Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Lincoln MKS

The first 2009 Lincoln MKS is still a couple months away from arriving at your local Lincoln dealer, but Ford has announced that 8,600 customers have already signed up for the all-new sedan. The MKS has garnered this hefty dose of interest no doubt due to Lincoln's new design language, its well-crafted interior and large number of high-tech gizmos, but Ford's marketing team deserves some credit, too. They began their work announcing the sedan's starting price of $37,895 way back in November during the L.A. Auto Show, then followed up by giving would-be customers early access to a build and price tool on the Lincoln website. The marketing team is also reportedly training dealerships to be knowledgeable about the MKS months ahead of the usual timetable, which has helped salesmen secure preorders for the vehicle sight-unseen.

Preorders traditionally happen for high-end trim levels of a model, and the MKS is no different. Sixty-five percent of the 8,600 preorders have been for the high-end "Ultimate Package," which includes features like 19-inch rims, a THX audio system, and navigation system with Travel Link. An MKS with the Ultimate Package goes for $44,180, which means Lincoln's making some money on the MKS before it even shows up for work.

Related Gallery2009 Lincoln MKS

[Source: Ford]


PRESS RELEASE:

AHEAD OF ARRIVAL IN SHOWROOMS, EARLY SALES ARE STRONG FOR NEW 2009 LINCOLN MKS FLAGSHIP SEDAN

More than 8,600 orders have been placed for the 2009 Lincoln MKS
More than 8,600 orders have been placed for the all-new 2009 Lincoln MKS prior to the vehicle's arrival in dealerships this summer.

The new Lincoln MKS full-size luxury sedan is attracting new buyers with its timeless design, fuel-efficient powertrain and an unparalleled suite of features and technologies.

Pricing for the Lincoln MKS starts at just over $38,000, including destination.

DEARBORN, Mich., June 2, 2008 - More than 8,600 orders have been placed for the 2009 Lincoln MKS, the full-size luxury sedan that doesn't even arrive in dealerships until this summer - with the high-level "Ultimate Package" accounting for 65 percent of early orders.

"People are very excited about this vehicle because it provides the complete package - a striking exterior design, dynamic performance, advanced safety features and a host of amenities not found on other luxury sedans," said Pei-Wen Hsu, Lincoln MKS marketing manager.

In addition to vehicle itself, strong early sales of the MKS are linked to a unique marketing and education campaign that has been running full throttle since the vehicle was unveiled at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

"The MKS is an all-new vehicle for the Lincoln brand, and it's a game changer for us," said Michael Sprague, Lincoln Mercury group marketing manager.
"We knew we had to go to market in a new way and send a signal to our dealers and customers that we're doing business differently," he added.

Breaking tradition, Lincoln announced pricing information and package options at the same time that the MKS debuted at the show, offering customers the opportunity to build and price their ideal vehicle at www.lincoln.com and then immediately place their order at their local dealership. Simultaneously, the team launched an extensive dealer training program, designed to educate sales consultants about the vehicle months ahead of its arrival in showrooms.

"We wanted to provide dealers with plenty of information early on so that they could talk about the product, generate excitement and engage customers," said Hsu. "Because many lease customers want to compare monthly payments before they decide on a new vehicle, it made sense for us to provide them with detailed pricing and incentives so that they could make an informed decision before the vehicle arrives in dealerships this summer."

The strategy is working, according to Tom Arthur, sales manager at Long Beach Lincoln Mercury in Long Beach, Calif. He already has taken an "unusual" 30 pre-orders for the MKS. While some of those customers saw the vehicle at the L.A. Auto Show, most of them obtained information at www.lincoln.com.

"The interest in this car has been huge, and people have been finding a lot of information online," said Arthur. "I think the MKS is going to be big hit for us."

Billy Vaughn, dealer principal at North Park Lincoln Mercury in San Antonio, Texas, says his customers placed orders for the MKS sight unseen, based on information they received from his educated sales staff as well as the web site.

"All of the customers I've talked to have done their homework. They know what's out there in the marketplace, and they're at the top of their game," said Vaughn. "Having materials available and pricing information early on has really helped us keep our customers interested."

Priced just more than $38,000 including destination, the vehicle is loaded with class-exclusive features and options, such as the industry-exclusive SYNC, Easy Fuel™ Capless Fuel Filler System, SecuriCode™ Next-Generation Keypad, a premium THX-certified audio system, 20-inch wheels, heated rear seats and the voice-activated navigation system with SIRIUS Travel Link™. The popular Ultimate Package includes all of the popular technology features.

The Lincoln MKS is powered by a Lincoln-exclusive 3.7-liter V-6 engine mated with a fuel efficient six-speed transmission. The powertrain has been derived from the proven 3.5-liter V-6 found in the Lincoln MKX, which was voted one of Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2007.