Member access

4-Traders Homepage  >  Shares  >  Tokyo  >  Toyota Motor Corp    7203   JP3633400001

TOYOTA MOTOR CORP (7203)

47
SummaryChart AnalysisNewsCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
News SummaryMost relevantAll news 

Ford revives Lincoln with glass roof and "date nights"

04/02/2012 | 09:29pm US/Eastern

Ford Motor Co is rolling out new Lincoln models with a panoramic glass roof option to lure younger, more affluent buyers, as the No. 2 U.S. automaker tries to revive a luxury brand whose sales peaked two decades ago.

The new signature retractable 15-square-foot roof is just one feature designed to distinguish the 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedan in the crowded luxury market.

Ford is betting that fresh designs, glossier showrooms and a personalized approach to service will help drive sales. The MKZ, which will be unveiled at the New York auto show this week, is one of seven new or revamped Lincoln models to be introduced by 2015 intended to resuscitate the brand.

"We realize we have a long journey ahead of us, but I think we have set a good foundation for it from the product and also what we're trying to do with the consumer experience," said Mark Fields, head of Ford operations in North and South America, at a media event in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.

Lincoln was the top-selling luxury nameplate in the United States in the 1990s, but last year, sales totaled 85,643, less than half the vehicles sold by Lexus, Toyota Motor Co's (>> Toyota Motor Corp.) <TM.N> luxury brand.

Ford aims to lower the average age of Lincoln buyers to 57 years from 65, and raise the target average income by more than 50 percent to nearly $160,000 a year.

DATE NIGHT

Lincoln is also hoping that over time half of its buyers will come from other luxury brands. Currently, Lincoln's "conquest" rate is 37 percent.

To encourage more car shoppers to test drive a Lincoln, Ford is considering initiatives like "the Lincoln date night," Ford's head of global marketing, Jim Farley said.

"To reward you for sampling the brand, we'd like to take you out to dinner, on Lincoln," Farley said. "It's a great way to eliminate that friction that so many conquest customers will have."

Ford has not released pricing information on the MKZ, nor has it disclosed how much the glass roof option will cost. The MKZ competes against the Cadillac CTS and the Lexus ES.

Lincoln is offering the MKZ with three different powertrain options, including a hybrid that can get 41 miles per gallon in the city, and a lane monitoring system. As a standard feature, the MKZ will also come with MyLincoln Touch, a touch-screen entertainment and navigation system.

The MKZ is the first Lincoln model since the 1970s to be crafted by a group of designers devoted exclusively to the luxury brand. The design team is headed by Max Wolff, a former Cadillac exterior designer at General Motors Co (>> General Motors Company).

"They are really trying to make an effort to differentiate them from a content standpoint, from a ride and handling standpoint, a quietness standpoint," IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Lindland said.

(Reporting By Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Richard Chang)

By Deepa Seetharaman

Latest news on TOYOTA MOTOR CORP
3h ago Toyota recalls 247,000 vehicles in U.S. over Takata air bag issue
7h ago BOJ stays upbeat on regional Japan, Kuroda says recovery on track
7h agoDJASIA MARKETS : Japan's Nikkei Surges 4% As Asian Markets Rebound
12h ago TOYOTA MOTOR : Kirloskar Motor Registers 4% Growth in the Domestic Market
1d ago TOYOTA MOTOR : C-HR concept unveiled at Paris show
1d ago Indonesia's auto sale accelerates 13.54% y/y in September
1d ago TOYOTA MOTOR : says no decision yet on producing SUVs at Turkish plant.
2d ago Japan rolls out 'long-held dream' with first commercial jet in 50 years
3d ago EXCLUSIVE : Takata engineers struggled to maintain air bag quality, documents re..
3d ago Japan to roll out aerospace hope with first commercial jet in half a century
Advertisement
Chart
Duration : Period :
Toyota Motor Corp Technical Analysis Chart | 7203 | JP3633400001 | 4-Traders
Income Statement Evolution
More Financials
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF