and endurance they will have to sustain a long term effort.  

Lets congratulate Lincoln's boldness, while wishing them well....

This week we had the unique opportunity to witness first hand the migration from a Motorola Razr to an iPhone 5, from "I don't need a smart device, I just make calls"....to "This is a fun smart device". One quickly realisizes that smart devices are a lucrative product for the various phone and data carriers, providers. The phone plan doubles by becoming a data plan (we knew that).

Our usual old race cars from the Zandvort Historic Grand Prix 2012