Lincoln Lincoln Motor Co. is one of those time-honored American car brands that has traditionally stood for the finest in design and craftsmanship. At least that was true until the 1970s, when designers got the idea that chrome-plated spare tires and peeling vinyl roofs were what drivers really wanted. By 2011, sales had dropped from their peak of 200,000 to well under half that number. Even as sales of Ford’s other makes are surging, Lincoln struggles just to keep the doors open and the lights on.
Not that the company isn’t fighting back, mind you. It recently hired celebrated car designer Max Wolff away from Cadillac and has put him in charge of pulling the make back from the brink of disaster. Wolff is behind the 2013 MKZ, as well as six other revamped vehicles that the carmaker intends to release in 2015. If all goes well, then Lincoln may yet rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes of financial ruin. Time will tell.
But, in the meantime, we have some advice of our own for the venerated luxury firm. It doesn’t involve radical new body designs or cutting-edge technology. It wouldn’t cost much, either. Here it is: drop the silly alphabet-soup names for its vehicles.
After all, what do meaningless strings of letters like MKX, MKR, and SS-100-X mean anyway? They do nothing to evoke images of power, luxury, or adventure. They could refer just as well to mental disorders (multiple-karaoke-xenophobia) or to health threats (malicious-knockout-radiation) as to automobiles. So why not ditch the faux-acrostics and go back to names that represent what Lincoln is all about? Here are some possibilities:
The Continental – suggestive of royalty, refinement, and everything that makes Europeans think they’re better than us.
The Mark II – “we made our mark on history with the first model, but, just to make sure you understand that, here we go again.”
The Capri – possibly referring to a tropical destination, this name would also appeal to fans of sugary kid’s drinks and to followers of bad fashion trends.
Okay, we’re being a little tongue-in-cheek here. Our intentions are good, however. We would love to see Lincoln ascend to the pinnacle of the luxury car market. We just think that the efforts to make it do so should include a little sizzle with the steak. After all, while substance counts, image is still what closes the deal, even in 2013.