Tag Archives: MKC

Report: Ex-GM VP LaNeve takes over Lincoln ad agency

By Jonathon Ramsey

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Those of you that caught yesterday’s op-ed about Lincoln will have heard already, but Mark LaNeve has taken the helm at Team Detroit. Once the North American vice president of sales, service and marketing for General Motors, LaNeve will now head up the agency that handles all of Ford advertising. LaNeve will also run the account for Lincoln. While at GM from 2001 to 2009, the exec oversaw ad campaigns like Cadillac’s Breakthrough and sales initiatives like “Employee Pricing for Everyone.”

He left in 2009 to join Allstate as chief marketing officer, oversaw the creation of the Mayhem ad spots and was moved into the role of VP of agency operations overseeing Allstate’s 10,000 agents. He resigned from the insurer in February 2012 for personal reasons and joined Team Detroit in August 2012 as chief operating officer, in charge of satellite offices in New York and internationally. He replaces ex-CEO Cameron McNaughton, and will continue to hold the title of COO.

Lincoln is trying to get its 2013 back to rights after putting big dollar commercials for the 2013 MKZ on television then having production glitches preventing cars from getting to dealerships. With rumors of a relaunch in the works, it’s no surprise LaNeve has been given the reins – and from here it looks like the brand is desperate for the kind of magic he’s proved he can marshal. Perhaps he can start by calling a mulligan on the renaming exercise that gave us the hoary “Lincoln Motor Company” and go back to oh, say, “Lincoln.” Then he can ask the product folks to get to work on the MKC concept

Ex-GM VP LaNeve takes over Lincoln ad agency originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

The Continental: Best and Worst of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show

By Jens Meiners

The Continental

Each week, our German correspondent slices and dices the latest rumblings, news, and quick-hit driving impressions from the other side of the pond. His byline may say Jens Meiners, but we simply call him . . . the Continental.

Volkswagen CrossBlue concept

Detroit is the most important American auto show by far. As a German, it is endlessly fascinating to check out the American and Asian cars at the show, many of which are not sold in my home country. Those that are sold there often come with vastly different powertrains and design features. This year’s Detroit show was rife with awesome styling concepts and even a few surprises. Here is my personal take on some of the cars and technologies I came across on the show floor.

Best Concept: Volkswagen CrossBlue. Yes, I know the styling doesn’t knock anyone’s socks off, but it is well executed to the last beautiful detail—and it packs a lot of them, such as the angular, U-shaped daytime running lights. The concept’s interior is futuristic and it boasts quite forward-looking technology, such as a Schaeffler-supplied electric rear axle. Volkswagen’s MQB modular architecture is designed to incorporate this unit with few changes, and we will see it on production VW Group cars soon.

Lincoln MKC concept

Worst Concept: Lincoln MKC Concept. Ford’s design department under J Mays seems to be falling back into an old pattern. Remember the Ford Five Hundred, a blatant ripoff of Peter Schreyer’s Volkswagen B5 Passat? I can just imagine Mays ordering Lincoln chief designer Max Wolff to take an Audi Q5 and morph it to the Ford Escape’s package. From the side window opening to the wraparound tailgate, the MKC is embarrassingly lacking in originality. Several Ford designers have worked in Audi and VW design, but shouldn’t they be allowed to move on?

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Best Production Car: Chevrolet Corvette. America’s sports-car icon is taking a big leap forward. Its styling is aggressive enough to appeal not only to the aging Corvette collector crowd, but also to a new, younger set of buyers. The front grille may be somewhat unexceptional, but the headlight design is refreshing; the side view is novel and even slightly Italian; and the angry rear end is simply fantastic. Thank you, Chevrolet, for not allowing this icon to be clinic’d to death. The C7 Vette goes the extra 25 percent the C6 wasn’t allowed to go, and as a result it will be considered a great Corvette.

2014 Jeep Compass Latitude

Worst Production Car: Jeep Compass. This car is hardly worth mentioning, but it represents the mindset that prevails when “car guys” take the back seat in a car’s development. Cynically exploiting the Jeep brand, this pseudo-SUV has become a barely acceptable vehicle almost seven years after its launch. It resembled a diminutive Grand Cherokee for a few years, but now its big brother is getting a facelift, leaving the Compass behind yet again. It is a sad fact that the Compass was conceived when Dieter Zetsche and Wolfgang Bernhard were calling the shots at Chrysler, as they are now at Mercedes-Benz.

2014 Cadillac ELR

Best Exterior: Cadillac ELR. The series production ELR does not deviate far from the look laid down by the stunning Converj concept from a few years back, and I like everything about it. Slim, futuristic, and true to Cadillac’s unique design language, it brings enormous appeal to the notion of owning an electric vehicle. Let’s hope that the ELR’s on-road performance, with its boosted Volt powertrain, is anywhere near what the styling promises, so that it won’t need the VL Industries treatment (see below).

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Worst Exterior: Mercedes-Benz CLA. Almost eight years ago, I wrote a requiem for German design in a commentary for Automotive News. Back then, I argued that restraint and simplicity have gone out the door in favor of voluptuous lines and nonfunctional styling—and that was before Gorden Wagener became head of design at Mercedes-Benz. From my somewhat purist perspective, things certainly haven’t improved. That said, taste in styling is personal, and anyone who likes the looks of the CLA, a self-proclaimed “style rebel,” will be positively thrilled by its dynamic capabilities. And I concede the small Benz’s look is functional: It has the one of the lowest drag coefficients of all series production vehicles on the market.

By the way, as we are speaking of simplicity and restraint: Why did every Audi—the high-performance 2014 RS7 included—on the stand in Detroit have chrome wheels?

Best Interior: Toyota Avalon. I opened the door of this Japanese Buick only to check if they still fitted a front bench seat; the last Avalon I bothered to peek into (some years ago) was so equipped. To my utter surprise, I was met with one of the most beautifully styled instrument panels I’ve seen in this class. It has a layered surface, soft and hand-stitched padding, and a brushed-metal center zone fitted with precisely machined knobs just like on a 1970s high-end stereo. (Which most Avalon customers likely vividly remember.)

2013 Cadillac XTS Platinum interior

Worst Interior: Any Cadillac with CUE. Actually, GM’s luxury brand has some of the best interiors in the marketplace—clever, functional, aesthetically pleasing. But for me, the CUE infotainment system ruins the experience. Not only is it slow to respond and sometimes counterintuitive, I deplore the pitiful graphics. Come on, an ancient telephone receiver to symbolize the phone function? An antique globe to represent navigation? There even are 1970s-style symbolized bodies for the climate controls and OnStar, plus a child’s drawing of a cloud for the weather. It gets worse as you move on, delving into a world of overlapping rectangles and wide, empty spaces on the screen. This inexplicable mix of shapes and styles is unworthy of Cadillac. Ford’s SYNC, with all of its shortcomings, is an application that is far more pleasant to look at.

VL Automotive Destino

Biggest Surprise: VL Industries Destino. This Fisker Karma, stripped of its battery pack and electric powertrain, delivers one of the nastiest blows to E-mobility to date. The factory Karma is built around the notion of “sustainable mobility,” and VL’s dumping a naturally aspirated or supercharged 6.2-liter Corvette V-8 into its engine bay is about as sensitive as showing up at the local co-op in a camo-colored Hummer H1. The incredulous eyes of my European colleagues upon stumbling over the Destino were priceless. Can this be allowed? Yes.

Acura NSX Concept

Biggest Yawn: Acura NSX. It seems time to move beyond the NSX sports car even before this never-ending launch is finally over. I really look forward to driving the actual car, but the new model’s surprise factor and mystique will have been squandered by the time it hits the road.



Ford Atlas concept

Best Truck: Ford Atlas. Okay, this will be another long-haul launch, but for now, this thinly veiled next-generation F-150 is bold, well executed, and pleasantly technical in its styling language. I like the look, and I like the fact that it appeared in Detroit by surprise.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ

Worst Truck: GM’s new-for-2014 full-size pickup trucks for GMC and Chevrolet. GM’s design leadership in trucks was last asserted with the 1988 C/K—and lost to the Dodge Ram in 1994. Since then, it has been a downhill slide for the General, with the 2014 Chevy and GMC trucks figuring as the current low point. I suppose the trucks aspire to boldness, but, in fact, the pair represents one of the most timid redesigns I have seen. Apart from a few gimmicky details, calling these rigs “evolutionary” would be an overstatement.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Report: Lincoln to adopt Mini-like personalization strategy?

By Jeremy Korzeniewski

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Lincoln MKC Concept interior

There’s no single silver bullet that will cure all that ails the Lincoln brand, and Ford knows that just as surely as we do. Coming out with exciting new models like the well-received MKC crossover counts as several steps in the right direction, assuming of course that the production version is as appealing as the concept just shown at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, but more is needed. According to Jim Farley, executive vice president of Lincoln, one more trick may be “mass customization.”

Put another way, Lincoln is considering ways to allow buyers to customize their new vehicles right off the showroom floor, similar to how things are done at Mini, and, to a lesser extent, Scion, where Farley previously served as corporate manager. Imagine, for instance, ordering a new MKC with a large Lincoln insignia embossed into the leather seatbacks, according to Automotive News.

While we’re not so sure anybody is all that interested in paying extra for more Lincoln logos, it’s a strategy that has proven rather fruitful at Mini. Only time will tell if Ford’s erstwhile luxury division will once again be seen as something truly worth reaching for, and if customers are willing to pay a further premium for customization.

Lincoln to adopt Mini-like personalization strategy? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Detroit: MKC Concept is the real fresh start for Lincoln [w/poll]

By Chris Paukert

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Lincoln MKC Concept

We were admittedly bullish about the Lincoln MKC Concept when we introduced it to you yesterday, as we were taken aback by how cohesive the C-platform crossover is in the metal. As it turns out, so were you, dear reader. With hundreds of comments booked on our original Deep Dive story, the overwhelming temperature of the Autoblog Commenteriat is one of surprise and delight – quite an accomplishment for a marque that many had written off for dead. The reception here under the bright lights of the Detroit Auto Show appears to be no less positive, but we thought you might want a second, closer look afforded by these live photos.

Lincoln remains mum on production MKC drivetrain specifics (we’re thinking it will start with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder out of its similarly sized Ford Escape relative, or maybe the midlevel 1.6-liter), but we shouldn’t have to wait too long. The showcar is expected to closely mirror the production model (due as early as later this year), so much so that Ford global marketing boss Jim Farley explicitly told the press conference masses, “When you see the MKC, do not think concept.” That’s good news, as the MKC is pivotal to Lincoln’s effort to rebuild awareness and consideration on the back of its MKZ sedan, a model just now going on sale. In fact, with the small crossover segment exploding, the MKC could very well turn out to be more important to the brand than the MKZ.

After seeing these new photos, are you more or less enamored with Lincoln’s new concept? Leave a comment after voting in our poll below.

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Continue reading MKC Concept is the real fresh start for Lincoln [w/poll]

MKC Concept is the real fresh start for Lincoln [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Jan 2013 10:39:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Deep Dive: Lincoln MKC Concept shows real promise

By Chris Paukert

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Lincoln MKC Concept - front three-quarter view

Ford’s efforts to resuscitate its moribund Lincoln luxury brand began in earnest with the introduction of its 2014 MKZ sedan, a model many labeled as the marque’s make-or-break offering. Of course, one model does not a comeback make, and with the MKZ just now starting to trickle into dealers, it will be some time before America’s jury of consumers comes in with their judgment. More to the point, it’s likely to take better than a decade’s worth of products and sustained marketing effort to even begin to figure out whether Lincoln has a shot at redemption or if it will die of Mercury poisoning. After all, rival General Motors has been pouring resources into Cadillac since the late ’90s, and if the sales charts are any guidance, it’s still probably too early to declare its rebirth a success.

Lincoln MKC Concept - rear three-quarter viewCertainly, a brand with Ford’s resources, free of distractions (read: the now-defunct Premier Auto Group and various other side projects) should be able to successfully market a single luxury brand, particularly one with such a rich – if distant – history. Especially now with the Blue Oval enjoying more consumer goodwill than at any time in recent history. So let’s all give Alan Mulally and friends a little room to work, eh?

We can start by focusing on the compact crossover seen before you, the Lincoln MKC Concept. Riding atop the same global C-platform that underpins the Ford C-Max, Escape and Focus, the MKC showcar here presages a production small CUV that will stick its distinctive nose into one of the auto industry’s fastest-growing segments.

Continue reading Lincoln MKC Concept shows real promise

Lincoln MKC Concept shows real promise originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 13 Jan 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Lincoln MKC Concept Photos and Info: It’s an Escape—to Luxury! [2013 Detroit Auto Show]

By Andrew Wendler

Lincoln MKC concept

When we first caught wind of Lincoln’s forthcoming utelet, we welcomed the news that it would likely use Ford’s global C-segment platform that also underpins the Escape and the Focus. Both of those vehicles are good, so if Lincoln can’t have unique mechanicals, as least it’s got good bones to build on; the interesting part would be how Lincoln goes about evolving the MKC from well-received Ford to entry-luxury contender. READ MORE ››

2013 Detroit Auto Show full coverage

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver