17 October 2010
Lincoln To Muscle Up
Ford has been remiss in not looking after the Lincoln - Mercury brands particularly well. Mercury is finished but Lincoln will now try to muscle in on other premium brand's sales. The problem Lincoln has it that it is only a slightly more posh Ford, nothing else. It doesn't have the cache of Euro - Japanese marques in that segment, in fact not even compared to GM's Cadillac.
Nevertheless this is the ambitious, and necessary, goal of Ford. In reality, it takes years to build the image to compete successfully in this premium segment. Brand loyalty exists in all areas of the market, but people buying basic cars cannot always afford to be too picky. However, the more you go up, the more image counts and buyers with more money can be choosy, and are. They will pay top dollar to get the marque they want. Lincoln sales are also basically confined to North America so there is much brand awareness to build around the world.
Therefore, Lincoln will start the long journey breaking down preconceived ideas as it tries to shake off it's negative image.
What it means to me: I doubt Ford can pull this one off in the already crowded and highly image conscious premium segment.