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LINCOLN CHANGES DIRECTION, WON'T CHASE CADDY
"We don't have to be Cadillac," James Padilla, President of Ford Motor Co. North American Operations, in an interview after a press conference at the Chicago Auto Show. Padilla said the number-two automaker has launched an extensive review of future product plans for Lincoln, which has long been considered Ford's answer to Cadillac. But Padilla said Ford has had second thoughts about following Cadillac upscale. "We're looking at how we can get more synergy with Ford products," Padilla said. Lincoln will keep its sport-utility vehicles and continue to sell entry-level luxury cars and other luxury models that utilize the brand's traditional strengths as an American luxury brand but it won't follow Cadillac "north" with pricier models beyond roughly the $40,000 to $50,000 range. One sign of the change is that Ford has already killed plans for building a high-performance Lincoln LS with help from McLaren to compete with Cadillac's new V-Series CTS. Ford, however, also will look at building different kinds of vehicles for Lincoln. One candidate for future development is the Lincoln Navicross, which could utilize the platform developed for the Ford Freestyle activity vehicle, Padilla said. "But we haven't decided that yet." -Joe Szczesny

No Hot Rod Lincolns, what a shame.
 

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Maybe they should have rephrased that......We couldn't be Cadillac if we tried (They've tried ) and then gone on with the rest of the story.
 

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I'm a Cadillac Fanatic!
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They should get the Mark back. The LSC was an amazing car. I guess Cadillac is a tough act to follow. You can't blame Ford.. The Lincoln LS turned out to be a nice car. Especially the latest version with extra horsepower.. I wouldn't mind seeing more American luxury cars compete. Now Cadillac can relax.. I don't know how good of news that is...
 

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I do find it curious that Lincoln would back-off from doing a HO version of the LS. Considering that the car has been around since the Catera days at Cadillac, It was far superior to the Catera and was (IMO) a better base car than the Seville to start with when molding a performance luxury sedan. I have to believe that Lincoln has other plans that we just haven't heard about yet.
As for their current styling trends, I'm EXTREMELY surprised at J. Mays. How he had anything to do with Navi-cross, the new Continental, or the 427 is beyond me. The "49" was about as far in their new design direction that I'm willing to go. And just for the record, I LOVED the 49 concept.
 

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when i bought my caddy a few weeks ago my choices were the caddy or a 93 mark viii... black.... but... the mark had 43k more miles, kept stalling (plugs were REALLY bad... i pulled one out) and it needed paint... so i took the caddy which was twice the price, but well worth it.
 

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Excellent choice!
 

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Yep, 280HP 3.9 V-8. It doesn't matter though, the car is getting a little long in the tooth and needs at least a good refresh. I'm afraid there has been too much talk about the styling being bland though. Personally, I like the styling and hope they don't head off in the direction of some of the current concept designs with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ford isn’t sure which direction Lincoln is headed — except it’s not chasing Cadillac into the stratosphere.
by Joseph Szczesny 2/17/2003



Can Ford find a meaning for its “other” brand?

After wrestling for months over the future of its Lincoln brand, Ford Motor Co. executives have settled on one thing.

"We don't have to be Cadillac," says James Padilla, the blunt-talking president of the company's North American Operations. "We're not looking to hitch ourselves to anyone else," he added during an interview at the Chicago Auto Show.

At the Chicago show, Padilla revealed some of the company's latest thinking about the luxury brand exclusively to TheCarConnection. In recent years Lincoln has been eclipsed by GM's resurgent Cadillac division and aggressive importers such as BMW and Lexus, and Lincoln has been in turmoil – first moved to California and grouped with Ford’s other luxury brands, then a few months ago, reassigned to Michigan and more direct control from Dearborn.

"What we're looking at with Lincoln is how we can get more synergy with Ford products - yet still remain truly distinctive in terms of styling,” Padilla noted in Chicago. “We know there are certain power requirements that are absolutely necessary," he added.

Southerly direction?

Padilla emphasized that the company has not yet finalized a future direction for Lincoln. But some aspects of what will be folded into Lincoln's future product plans are becoming clearer, he suggested.

In the last couple of years, Ford has run through no fewer than six different product plans for its top American luxury brand, but only a couple of things appear to have been decided permanently. For sure, Ford has now dropped plans for a new Lincoln-only rear-wheel-drive platform. Even the most profitable SUVs are a source of contention: the Lincoln Aviator was something of an afterthought because some Ford executives thought it might be to small to sell under the Lincoln badge.

Padilla says Ford doesn’t need to export Lincoln to stay competitive globally. "Lincoln is an American car and we are not going to take it overseas, so that's one thing that differentiates us from where Cadillac wants to go," Padilla said. "I think the investment in Cadillac has been huge and at the volumes they are talking about, there is no way they're going to make [them]," added Padilla. "But I've got to tell you thinking about it and doing it are two different things," Padilla said.

Padilla also noted that GM has decided to push Cadillac prices further north. "That's going to be interesting to watch. It's not my plan to go up to never-never-land," Padilla said. Currently Cadillac and Lincoln's pricing are basically in the same ballpark with top of the line SUVs such as the Navigator ad Escalade selling in the low- to mid-$50,000 range.

But both Richard Wagoner, GM's chief executive, and Robert Lutz, GM vice chairman, have indicated they expect Cadillac to move upscale. The unveiling of the Cadillac Sixteen during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit clearly signaled GM's intention to make sure that Cadillac remains in any future contest for ultra-premium status. The XLR, Cadillac's new roadster, will carry a hefty premium. GM doesn't plan to unveil the pricing on the XLR but the initial price is expected to exceed $72,000. In addition, Cadillac also is working on a new version of the STS. The STS will move directly upscale to compete head to head with cars such as the BMW 5-Series and the Audi A6.

An historic end

Padilla, however, sketched out a very different future for Lincoln, which points to an end to the historic rivalry with Cadillac. "I think what we have to do is make sure we're strong in the entry luxury segment and to make sure we have product that will take us into the $40,000 to $50,000 range,” Padilla said. "But to go beyond that we've got Volvo and Jaguar. Going on top of that probably isn't what we need to do," he said.

Padilla also dropped a few hints about what Lincoln's future products might look like. "We haven't made any decisions" yet but among the alternatives are a larger version of the LS, he said. Another possibility is a variation of the Lincoln Navicross concept vehicle that Ford unveiled at NAIAS in January, added Padilla, who noted that Gerry McGovern, one of Ford's top designers, is developing a whole new look for Lincoln products. The Navicross could share a platform with the Ford Freestyle, the new activity vehicle the automaker plans to introduce next year. "I think we've got some very strong SUVs. There's always room for a couple and there is always room for a convertible," he added.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
“We know there are certain power requirements that are absolutely necessary," he added.

For sure, Ford has now dropped plans for a new Lincoln-only rear-wheel-drive platform.

"Lincoln is an American car and we are not going to take it overseas, so that's one thing that differentiates us from where Cadillac wants to go," Padilla said.

"But to go beyond that we've got Volvo and Jaguar. Going on top of that probably isn't what we need to do," he said.
This might be interesting. A new rear drive platform could be shared by other Ford divisions. Lincoln could get a horse power gain over Ford and Mercury.

I agree that with Fords Jaguar and Aston Martin, there is no need for 12 or 16 cylinder Lincolns.

GM on the other hand, has no other luxury brand (except Saab). So it has no choice but to build Cadillac. Which is a very large task. A task that will cost a lot of money and will take many years to accomplish. After 35+ years of neglect, it won't be rebuilt with just one model. It will require a much longer track record before the world takes Cadillac serious again.
 

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Well the platform for the Thunderbird is the same one under some Jags and the Lincoln LS and for the new Mustangs. I think Cadillac should look at some of the platforms down in the Land of OZ. I can see them using the Commodore as a Cadillac. Check out the site at www.holden.com
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mad'lac said:
Well the platform for the Thunderbird is the same one under some Jags and the Lincoln LS and for the new Mustangs. I think Cadillac should look at some of the platforms down in the Land of OZ. I can see them using the Commodore as a Cadillac. Check out the site at www.holden.com
I read today that GM US has already begun co-developing RWD platforms with the Aussies! Lutz is my hero.
 

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ita bout time that GM here gets together with Holden. Holden has some cool designs that never made it here like teh RWD ElCamino thing I cant remember the name
 

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That would be the UTE. I like it!!! I'll take a UTE SS in green metallic please :D
 

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yes thats it I love that car!
 

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This be the UTE SS in Tiger Mica ( or metallic orange to us )
 

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:drool:
 
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