Photo credit: AP Photo / Paul Sancya
It’s the week-end already! How time flies. Today, I wanted to share an op-ed from Autoblog that I enjoyed quite a bit. In this article, automotive journalist Geoff Day goes against many pundits who have been mocking Lincoln and wishing for its demise, and doing so he uncovers a few pieces of history that commentators of the auto industry should not forget.
Indeed, as mentioned by Mr. Day, just a few years ago Audi was not the acclaimed, perfectionist luxury brand it is today. Cadillac, at the dawn of the Arts and Science period was in a situation very similar to Lincoln’s. For all intents and purposes, iconic brands like Chrysler or Buick were written off many times by journalists and always managed to pull through, thanks to visionary executives and/or good product lines.
True, Audi’s revival was completed a long time ago and Cadillac’s started ten years ago and is only truly giving results now with the ATS and CTS sports sedans. But, keep in mind that these brands are part of greater empires that deal with different circumstances. While GM worked hard to boost Cadillac’s appeal in the past decade, it could also have lost everything in bankruptcy.
It appears that Ford’s approach was more cautious: it spent a decade solely focusing on its standard product line, and dealing with the sale of its many unnecessary brands, in order to create a very strong corporation able to support a luxury brand. Now that Ford’s ventures have improved, there is no doubt that Lincoln is benefiting from the same know-how: new and thoroughly good product is coming out of the assembly lines, the brand now has a message, and it is covering a wider area of the market that will allow it to thrive as a full-fledged manufacturer and attain critical mass.
As biased as I am, I am positive that Ford can manage for Lincoln what it did for itself; in 2017, when Leland’s brand turns a hundred, I am sure there will be toasts to many years to come yet.