2013 Lincoln MKZ
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    It's no secret that Lincoln has received short shrift from the Ford Motor Company for years, and former CEO Alan Mullay even wanted to kill the whole thing off when he ran things. Today, things appear to be trending in a different direction. Fresh investment has helped enable a sizable marketing push for its well-regarded MKC compact crossover, a couple of awards for the company and plant the seeds for a major expansion into China. While the situation is still in the early going, it looks like L

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    The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid might not be "true luxury," yet, but it is being recalled. According to The Detroit News, around 7,300 gas-electric MKZs from the 2013-2014 model years have a problem with the powertrain control module that could cause the vehicles to roll even after being put into park. The problem is that the software can sometimes allow the shift to happen even if the brake pedal isn't pushed down. No injuries have been reported, Ford said.

    Lincoln is "not true luxury," according to Ford's design boss, J Mays. His statements come from a story in The Detroit News that saw candid language on the issues facing Ford's troubled premium brand. Notably, there's a need for a strong character, with Mays saying, "Every brand needs to have a DNA and a unique selling point and things in the vehicle that make you think, 'That's that particular brand.'"

    The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid has been something of a hit for Ford since the beginning, exceeding the company's modest projected 15-percent take rate for more than two years (we say "modest" because that still means an overwhelming majority of Lincoln customers are passing up on the gas-electric powertrain even though it costs the same as the standard model). Either way, Lincoln builds 700 MKZ Hybrids at its plant in Mexico each month, but has sold 715 of them in each of the past three months. That's w

    Complimentary scheduled maintenance programs have been great tools for luxury automakers to draw in new customers, but some are starting to scale their programs back considerably. According to Automotive News, Lincoln is joining Jaguar and Volvo on the list of automakers reducing the length of time it will be providing free maintenance to its customers.

    Automotive News reports Lincoln is looking to Chinese luxury shoppers for customer service ideas. Those notions may eventually make their way back to the US in the form of new dealership training. Jim Farley, the executive vice president of global marketing for Ford, tells Automotive News, "In many ways, China will be a listening post for Lincoln in the United States. Soon China will be the largest luxury market in the world." Farley also said that in China, the Lincoln brand is currently where

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    In an attempt to help push vehicle safety to a higher level, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety created a stricter Top Safety Pick+ rating last year, which incorporates a brutal small overlap test and requires cars to get Good ratings in four out of the five categories (and no less than Acceptable in the fifth). Joining the list of the safest cars of 2013, the 2013 Volvo XC60, Lincoln MKZ, Honda Civic (sedan and coupe) and the 2014 Mazda6 have all received the coveted TSP+ rating.

    Lincoln has clearly been working hard to get the word out about its 2013 MKZ sedan. The Dearborn automaker has taken out lavish spreads to trumpet its boldly styled new model in magazines of every description, along with placing commercials for both the vehicle and the reborn brand behind it on all manner of television programs, including the super-costly Super Bowl earlier this month.

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    Rebranding When Reinvention Is Requisite

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