2013 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost
  • 2013 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost
  • 2013 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost front 3/4 view

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  • 2013 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost
  • 2013 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost front 3/4 view

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  • 2013 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost
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Lincoln is having a rough year, but at least its sales volume increased 0.63 percent in August 2013 compared to the same time last year. To spur sales of its luxury brand, parent company Ford is resorting to a stair-step incentive program in Washington and New York through September 30, says The Detroit News. According to the report, this type of of program is unpopular with dealerships because, as Don Chalmers, owner of Ford and Lincoln dealerships in New Mexico, says, "They're confusing to the market, they're not necessarily good for customer satisfaction, and when you see a burst of sales at the end of a stair-step program, there's always a payback. Right after that, the sales dip."

To be clear, a stair-step program is one in which incentives are provided to dealers based on number of sales. The bonuses usually come in tiers – $500 per car for the first ten over the course of the program, $1,000 per car for the next ten, and so on – hence the stair imagery.

They also seem somewhat controversial at Ford, with Ken Czubay, the automaker's vice president of US marketing, sales and service, reportedly saying Ford doesn't run stair-step incentive programs and Erich Merkle, a sales analyst, claiming that the program applies only to select Lincolns. 2013 model year MKS, MKX and MKT are the only Lincolns that qualify dealers for the incentives, which are realized as bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 for each unit sold. The more sales thresholds that are passed, the more bonus money the dealer gets for each car.

It's worth noting that during stair-step programs, discounts are often bigger than usual, and trade-ins can be worth more, so if you're in the market for a Lincoln and you live in Washington or New York, it's probably a good time to look for deals.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      BC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Given that 2014s have been arriving for more than a month, why are incentives to move 2013s a surprise, whatever form they take?
      Mick
      • 1 Year Ago
      Make a left hand drive version of the Falcon G6E Turbo for the 2014 model next year and sell it as a Lincoln. Keep the Falcon alive and at least it will look stylish.
        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mick
        That's exactly what Lincoln needs! If General Motors can rebadge a Holden Commodore as a Chevrolet SS, why can't Ford badge engineer the Ford Falcon as a Lincoln luxury performance sedan???
          imoore
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Greg
          Because Ford's Dearborn engineers wouldn't allow it. They've always felt threatened by the Australian team. Remember the fit the Freestyle engineering team had in 2005 when someone suggested bringing the Territory SUV over as a Lincoln? These guys are a large part of the reason Ford won't bring over the new Ranger.
      William Weisberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Note to Alan Mulally, Lincoln as a luxury brand is dead. Cut your losses and close up shop.
        imoore
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William Weisberg
        He's already shut down Australia and plans to leave town next year. He'll let Mark Fields do the dirty work after he's gone.
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      You look at a brand like Lincoln, and you have to shake your head in disbelief. From the weird-ass styling to the failure to invest in technology in any meaningful way, Ford has done everything wrong. As with a student who fails every test but still bother to show up to school, after a while you have to ask, "why bother?"
        Laxmangl
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        I agree that Lincoln has wierd styling (at least the front ends anyway) but what exactly does, "failure to invest in technology in any meaningful way" mean? 8.5 inch full color MyLincolnTouch info-tainment system (quirky, but powerful) Radar cruise control Active motion seats Inflatable seat belts Dedication to eco-boost turbocharging Foot activated rear hatch Electronic vehicles If anything, ford has invested TOO deeply in technology. They crammed a 23k Focus full with a touchscreen, active park assist, 10 speakers, and a dual clutch transmission fergodsakes!
          GFB
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Laxmangl
          Failure to invest in technology: MyLincolnTouch is actually MyFordTouch. MKS uses heavy, two decade old Volvo engineered platform (shared with Ford Taurus). MKZ used two decade old Mazda platform until it switched to newer Ford of Europe Mondeo platform (each shared with Ford Fusion). Everything on your list is common in the auto industry. Keeping up with the Joneses is not the same as meaningful investing.
        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        Lincoln technology is fine. Lincoln needs unique platforms like Cadillac gets with the ATS and CTS. Lincoln doesn't have a single model that isn't just a badge engineered Ford. The only reason I could see buying a Lincoln over a Ford is if I wanted the highest trim level possible for a new Ford vehicle. There isn't really anything that sets Lincoln models apart from Ford other that the price.
        imoore
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        Ferps, GFB and Greg are correct on this. Ford needs to rededicate itself to Lincoln to justify the brand's existence as a luxury car. But how can they do this when they recently announced the launch of Vignale, which is simply a European version of Lincoln? Same old, same old.
      Technoir
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lincoln is a styling failure. How could they possibly think this bloated whale with ghastly features would attract buyers?
        b.rn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Technoir
        About 18 months ago, I test drove a 2012 MKZ. It was a nice car. Because so many argued that one was better off buying a "similarly equipped" Fusion, I test drove a loaded 2012 Fusion also. It only made sense, as the Fusion was receiving rave reviews and the MKZ reviews were mediocre. Putting aside that you are unable to get some of the MKZ features on the Fusion (vented seats, cross traffic, real wood, etc), the MKZ was a significantly better car. Most things about it were simply done better than they were done for the Fusion. Smother acceleration, smother power accessories, quieter, sturdier chassis, more comfortable, the list goes on. I'm not saying they're great cars (I didn't buy one). I'm not saying they're appropriately priced (though discounts are plentiful). I am saying this blind bashing is unjustified. I see the 2013 MKZ has undergone a significant revamp. I haven't driven it, but I'd like to.
      Big Squid
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, sales up almost ONE PERCENT! I don't know what those dealers are complaining about -- except maybe too MANY customers! The good times are back, right?
      MAX
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's got to be a nightmare having a Lincoln-Mercury franchise. This shows how little markup is actually in the car business. Ford should be ashamed with what has happened at Lincoln.
        express2day
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MAX
        At least they are now starting to turn things around. It takes time to rebuild a brand. Fortunately, the MKZ has been selling well, at higher transactions, and without the need for big incentives. There's a lot to look forward to, or at least be optimistic about, as a Lincoln dealer or customer as much new product and other changes are in the pipeline.
      That Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should be happy. Because massive incentives are the only way these rebadged Fords are moving off the lots. Even the rebadges Fusion...I mean Lincoln Cimarron has failed to increase sales versus the last model...all while being more problematic and having many quality issues. Ford has made it clear they want Lincoln to die, they should just shut the doors already. If Lincoln were a dog, it would have been put down a long time ago.
      Thipps
      • 1 Year Ago
      everyone gives Alan Mulally good type status of the auto world but honestly when will people look at his huge failure with fords other brands. I remember ford marketing the Taurus against the BMW 5.....UM Ford isnt that for Lincoln? now the fusion is being marketed as upscale which for the most part it is but at some point it undercuts the Lincoln variant. Also i believe Ford has not done a great job in asia......which is also huge moving forward
      AngeloD
      • 1 Year Ago
      FoMoCo will wait for a decent interval to elapse after Alan Mulally steps down next year to pull the plug on Lincoln. There's no way for Lincoln to survive without a lot more investment in product than Ford is willing to put in. KIlling Mercury was a death blow to Lincoln. The Lincoln dealers who put up the millions for remodeling that Ford demanded over the past couple of years on the promise of a lot of new and unique Lincoln product have been had.
      Mick
      • 1 Year Ago
      That front styling is just plain fugly, and the back end isn't much better either.
      throwback
      • 1 Year Ago
      lincoln needs it's own RWD/AWD platform. They can sell FWD lincolns of course, but they need Lincoln specific cars. I suggest they partner with Jag on the next gen XF platform.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @throwback
        That's actually a good idea.
        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @throwback
        It won't happen. Ford cut off all of their "Premier Auto Group" ties before the bailout of 2009. The only chance of getting a RWD Lincoln is if they use the Mustang platform or Australian Ford Falcon platform which they probably will not do. Ford probably thinks that their customers don't know any difference between FWD and RWD to justify the development of another Town Car or LS anytime soon.
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