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Lincoln tops satisfaction awards, plans revival with more models

Ford’s struggling luxury division places first among premium brands in recent survey and has a product renaissance planned.

By Douglas Newcomb Jun 16, 2014 12:52PM

Ford’s floundering Lincoln luxury brand has had some reason to celebrate with increased sales. Now it can also revel in beating competitors in the premium segment to take the top prize among luxury brands in AutoPacific’s 18th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.

Lincoln ranked first in its category in the automotive marketing research firm’s survey, which polled more than 92,000 people who bought 2014 cars and trucks on how satisfied they are with their new vehicles. Respondents rated 50 attributes for importance in their purchase of a 2014 model year vehicle as well as satisfaction after the sale. Therefore, the VSAs only measure sentiments on recently purchased vehicles and not long-term satisfaction.

GMC finished first in the Highest Satisfaction Popular Brand category, while the Mercedes-Benz S-Class not only topped the Premium Luxury Car segment but also won AutoPacific’s President Award for the highest-ever score. Lincoln moved from sixth place last year to first for 2014 and had three vehicles top their respective categories: the MKS in Executive Luxury Cars, the MKZ in Luxury Midsize Cars and the MKZ Hybrid for Hybrid/EVs. (Click here for the full list of winners.)
With plans to aggressively expand the number of nameplates through the rest of this decade and become a full-line luxury brand, Lincoln hopes to silence naysayers who have questioned the future viability of Ford’s only other vehicle division following the shuttering of Mercury in 2010.

In a recent interview with Edmunds, Lincoln said it would consider platforms on all Ford vehicles to develop additional Lincoln models. "We know we need added nameplates,"  said Matt VanDyke, Lincoln's global head of marketing, sales and service. "We know that we need to get into other segments with other vehicles. We have a very great understanding that we are in an extremely, extremely competitive segment of the automotive industry."

VanDyke said that even basing a Lincoln model on the new rear-wheel-drive 2015 Ford Mustang isn’t out of the question. “We won't rule out anything," he added.

Lincoln currently offers six vehicles. The MKZ that placed first in AutoPacific’s Luxury Midsize Car category went on sale last year and is the first model to signal Lincoln's new design direction. Next is the 2015 Lincoln MKC compact sport utility that went on sale in May.

The redesigned 2016 Lincoln MKX midsize SUV will be available next year, followed by a new full-size sedan in 2016 that will replace the current MKS. The Lincoln Navigator full-size SUV was also refreshed for the 2015 model year, while the MKT full-size SUV that shares a platform with the Ford Flex will remain unchanged for the 2015 model year.

VanDyke said Lincoln is now considering models it will add to its future product line. "The opportunity for us is to really sort out where we go with the second generation of products," he added. “We don't think that four new products in four years means that we can sit back, take a break and rest. It is absolutely the beginning, it is the foundation."

[Source: USA Today,]

Jun 18, 2014 6:27AM

Bring back the town Car, think outside the box and build what people want and need.

If you build it they will buy.

Jun 19, 2014 11:29AM
TOWN CAR !!!  That was the best Lincoln ever made......I have a 1996 beauty, and no matter where I am, at least one person stops me to ask if I want to sell it, they give me their contact info. for future consideration.  What other models of cars can say that?   This is what a luxury car SHOULD be, not a tiny "shoe" means, big, cushy, fatigue-proof driving, and the Town Car was IT.  There is no reason in the world why the Town Car cannot be manufactured with huge fuel-efficiency at a reasonable cost.  BRING BACK THE TOWN CAR !   :)    (p.s. it is not an "old folks" car either, I'm not old, I just love classy, beautiful cars)
Jun 18, 2014 1:28PM

Lincoln Has always been a quality vehicle but a bit of a barge.  I liked my Grand Marquis very well and wish they would reconsider them or the Crown Vic. Great cars and good sellers with long lives.

Jun 18, 2014 2:50PM
'Son, you're going to drive me to drinking, if you don't stop racing that Hot Rod Lincoln!'
Jun 20, 2014 10:11AM
Finally America get's it !!!!
I have a Lincoln MKT and after owning 2 BMW's have nothing  but praise for the car.
Not only is the Lincoln a great car I had a warranty issue and was a few miles past the warranty mileage  and Ford didn't try to find a way to dodge paying it but went out of their way to take care of me.
Did you notice Ford took the high road and turned down the gov't bail out and kept going while GM took  the bail out and  now want's to pass the buck on all the ignition switch issues.................................
Which car company do you think America should support?
It's a great car..
Jun 20, 2014 9:25AM
Hate to the lincoln brand go south.... It was the top of the line for so many years in my youth and, until we started allowing foreign car manf. to sell our market without any cost to them, american cars were the best you could buy...  Thanks to our politicians we damn near kissed our american brands out of the car market.....I say, more american cars and fewer american politicians....
Jun 16, 2014 5:41PM

Not surprised. I have owned 5 Lincolns, all great vehicles. Looking forward to my next one! My wife is still says her favorite vehicle of all time was the 2006 Navigator. (She is currently driving an 08 750li)

The 2016 MKX looks great! Maybe in our driveway soon...

Jun 18, 2014 4:41PM
The 4 door 1970, 1971,1972 Ford LTD's should have been made into Lincolns, Terrific size, terrific performance (with the 429 engine) Terrific luxury, decent looks and very good handling.
Jun 18, 2014 10:35AM

When Ford dropped Austin Martin, Mercury and others I was really hoping the money saved would be funneled into Lincoln.  In fact one article I read said Lincoln was going to have all kinds of new product by 2011/12 time frame.   I am disappointed it is taking sooooo long for the management at Ford to revive a longtime American luxury brand.  I wonder if the opportunity/window is shut..


Jun 18, 2014 5:11PM

The worst front end designs in the auto industry. Please come up with a new design! Your cars aren't that bad otherwise but I would still like to see a new large ominous sedan big and bold that looks mean. A Chrysler 300 on steroids.....that's the ticket.

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