Ford Continues To Terminate Lincoln Dealerships

Ford‘s quest to trim the fat from Lincoln‘s dealer network continues as the company aims to cut another 100 dealers in what it calls “major markets”, from 500 to 325. So far the brand is down to 434 as for December 31, 2010.

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Lincoln Dealers Won't See New Product At Meetings With Ford Execs

With 200 of Lincoln‘s 1200 dealers staring down a possible termination of their franchise, an upcoming dealer meeting will provide little comfort to retailers of Ford’s luxury brand, as the Blue Oval will not share upcoming product details with Lincoln’s sales force.

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Dealers Offering Lessons for Complex MyFord Touch System to New Car Buyers

Anybody’s who’s purchased a 2011 Ford Edge or Lincoln MKX, will no doubt be familiar with the My Ford/MyLincoln/Touch interface.

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Lincoln To Get Unique Styling And Powertrains

As part of a revitalization program for Lincoln vehicles, Ford announced a series of measures aimed to take Lincoln even further upmarket.

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MyFord Touch Distracting Says Consumer Reports, Drops 'Recommended' Rating on Edge

Consumer Reports has decided to drop its ‘recommended’ rating for both the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers, due to the Blue Oval’s new MyFord and MyLincoln Touch systems.

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Ford Edge And Lincoln MKX Face Recall Due To Fire Hazard

Ford is recalling both the Edge crossover and the Lincoln MKX luxury crossover due to an electrical short that could lead to a fire. The vehicles were built during a 6 day window, and also includes certain Ford F-Series trucks.

Dealers will inspect a component known as the body control module, and replace it if necessary. The recall will begin on January 10, 2011 and owners can contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332.

[Source: NHTSA]

Hit the jump to read the official press release

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Ford Hires Cadillac Design Boss to Recreate Lincoln Brand Image

Cadillac has had had a great deal of success over the past several years, with a turnaround that has been marked by vehicles that stand out in the marketplace. Meanwhile, Caddy’s cross-town rivals at Lincoln have faltered, producing luxury vehicles that have failed to capture the attention of consumers.

So with Ford planning numerous new Lincoln vehicles over the next few years, the brand is looking for a design to match what it believes is an all-new Lincoln inside, and under the hood. So what better way to do that than to hire the chief designer at rival Cadillac, Max Wolff?

Wolff, who made a name for himself at GM of Australia’s Holden division was more recently the head of Cadillac’s exterior design team and is responsible for the current CTS sedan and its offshoots like the CTS Coupe and Sportwagon. That design is also likely to inspire the rest of the Cadillac brand for years to come.

“Hiring a Lincoln design director with global experience was a given,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company. “Max Wolff brings a fresh perspective that will challenge us internally and take Lincoln to new levels of prestige.”

Wolff will lead the Lincoln design team during an important time for the brand, designing “seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles in the next four years,” including the the brand’s first ever compact car.

Official release after the jump:

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Lincoln Rolls Out 'Complimentary' Service Program

In an effort to strengthen its premium Lincoln brand, Ford Motor Company has launched a new service initiative. Labeled the ‘Lincoln Complimentary Maintenance Program,’ it provides free servicing to customers who own 2011 model year or newer Lincoln vehicles. The program is designed to enhance the 50,000 mile, four-year bumper to bumper manufacturer’s warranty and includes complimentary oil changes, tire rotations and multi-point inspections for up to eight visits. It’s also transferable to the second owner of the vehicle.

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New Recalls Issued by Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Ford

Ah, another day, another spate of recalls. A total of 90,000 vehicles from three different automakers are under separate recalls for everything from loose mirrors to defrosters. (At least it’s not as ridiculous as rusting Bentley ornaments).

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Lincoln Dealers Protesting Dealership Upgrades, Demand To See Future Product First

While Ford is demanding that Lincoln dealers invest millions in renovating their showrooms, franchise holders are balking at Ford’s demands until they see the upcoming product that Ford claims is in the pipeline for its luxury brand.

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Green Car Of The Year Award Finalists Announced

Green Car Journal has announced its candidates for its Green Car Of The Year award, with the five car field being composed of some pretty serious competition,

Naturally, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are the leading contenders, with the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid rounding out the field, and the Ford Fiesta being the sole nominee that runs solely on a gasoline engine and no electric components. Regardless, the Fiesta can still get 40 mpg on the highway, making it a worthy candidate.

The winner will be announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November

Hit the jump to see the official press release

[Source: Green Car Journal]

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2011 Green Car of The Year Finalists Include Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf

The finalists for the 2011 Green Car of the Year award have been announced and unlike in years past there’s a lot of competition, not to mention a lot at stake. Some serious heavyweights are on the list for 2011 including the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. Other finalists include the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. Interestingly, the Ford Fiesta has also made it through to the top five and is the only vehicle of the group that doesn’t incorporate some sort of electric drive. Notably absent this year are any diesel offerings.

The Leaf is touted as the world’s first mass-production electric car with a 100 mile range, while the Volt is able to travel anywhere from 20-50 miles on electric power before the gasoline engine kicks in to charge the battery packs and add an additional 300 mile range. Lincolns MKZ Hybrid is rated at 41/36-mpg (city/highway), while the Sonata Hybrid achieves 37/40-mpg. As for the Fiesta, it can achieve up to 40-mpg on the highway using conventional internal combustion technology.

“These five 2011 Green Car of the Year finalists reflect an auto industry in transition,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of “It wasn’t long ago when electric drive was a novelty. Now, it’s expected that auto manufacturers will include electric drive in some form among their model offerings.”

According to the Green Car Journal nominees, “must stand out as exemplary models that forward environmental performance in meaningful and quantifiable ways,” while the “newness” of the technology and its ability to penetrate the market are also important.

The winner of the 2011 Green Car of the Year award will be chosen by a panel of judges that include Carl Pope, chairman of the Sierra Club; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society and Matt Petersen, president of Global Green USA. And let’s not forget Jay Leno and Carroll Shelby and the editors of the Green Car Journal.

The winner of the award will be announced at the LA Auto Show on November 18th. We do, however, suggest you take the announcement of the winner with a grain of salt, as last year’s winner was Audi A3 TDI.

Official release after the jump:

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Ford Reveals Remainder of SEMA Show Lineup With Three Custom Explorers and Lots More

Ford has just announced the remainder of its SEMA lineup of custom cars, which will joint the eight Fiestas on display at Ford’s usually huge presence at the aftermarket expo. Along with a mishmash of other customized Fords, the Blue Oval will use the show to put the focus on its new 2011 Explorer crossover, showing off three modified versions of the “truck” in three different styles: Urban, Luxury and Adventure.

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Lincoln Considering New Luxury Pickup

It’s had two attempts at making a luxury truck, first with the Blackwood and then the less lavish Mark LT, a version of which is still sold in Mexico. But there are rumors that Lincoln might try building a pickup again – question is, could the third time be lucky? Insiders at Ford say it might just work.

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MKT to Teplace Town Car as Lincoln's New Limo

For the best part of, well, a long time really, the most popular vehicle in North America for limo service has been Lincoln‘s Panther platform Town Car. But now, with the demise of both it and the evergreen Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln’s sizeable number of livery fleet customers need an alternative. The brand believes that a specialized version of the slow selling MKT crossover should fit the bill.

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Lincoln Planning New Flagship Luxury Sedan: The Return of the Continental?

Ford has made it clear that it wants to elevate Lincoln into a tier-one luxury brand in a bid to compete with European and Japanese luxury automakers like Mercedes and Lexus. Ford’s rivals at GM have made similar claims about Cadillac, with plans to produce a flagship of their own based on the XTS Concept.

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Mad Men's Roger Sterling New Front-Man for Lincoln [video]

The marketing power of AMC’s Mad Men knows no bounds. With Mercedez-Benz recently signing the show’s star Jon Hamm (aka Don Draper) to be the voice behind their brand, Lincoln has now brought on another of the 1960s-era Madison Avenue stars, and one of it’s most dynamic personalities, John Slattery (aka Roger Sterling).

Promoting Lincoln’s new “Smarter than Luxury” campaign, Slattery will help infuse some of Lincoln’s old-world charm into the modern rebranding of the Ford luxury line.

The new campaign will focus on the 2011 MKX and MKZ Hybrid and actually features Slattery himself (not just his voice).

Better yet, these ads should help Lincoln take the fight to Lexus. Because if you’re a Mad Men fan you’ll know that Roger Sterling values relationships, but he hates the Japanese.

Check out the video after the jump:

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Lincoln To Terminate 200 Franchises, Mostly In Urban Areas

Lincoln, Ford’s luxury brand, has a problem; too many dealers hocking not enough product. While recent Lincoln’s have been well received by critics, it’s not necessarily translating into sales.

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Ford Cutting 10% Of Dealer Network

Ford is looking to cut another 300 dealers as part of an effort to increase profitability. The move comes as part of a move to wind down its Mercury brand, and consolidate its sales network amid decreased demand for cars.

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2011 Lincoln MKX Review – First Drive

It seems that you need to have a luxury branded mid-size crossover to succeed in the car biz these days. Since it’s introduction in 2006; the Lincoln MKX has proved to be a hot seller for the brand, despite offering just a single engine and transmission (in this case a 265 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic). Yet the MKX’s combination of a sturdy unibody design, surprisingly good driving dynamics and high feature content, made it a surprising hit.

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2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Review - First Drive

Mid-size sedans have been taking it on the chin as of late and there’s no sector where more blood has been drawn than in the entry-level luxury ranks. The biggest threat has been hybrid crossovers, but now, the sedan, more specifically, the American luxury sedan, is doing it’s best to stage a comeback.

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Lincoln-Mercury and Buick Top Latest Customer Satisfaction Survey

A new report detailing customer satisfaction in the auto industry has just been released, with domestic brands Lincoln-Mercury and Buick taking the top spots. The annual American Customer Satisfaction Index survey points to a slight decline overall in consumers’ satisfaction with their vehicles, but shows strong results for domestic automakers.

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Suzuki Down 43%, Porsche Up 75%, In July 2010 Sales

Porsche was the big winner for July 2010 sales, moving 75% more cars than in July 2009, with Hyundai/ Kia, Jaguar/ Land Rover and the Big Three all making solid gains. Japanese auto makers bore the brunt of the market, with Toyota and Honda losing a bit of market share, while Suzuki took the dubious title of “Biggest Loser” as sales fell by 43%.

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Ford Flex, Lincoln MKT Facing Possible 2013 Elimination

With relatively poor sales the Ford Edge and its hideously-styled Lincoln-MKT derivative may be phased out in 2013 after just one generation. While a response to the lack of success for each model, Ford has a larger plan for its two remaining brands, aiming to create a larger gap between Ford and Lincoln.

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2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Priced Identical To V6 Model

Lincoln‘s MKZ Hybrid will be priced identical to the least expensive V6, giving consumers a strong incentive to opt for the 2.5L four-cylinder hybrid. The hybrid retails for #35,180, the same sticker as the front-drive V6 model, and a few hundred dollars less than a Lexus HS250h.

The MKZ, based on Ford’s much acclaimed Fusion Hybrid, gets 41 mpg in the city, 6 mpg better than the Lexus, while coming in a more conventional looking wrapper. The fuel economy bump is a definite advantage, but the lack of a distinct look for the hybrid may be a detriment – after all, many people choose the Toyota Prius just so they can let the world know that they are driving a hybrid.

Hit the jump to read the official press release

[Source: Ford]

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Lincoln, Mercury Concept Cars Up For Auction

Five Lincoln concept cars, as well as one Mercury concept will go up for auction at RM’s Sports & Classics of Monterey on August 12th. The six concepts are being sold by Ford Motor Co. through RM Auctions, a well known auction house that regularly handles ultra high end vehicles. All vehicles, except the Lincoln Navicross and Mercury Messenger, can be driven, although it is illegal to drive them on public roads. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and The Children’s Center.

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Refreshed 2011 Lincoln MKX Boasts Class Leading Fuel Economy

Lincoln is about to launch their new refreshed MKX crossover, and the most significant changes come with regards to gas mileage. Fuel economy is a class leading 19mpg city/26mpg highway, despite having a 3.7L 305 horsepower V6 under the hood.

Of course, most consumers will notice the new corporate schnozz, which is much more striking than the outgoing model. With its roots on the Ford Edge platform, the MKX should be a good choice for those looking for a smaller crossover without stepping up to the twin-turbocharged , 7-passenger MKT – or its 15 mph city/19 mpg highway fuel consumption.

Hit the jump for the official press release

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Cadillac, Lincoln Announce Free Scheduled Maintenance Programs

In a succession of perfectly timed announcements, both Cadillac and Lincoln have announced that they will offer free scheduled maintenance programs to owners of their vehicles, but the programs differ in nature.

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2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Rated For 41 MPG City/ 36 MPG Highway

Posting identical numbers to its sister car, the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Lincoln MKZ has garnered an identical EPA rating of 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

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Five Ford Vehicles Chosen As Top Safety Picks By IIHS

Ford announced today that five of their vehicles have been selected as Top Safety Picks By The IIHS, boosting their total to 11 vehicles. The 2010 Ford Flex and Fusion, Lincoln MKZ and MKT and the Mercury Milan all scored the highest possible ratings in the IIHS’s front, side and rear impact tests as well as their roof strength test. The ratings mean that Ford now leads the industry in Top Safety Picks as well as government five-star crash ratings.

Hit the jump to read the official press release

[Source: Ford]

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Ford Sync And Google Maps Go Paperless

Using Google Maps  to plot your route is a major convenience on a home computer, but there’s no good solution on taking them with you. Printing them is cumbersome, and inputing them onto a smartphone or PDA is just another level of distraction.

Now, Ford and Google have teamed up to let you send your Google Maps data right to your car via Sync. Combined with a mobile phone (used for downloading the Google Maps Data), the route information can be sent directly to the GPS system in a Sync equipped vehicle, and drivers can get real-time traffic updates thanks to a tie-in with Sync’s Traffic, Directions and Information system. The service will launch later this month, with a Mapquest based system coming later in 2010.

Hit the jump for the official press release

[Source: Ford]

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Ford Likely to Keep Two-Thirds of Mercury Customers, But Will They Go to Lincoln?

While Ford‘s decision to cut the Mercury brand from its lineup makes good business sense, the long term benefits come with a more immediate down side. In an increasingly competitive market, by eliminating the Mercury brand Ford is also potentially eliminating 92,299 sales.

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With Mercury Gone, Ford Will Expand Lincoln With Compact Car, EcoBoost Engines in Every Model

Ford continues to work its marketing magic, directing focus away from the fact that its shutting-down the Mercury brand and putting the spotlight on a bright future for Lincoln. The Blue Oval has announced that by the end of this year production of Mercury models will cease, helping Ford reduce costs while and put more cash and engineering expertise into the Lincoln brand. For years Mercury has struggled, sitting half-way between the established “common-man” Ford brand and the quasi-luxury Lincoln brand. And with Lincoln still struggling to establish itself as a true luxury automaker, Mercury fell considerably short in this respect.

“Profitably growing Lincoln in North America is an important part of our One Ford plan,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “Our Ford brand is gaining momentum and winning customers around the world. Now, we are going to use the same laser focus to further strengthen Lincoln and deliver even more products luxury customers really want and value.”

As for the future of Lincoln, Ford has given a rather thorough look at just what to expect. First is the introduction of a new compact model, possibly inspired by the C Concept (above), but also likely based on the all-new Focus platform. Lincoln also aims to put the focus on fuel economy by offering EcoBoost engines in every model – including the next-generation Navigator full-size SUV.

In addition, Ford has announced it is developing new “Lincoln-exclusive” powertrains including an all-new V6 engine as well as new fuel-efficient transmissions (dual-clutch? 8-speed?).

Ford will look to build Lincoln into the most fuel efficient luxury brand, competing mostly with Cadillac and Lexus, delivering what it calls “fuel economy leadership” with each new model.

Official release after the jump:

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Report: Mercury Almost Certain To Be Axed At Dealer Meeting

Mercury, we hardly knew ye – as anything more than a place where re-badged Ford products could linger in obscurity, serving their purpose as rental cars and female-marketed A-to-B transportation. After 71 years, this model is no longer sustainable, and Automotive News reports that today, Mercury will be sent to the great garage in the sky, next to Saturn, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Plymouth.

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Report: Ford Wants To Kill Off Mercury This Summer

Mercury‘s glory days are long over, with the brand lacking anything exciting or unique since the muscle car era. With the Grand Marquis scheduled to die alongside its customer base, and every other Mercury product available right next door at the Ford showroom, the storied brand is set to be euthanized by its parent company, Ford Motor Co., according to a report by Bloomberg News Service.

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Need A Supercar? Come On Down To The U.S. Treasury's Auction

Zero Hedge, a blog more concerned with the imminent destruction of our economy than the demise of the internal combustion engine, recently obtained word that the U.S. Tresury is going to be auctioning off some serious machinery made in the U.S., Italy, France and England.

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Lincoln MKT Press Car Gets Wheels Jacked in Detroit

Without wheels. When somebody says that, it usually means they haven’t got a car. For yours truly last week, it meant literally that. A trip to Detroit in a brand new Lincoln MKT press loaner was the highlight of a rather miserable seven days.

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I Could Have Had A V8…Or Not. Ford Says Ecoboost A Hit.

The 2011 Ford Mustang V6 makes as much power as the 2005-2009 V8 version did, proving that six-cylinder technology is no longer for the runts of the Mustang litter. Add a couple turbochargers and direct-injection, and you get Ford’s wonderful EcoBoost motor, which has all the power you could ever want from a big V8, while getting better fuel economy.

Ford customers seem to agree, and an internal study shows that buyers are very satisfied with the performance of the EcoBoost engine. While the survey was probably not the most scientific, real-world experience with a Taurus SHO was enough to prove that the technology is sound, and the rumored four-cylinder Ecoboost should be a treat.

Press Release After The Jump

[Source: Autoblog]

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"Ridin Swangas" Video Full Of Front-Wheel Drive GM Goodness (Video Inside)

This author has loved hip-hop music since the tender age of 3, when Digital Underground’s “ The Humpty Dance” caught my attention. I didn’t really understand the lyric “I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom” but it had a fat bassline and a character from a nursery rhyme, and that was enough for me.

In the same way that rock and roll groups mythologized American muscle in the 1960’s, rappers have taken to lionizing the automobile in all its forms, whether it’s an East Coast rapper like Jay-Z rapping about Maybachs or Jaguars, or Snoop Dogg cruising through Long Beach, California in one of his famous 1964 Impalas.

Recently, the Southern United States has had a stranglehold on the hip-hop scene, and their love of American muscle has seen a resurgence of interest in rear-drive American cars. For those with money, a new Dodge Charger or a classic muscle car is the must have ride. But not everyone can afford a new car, and so ordinary folk turn to cars like the Chevrolet Caprice, Mercury Grand Marquis or 1980’s G-Body General Motors cars and customize them with cartoonish 24inch rims and custom lift kits.

As with any fashion-driven culture, huge chrome rims are now out of style, and the new trend is “ swangas“, the street term of wire wheels from a 1983 or 1984 Cadillac. Since the wheels were made for a rear-drive offset, they tend to poke out on many of the front-drive vehicles that are affordable to young people, like Oldsmobile 98s, Cadillac Devilles or Buick Park Avenues. While automotive purists may scoff, the “poke” aesthetic is a signature look of the “swanga” movement.

Houston rap group “Block Boyz Click” released a video, imaginatively titled “Ridin Swangas”, and the song is a decent, if amateurish attempt to capture the slowed-down, soulful styles of fellow Houstonians UGK, the video is chock full of truly ghetto American iron that should have been consigned to the junkyard long ago. Aside from the aforementioned cars, sharp eyes will also spot a Chrysler LHS, Buick LeSabre and Pontiac Bonneville.

The artistic merits of the song may be a matter of opinion, but we happened to enjoy the use of some under-appreciated Rick Wagoner-era General Motors machinery, rather than having the (rented) supercar du jour being driven at a snails pace, with a blinged-out hand gripping the wheel at 12 o’clock. Long live the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Dirty South. Keep swangin on ’em, H-Town. Check out the official video after the jump.

[Source: Cardomain blog]

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Ford Posts $2.1 Billion Profit

Ford posted a $2.1 billion profit for this quarter, beating market expectations by a full year despite a lull in the new vehicle market. Ford has undergone a series of cost-cutting measures, including plant closures and layoffs, but has also introduced a torrent of new product in nearly every segment.

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New York 2010: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Officially Unveiled as World's Most Fuel-Efficient Luxury Car

Earlier today Lincoln announced plans to introduce a hybrid version of its MKZ luxury sedan, which has now just been officially unveiled at the New York Auto Show. Based on the same platform as the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, the MKZ Hybrid also uses the same hybrid drivetrain to achieve an impressive 41/36 mpg (city/highway)

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New York 2010: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Debuts as Most Fuel Efficient Luxury Sedan in America

While Ford has poured a lot of money into the Lincoln brand over the past few years, with new products and designs, the Blue Oval hasn’t seen much return on its investment. Now, however, it may just have a plan that could work: It’s called the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and it just so happens to be the most fuel efficient luxury car in America.

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Report: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid to Debut at NY Auto Show

Lincoln will debut a hybrid version of its MKZ luxury sedan at the New York Auto Show later this week, according to a report by The Detroit News. No details on the hybrid Lincoln are available, but it’s expected to share the same hybrid format used in the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid, where it gets 41/36 mpg (city/highway) and can operate on electric power at speeds up to 47 mph.

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Porsche, Lincoln and Buick Top J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study

J.D. Power has just released its Vehicle Dependability (VDS) Study for 2010, giving the top spot to Porsche, followed closely by Lincoln and Buick. Only one of the three, Buick, was on the podium last year, but has dropped from first to third. Also of significance is the continued slide by Lexus, which finds itself in fourth place this year. Last year Lexus placed third, marking the first time in 14 years the luxury Japanese automaker didn’t take first. That’s nothing compared to Jaguar, however, which dropped a total of 21 spots from second last year to 22nd for 2010.

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Detroit 2010: 2011 Lincoln MKX Gets Major Updates, Including First Application of MyLincoln Touch

Technically a mid-cycle refresh, Lincoln has decided to do more than just minor updates to its entry-level MKX crossover for 2011. An important model for Lincoln, the company says that more than half of MKX buyers are new to the brand and that seven in 10 of those buyers purchase another Lincoln.

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Ford Sales Up 33% in December, Market Share Increased in 2009

Ford ended 2009 with its highest sales month since May 2008 while gaining its first year-end market share gain since 1995.

Sales were up in every product category in December 2009 as Ford recorded a 33 percent sales increase compared to the same month in 2008.

Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 179,017 in December. Full-year sales totaled 1.62 million, down 15 percent, but Ford estimates it still managed to increase its U.S. market share by a percentage point to 15 percent, representing Ford’s first full-year market share gain since 1995.

“Ford’s plan is working,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing Sales and Service. “Customer consideration continues to grow for our high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles. In 2010, we will introduce an even higher number of new products, giving customers more reasons to Drive One.”

The Ford Fusion, recently named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, set a new full-year sales record at 180,671 units. Sales for the Ford Escape reached 173,044 units in 2009 for the crossover’s second-best year, including a 75 percent increase in December compared to 2008.

Ford’s F-Series truck had its best sales month since March 2008 with 48,209 units moving in December. The year-end tally of 413,625 units made the F-Series America’s best selling truck for the 33rd straight year, and top-selling vehicle, car or truck, for a 28th consecutive year.

Official release after the jump:

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2010 Lincoln MKT AWD EcoBoost Review

The Lincoln MKT is the sister car to the Ford Flex, which I reviewed very favorably a couple of weeks ago. Both vehicles have the same powerful direct-injection 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6, meaning that they can really put some serious power down on the pavement. With 355-hp and 350 ft-lbs of torque both the Flex and the MKT scoot to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds! That’s good enough to pull away from many so-called sports sedans. And that V8-like power produces V6-like 16-mpg city and 22-mpg highway gas mileage.

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2010 Lincoln MKZ Review

Luxury cars can change a lot in seven years, with some evolving faster than others. When the MKZ first arrived back in 2006 as the Zephyr, it represented a worthy contender to the likes of the then current Lexus ES and Infiniti I30. It was well screwed together, decently optioned, competitively priced and delivered a more involving driving experience than its Far Eastern rivals.

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SEMA Preview: Lincoln to Display Customized MKS, MKZ and Ugly Ducking MKT at SEMA

Lincoln has been hard at work refreshing its lineup over the past few years and the luxury arm of Ford has chosen to display three of its newest vehicles at the 2009 SEMA Show: a 2010 MKZ, a 2009 MKS and a 2010 MKT. But before the two luxury sedans and one crossover made their way to Las Vegas, Lincoln shipped them out to different tuning shops across the country to have each car individually stylized.

“Lincoln as a brand is continuing to attract younger customers to the showroom with products like the MKS, MKZ and the new MKT luxury crossover,” said Amy Marentic, Ford Car and Crossover marketing manager. “These customers place huge importance on style, design and technology, and these are areas where Lincoln plays well. SEMA gives customizers the opportunity to push the boundaries of design, while still focusing on the core strengths of the Lincoln brand.”

Ford’s SEMA Designer Melvin Betancourt echoes Marentic’s thoughts stating that, “Customization is about individuality and reflecting who you are. That is particularly true about the new generation of people who are buying cars. The vehicles at this year’s SEMA show prove that Lincolns have great personalization potential.”

See AutoGuide’s live SEMA Coverage here!

See more on each of the three SEMA Lincolns after the jump:

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Report: Replacement for Displacement? Lincoln Pits V6 EcoBoost MKS Against European V8 Rivals

Lincoln has just launched a new website called, aimed at promoting the new MKS sedan. The website profiles, in high production quality video, a shootout between the MKS and four of its European rivals. The challenge, says Lincoln, was to see if the Lincoln V6 could hold its own against the V8s from the U.K. (Jaguar XF), Germany (BMW 550i and Mercedes E550) and Italy (Maserati Quattroporte). The location was Loveland Pass in Colorado.

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Ford Posts Surprising Sales Gain of 2% In July

With the current state of affairs in the auto industry, smaller than expected losses have been cause to celebrate, so imagine the party the folks over at Ford must be having right now as the company announced today that it actually posted a sales gain.

Last month Ford’s 10 percent loss was seen as a sign that Ford is on the right track and that the economy might just be recovering. This month the American automaker posted a two percent increase compared to the same month a year earlier. But that number doesn’t even tell the whole story as retail sales were actually up nine percent. Less impressive fleet sales (notorious for low profit margins) curbed that number down to two percent.

As a sign that Ford is not only fighting off this recession, but that the automaker is actually producing products that consumers want to buy, this sales gain is the first since November 2007.

Ford’s sales and marketing VP Ken Czubay credited the company’s fuel-efficient vehicles, combined with the government’s Cash-for-Clunkers program for the positive results. “We had another strong month in progress before the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program started,” he said. “Our products, our dealers and our advance preparation enabled us to leverage the program and drive traffic and sales to another level. In addition, we achieved a sales increase even though we decreased incentive spending in an increasingly competitive environment.”

Particularly successful models for Ford included the Fusion, Escape, Ranger and Flex. Fusion sales were up 66 percent; Escape sales were up 94 percent; while Ranger and Flex sales were both up 65 percent over a year ago. In addition Ford saw a drastic increase in the number of customers opting for hybrids, with Ford’s hybrid lineup (including the Fusion, Milan, Escape and Mariner) posting an increase of 323 percent.

Official release after the jump:

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Report: Ford Poised to Pass GM as Top Seller in the U.S.

According to a recent report on the auto industry, published by Merrill Lynch, Ford is poised to surpass General Motors and become the top-selling automaker in the U.S. over the next four years. The reason for Ford’s forecasted success is its new line of products, including the Fiesta sub-compact (pictured above).

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2009 Lincoln MKX

On Scottsdale Boulevard we’re cruising through the posh suburb of Phoenix in a new Limited Edition version of the MKX, the sleek mid-size crossover utility vehicle (CUV) from Lincoln.

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Ford Tests New Ecoboost Engine at the Drag Strip

With increasingly stringent fuel economy regulations and in an effort to delivery maximum power for minimal gas, many automakers are switching to smaller displacement engines and forced induction. BMW and Audi are two examples, but U.S. automaker Ford is also making strides in this area with its new line of EcoBoost engines.

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Ford Pays Down $9.9 Billion In Debt On Road To Economic Recovery

Ford Motor Company has announced huge strides in its efforts to become economically viable. And whether through magic or some sort of wacky accounting that involves proper management of finances, it has done this without federal government aid (aka your tax dollars).

Today Ford announced that is has reduced its $25.9 billion debt by more than a third with a payment of $9.9 billion. The payment was made in 2.4 billion in cash as well as 468 million shares of Ford Common stock.

Reducing the company’s debt so significantly puts FoMoCo in a much-improved financial situation moving forward. This one-time payment will reduce Ford’s annual interest payments by $500 million.

“By substantially reducing our debt, Ford is taking another step toward creating an exciting, viable enterprise,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “As with our recent agreements with the UAW, Ford continues to lead the industry in taking the decisive actions necessary to weather the current downturn and deliver long-term profitable growth.”

Official release after the jump:

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Ford One-Ups GM With "Ford Advantage Plan" Incentive

Just as General Motors announced it’s GM Total Confidence plan earlier today, Ford is getting into the incentive game with its new Ford Advantage Plan.

The “Plan” one-ups GM’s offer by covering 12 months of car payments for anyone who loses their job. Better still, the Ford will make those payments up to $700.

“Consumers remain anxious about the economy and their own outlook for the future. We at Ford want to do our part to rebuild faith in the marketplace by offering payment protection on every new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle for up to a year if our customers lose their jobs,” said Ken Czubay, vice president of Sales and Marketing.

The Ford Advantage Plan also includes zero percent financing on select Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.

Ford is not, however, offering a “negative equity” plan like General Motors, instead citing that FoMoCo cars have a high residual value.

“Ford’s improvements in quality have contributed significantly to our year-over-year improvements in residual values,” said Czubay.

“This is the strongest product lineup we have ever offered. When you combine these great products with payment protection, 0 percent financing and support for local charities, customers can feel confident about getting back into the market for a new car or truck.”

The Ford Advantage Plan runs from today until June 1st.

Official release after the jump:

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Lincoln C Concept

Used to highlight the potential of the Microsoft SYNC system found in modern FoMoCo vehicles, the Lincoln C Concept is quite obviously a technology concept and not a production concept – even if it is based on Ford’s global small car platform.

The futuristic SYNC system in the C Concept allows drivers to interact with a computer personality by voice and have the computer perform tasks, such as adding meetings to an address book, making calls and providing you with navigation instructions – essentially things that GM’s onStar already does, although the SYNC system would perform the tasks itself, rather than a person on the other end of the phone.

Most impressively, however, is the fact that the conceptual SYNC system can search the internet for you, find articles or items of interest and even read them to you while you drive.

The C Concept show in Detroit features a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 180hp and 180 ft-lbs of torque, all the while getting 43 miles per gallon on the highway. The transmission on the concept is a dual-clutch system (likes Audi’s DSG system) that is operated by paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Now if only Ford could produce a car with this engine/drivetrain combo. That would be exciting!

Official release after the jump:

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Lincoln MKS & MKT to Get Better-than-Lexus Auto-Park System

The new Lincoln MKS and upcoming Lincoln MKT crossover will feature an innovative new computer-controlled auto-park system that, says Ford, is far superior to existing competitors’ systems.

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Welcome to the News Blog

Welcome to the News Blog, your comprehensive source for breaking automotive news. Our staff of writers and contributors will keep you updated on all aspects of the auto industry, from vehicle unveilings, to concept cars, to news from auto shows, the aftermarket and the world of motorsports.

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