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...


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  • 57 Comments
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, he's the guy behind the Mayhem campaign? Genius. But, I still think he looks like one the gangsters on "The Untouchables" TV series. "Lee, Rico...!"
      michaelmcgrath
      • 1 Year Ago
      Buy Tesla. Rebadge it Lincoln. Call it, Lincoln Edison. ;)
      John
      • 1 Year Ago
      The MKZ is a fantastic car but the rest of the lineup is in very rough shape. Lincoln must seperate itself to survive. They need to create instead of duplicate. They must branch off with their own platforms and unique ideas. I'm not usually one for changing names but this is one instance where its needed. A lot of people, including myself (we used to sell lincolns at my dealership, learning the MK series was not at all fun) find the MK denotion to be confusing. Take for instance the MKT, wouldn't that tend you make you think truck? MKS, ahhh, yes, thats clearly a sporty car right? Give us some fresh names, make them sporty yet luxurious possibly with an adjustable ride on certain models. Some driving excitement would help greatly aswell. Look at all of the other luxury brands they compete with, Caddilac is now all about handling and performance and they're doing fantastic. BMW is "the ultimate driving machine". Audi's have confidense inspiring AWD which on the higher trims often gets paired with some awesome sounding engines. Even Jaguar is building excitement into their cars now. In a market such as this you simply cannot have the one trick pony anymore. Its not just the older folks who buy luxury cars anymore and those of us that are younger lik driving excitement even if its in a luxo package.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @John
        Sorry John. The MKZ is hideous..,
        • 1 Year Ago
        @John
        [blocked]
          John
          • 1 Year Ago
          Thats the problem, nobody is paying attention to lincoln. The rest of the lineup isn't old lincoln, its the current lincoln. I sell Fords & used to sell Lincolns, we dropped the brand for a reason. In our younger market there was no interest at all and in turn we sold only a handfull each year. The MKZ simply isnt getting as much attention as the Fusion and next years Fusion gets even more options to close the gap between the two. Again, I love the MKZ, but its not enough. It needs unique powertrains at the very least. If you took the upcoming 2.7 ecoboost and throw it into the MKZ with AWD I think it would be an easy winner over the Fusion for comparison shoppers. Even the upcoming 2.3 would be awesome. Bottom line, the Lincoln line-up needs more content in their vehicles. At the very least, driving excitement on the lower level/smaller vehicles and new and exciting tech on the larger vehicles. They have to get rid of the stigma somehow......
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      They definitely need a new marketing campaign. The current one is confusing. But they also need better product. As I understand it, the MKZ was designed before the dedicated design studio was set up. So it is sort of only partially baked as far as the future design language. In person the car is very sharp - much better than pictures. The MKC Concept looks great. I think that will be the real test. Ford has been clear that their plan is to stick with FWD/AWD for the foreseeable future. I think if they get a few hits with this they would totally dive in and do a RWD halo vehicle using a stretched Mustang platform - the one for the new Mustang. Seems like a no brainer to me. What I think they need to do with their FWD/AWD plan is to make the AWD option rear biased like Audi. It can't be the same AWD you can get in the Ford version. Tune it for performance. And make every model have a hybrid option. Then they would have cars that cover the gamut - you can get AWD for performance, FWD for efficiency, and hybrid for being green. They also need to completely drop MyLincolnTouch. The only difference between that and the Ford version is they use the Lincoln emblem to divide the 4 quadrants of the screen. They need their own unique interface. Ditto with the gauge package. Stop using the ones from Ford, such as on the hybrid models. Add that to the push button transmission and they would have a very unique interior.
      lagasca142
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Lincoln blogs are a waste of time. Lincoln need to be showng photos of the next Navigator, face lifting the twin model of the Taurus and let's talk RWD cars next. Make sure they all look like Home Runs
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lincoln doesn't need a new marketing plan. They desperately need some new, unique product. They can have the best marketing in the world, and the brand will fail if the don't have the product to back it up. And right now, they don't. Lincoln simply can not reasonably expect to compete in the luxury market with a bunch of ugly, FWD re-skinned Fords. They can not compete in this marketplace with cheap grey plastic trim all over the console of their cars. They will not attract buyers with gimmicky features like "MyLincolnTouch" and fancy retractable glass roofs. They need to start building outstanding vehicles, and this must start with the development of a proper RWD platform. There is no other way. [And before we get into the FWD vs RWD argument: Lexus offers the RWD LS, GS and IS, Acura is dead in the water and frankly shouldn't be anybody's benchmark, and Audi utilizes a permanent AWD system with a default 40:60 rear-biased torque split. I'll say that again... rear bias.] Now, here's what needs to happen: the entire current Lincoln lineup needs to be scrapped. There is not one vehicle in there that is unique enough to justify the premium over it's Ford counterpart. Lincoln needs a flagship. A big, luxurious, long wheelbase, RWD flagship. And when developing a flagship, they should benchmark the perennial segment-leader: the Mercedes S-class. Lincoln needs to build the next Lexus LS. When Lexus introduced that car, they made Mercedes shake in their boots. Then they surpassed Mercedes and BMW in sales. It cost a billion dollars to develop. It was a loss leader. But it beat the Germans at their own game. It built the foundations of the brand. And most importantly, it got people into the showrooms, and it helped Lexus sell a million rebadged FWD Camrys for $5000 more than they would have cost at the Toyota dealer. Think about that. Think about Lincoln's history. They already have their flagship... the '63 Continental. Build it again, Lincoln. Make it enormous. Make it have suicide doors. Craft an interior swathed in wood and leather, something on a par with Rolls Royce and Bentley, something that will blow the competition out of the water. Give it the hood ornament. Drop the Coyote 5.0 V8 in it. Make it exclusive. Sell it for $80, $90, $100K... not that it matters. You'll sell every one you build, if you build it right. You'll have celebrities and athletes banging down your showroom doors to get their hands on one. And the rest of us? Well, we might do something we haven't done for decades... start talking about Lincoln. Visit a showroom. And if the rest of the line is good enough, we might even leave in one. Because you've changed they way people perceive the brand. Think about that. Lincoln, take your money and make something. No more Jimmy Fallon commercials. Don't make a brand. Don't make a plan. Make a CAR. Build a car that is worthy of the name, and get Americans talking about Lincoln again.
      fpb300
      • 1 Year Ago
      Unfortunately, he has no viable product to advertise. Lincoln needs a re-think on their products.
        hgeorgech
        • 1 Year Ago
        @fpb300
        notice .. you NEVER see a Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX in the same showroom (together)? Why would any sane person fork over an addt'l $10k for the Lincoln?
      Jimmy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Winnie is right. You need a show stopper. Something special that is not an upscale Ford. How about adding 8 inches to the backseat area? What about super quality touches? What about a 10 inch nav system? 10 speed transmission? custom colors? What about the limo business? Cater to them? Do something different! I have owned two Navigators. Now I own an Expedition luxury model. There is no way I am going to spend an extra 10k nowadays on a Navigator. Forget it.
        hgeorgech
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jimmy
        Ford's decision to kill off the Town Car was a huge blunder ... left a BIG void in the limo/livery market .. same holds true for killing off the Crown Vic ... should have spun it off as a standalone company as taxi/police sales of the Vic were ALWAYS strong and could have remained a "cash cow" for another 3 - 6 years .... want an example of long-term model success? London's black taxis ... built strictly for that segment ... nearly the same model for 25+ years .. Ford's Vic could have been the same Lincoln could have cleaned up the styling of the Town Car; improved its handling and secured a much longer life of the limo/livery segment (which was highly profitable) So, Ford dropped (2) balls here .. both market segment leaders ..
      Radioactive Flea
      • 1 Year Ago
      Perhaps Ford should worry about a viable RWD platform then marketing. No amount of advertising is going to make me want a 50k FWD fusion. I am just not that stupid.
      XJ Yamaha
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd say if Lincoln doesn't show some solid rebound within the next 12-15 months, Ford will realize time is up. It's gonna take time, but beyond 15 months if they have the new MKZ and MKC on the market, as well as another reveal for a new vehicle or two, and people still aren't taking the brand more seriously, it'll be time to cut their losses.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's not the marketing. Invest some in your cars and ditch the current "styling" especially the hideous grill!
      The Friendly Grizzly
      Lincoln also needs to do something in the naming of their cars. All of this letter business just clouds things over. I don't know one MK from another; it has no meaning. At least with BMW, folks know what a 3-series or a 5 series is, and the same thing with MB: at least the numbers mean something. I still have no idea why model series names were dropped and all this number/letter business took over. If your model name means something offensive in another country (Buick LaCross as the Allure in Canada comes to mind), then give the product a different name in that market. Simple!
        carlotta
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Friendly Grizzly
        While you're at it, tell Acura to bring back the Legend and Integra and dump the meaningless letters too. After 15 years you'd think they'd made a mistake. As for Infiniti, their stuff never made sense so there's nothing to bring back.
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