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 Lincoln Continental bites the dust - again
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kosh2258

USA

Posted - 07/02/2020 :  18:39:07  Show Profile
Lincoln announces the end of all cars by years end, including the Continental.

https://www.autoweek.com/news/industry-news/a33055220/all-the-lincoln-continentals/

Skylark

USA

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  00:18:22  Show Profile
Sad..... but glad I found a decent MKZ used two years ago, with the "retracting" roof and only 20K miles; I better keep it for collector's value now.

I really have no use for a SUV.
The "final" Continental was only available as an AWD, and just like the Taurus SHO that was only sold that way, it didn't drive very well imo. Not many customers wanted either. As a 2WD, I'd have looked at them more seriously and bought.

Edited by - Skylark on 07/03/2020 00:26:52
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Skylark

USA

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  00:18:22  Show Profile
Sad..... but glad I found a decent MKZ used two years ago, with the "retracting" roof and only 20K miles; I better keep it for collector's value now.

I really have no use for a SUV.
The "final" Continental was only available as an AWD, and just like the Taurus SHO that was only sold that way, it didn't drive very well imo. Not many customers wanted either. As a 2WD, I'd have looked at them more seriously and bought.

Edited by - Skylark on 07/03/2020 00:26:52
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Evan M

USA

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  05:30:38  Show Profile
I'm not surprised.
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Evan M

USA

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  05:30:38  Show Profile
I'm not surprised.
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Myron

USA

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  05:55:07  Show Profile
Me either Evan. Almost bought one 10 years ago. I couldn’t see out the back window, that was the deal killer.
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Myron

USA

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  05:55:07  Show Profile
Me either Evan. Almost bought one 10 years ago. I couldn’t see out the back window, that was the deal killer.
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kosh2258

USA

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  09:19:52  Show Profile
I'm not surprised either.

What's disappointing for me is that the remaining two US owned companies just keep ceding ground to the foreign brands. Ford will only have the Mustang. GM has said they have no plans for the Malibu past 2023. Leaving only the Camaro and Corvette and Camaro is on shaky ground according to reports.

When companies are pricing pickup trucks in the $60-70k range you know that the margins are fat and that's what's driving the decisions. But a time will come when the demand for big pick um up trucks will go away and then what?

The cars at the C in FCA (soon to be PSA/FCA (?)) are on 16 year old platforms - and based on even older MB platforms. There's questions being raised as to how long they'll continue once the merger is completed with PSA.

You can only retreat so far before your back is either up against the ocean or the edge of the cliff.
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kosh2258

USA

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  09:19:52  Show Profile
I'm not surprised either.

What's disappointing for me is that the remaining two US owned companies just keep ceding ground to the foreign brands. Ford will only have the Mustang. GM has said they have no plans for the Malibu past 2023. Leaving only the Camaro and Corvette and Camaro is on shaky ground according to reports.

When companies are pricing pickup trucks in the $60-70k range you know that the margins are fat and that's what's driving the decisions. But a time will come when the demand for big pick um up trucks will go away and then what?

The cars at the C in FCA (soon to be PSA/FCA (?)) are on 16 year old platforms - and based on even older MB platforms. There's questions being raised as to how long they'll continue once the merger is completed with PSA.

You can only retreat so far before your back is either up against the ocean or the edge of the cliff.
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Skylark

USA

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  22:45:19  Show Profile
Ted, from my view and knowing something about William Clay Ford's inclinations since he became an employee within Ford and rose up the ranks while I was there......I think I can speak to your point about ceding ground. It appears we are, but I'll say why I think it isn't in a moment.

He is known as an ultra environmentalist - in spite of his "gushing" over Mustangs, especially Bullet Mustangs, occasionally - and he is pushing for the Democratic climate change agenda. Green as they come (do you know we have a grass lawn on the roof of the new Dearborn Truck Plant, completely covers it or at least it did when the facility was built a few years ago, because they say it is more environmentally friendly than asphalt? That's due to his general direction of the business toward green since he took over).

He has pushed electric bicycles in the past (yes, we offered electric bicycles for a couple years - back when Nasser was CEO, but it went nowhere in the market). He wants to sell only electric vehicles and self-driving cars and all that now, what they are politically calling "personal mobility" in statements to the press. Being tied to a wire or cord I do not call mobility, but the marketing wizards like the word.

We lost money on small gas engine cars every year (I know the numbers but won't say here how much per vehicle - except that it was a LOT), but smart business people understand you need their larger sales volume in your mix to spread out your fixed costs, and make your overall line-up more profitable. WCF doesn't agree, so we have a business plan based on the concept of "profitable share", which means raise prices as high as you can to offset the added fixed cost hit you take on the vehicles you still sell, after you stop selling the price leaders like Fiesta and Focus.

They tried doing that on Taurus, but sales dropped as a result and it was discontinued. I think Mustang is now hitting the same wall. Hence the electric version you now see coming that they are banking on to keep the nameplate alive. (I think Camaro is also seeing price resistance, btw.) New car customers have loads of knowledge and history with car prices, and many will look for used cars or go elsewhere instead of paying "too much". So "profitable share" hasn't worked well with cars, the imports are there in the market and don't play along with this plan.

However, trucks going for those astronomical prices you see is consistent with WCF's "profitable share" concept. Keep pushing up prices with new trim levels and new models, until the market will take it no more. Customers buying trucks right now, as opposed to car buyers, have no baseline mentally where a truck's price is reasonable, and many are first time buyers, so a whole lot of them pay whatever is asked; string their payments out 6 or 7 years to afford it. It's crazy, but good for our automotive profits right now, and Ford Credit is contributing a lot of profit back to the parent Company books on the leases and loans, but like you I don't think that's good for the Company long-term.

Low income people get priced out of the new vehicle market with this business plan, and if the upper income group's income get pinched you have a disaster recipe. Wall Street, usually an entity I loath but in this case I think they are correct, right now values Ford stock at only $5-6 a share because they doubt the business plan WCF is pushing. What they see of it, anyway. Jim Hackett is WCF's guy, hasn't communicated well, and neither of them know how to run an auto company imo. Wall Street sees this. And the import brands are bringing out more trucks to the market now, too.

Mark Fields was a much better CEO, understood our business internationally and we were stronger in China under his direction, but he was too independent and not bringing WCF's mobility plan along fast enough, so he was let go in favor of Hackett.

So you think we are ceding the market.....
here is my belief, somewhat informed but I admit I've been retired too long to have inside info any more.....

WCFord wants electric vehicles to catch on so bad he is willing to take near-term hits on sales of gas engine cars, to create a big pent-up demand for electric cars. We make good profit on all truck sales in the meantime.

As demand for gas engines falls because supply is gone, you will see an inverse relationship happen to gasoline prices.... they will rise because the political/environmental agenda WCFord supports will force up oil companies' cost, and they have less volume to cover it. They are already writing off a lot of asset value on their books, if you've noticed lately in business news. Price goes up to compensate for the write-downs, even as demand for gasoline falls.

Pick up trucks getting 15-19 mpg will be seen as too costly to operate with fuel prices climbing after Biden takes over. Customers will come back to cars which will be coming back, and which will now be twice the price that they were when they were discontinued in 2019/2020, cheaper than trucks but now all-electric or hybrid. And all that will be consistent with WCF's "profitable share" plan to push up prices. The auto companies only need to say you are paying for government-mandated technology.

So we aren't "ceding" the car market. This will be temporary. We (GM, Ford, FCA) are creating electric/hybrid car demand by stopping the building of gas-engine cars that would go into the used car market, and when gas engine used car supplies dwindle customers will have less choices versus higher new electric car prices.

Biden might be pushed politically into another "cash-for-clunkers" program like Obama did, to speed up the meltdown of any remaining gas engine used cars and trucks. He will want to be seen as the guy who gets the US to meet the Paris Climate Accord.

One thing I've learned about big corporations..... often times what you see is what they want you to see, while they do something else. I was involved in early stages of the manual transmission pull-out plans, customers didn't drive that so much as we just stopped building cars/trucks with manual transmissions and putting them on dealer's lots to sell. We said we were discontinuing manuals because customers weren't buying. Not a lie, but not the truth either. We made more profit by discontinuing manuals and putting more automatics on dealer lots. Hackett is too quiet on all this discontinuing of cars, piece-mealing it out. They could have cut the Lincoln cars 2 years ago when they announced the Focus was going away, but didn't. Why not? Because Lincolns were profitable even in low volumes. Why do it now? Again, creating demand for the electric replacements when they come.

Edited by - Skylark on 07/03/2020 23:15:05
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Skylark

USA

Posted - 07/03/2020 :  22:45:19  Show Profile
Ted, from my view and knowing something about William Clay Ford's inclinations since he became an employee within Ford and rose up the ranks while I was there......I think I can speak to your point about ceding ground. It appears we are, but I'll say why I think it isn't in a moment.

He is known as an ultra environmentalist - in spite of his "gushing" over Mustangs, especially Bullet Mustangs, occasionally - and he is pushing for the Democratic climate change agenda. Green as they come (do you know we have a grass lawn on the roof of the new Dearborn Truck Plant, completely covers it or at least it did when the facility was built a few years ago, because they say it is more environmentally friendly than asphalt? That's due to his general direction of the business toward green since he took over).

He has pushed electric bicycles in the past (yes, we offered electric bicycles for a couple years - back when Nasser was CEO, but it went nowhere in the market). He wants to sell only electric vehicles and self-driving cars and all that now, what they are politically calling "personal mobility" in statements to the press. Being tied to a wire or cord I do not call mobility, but the marketing wizards like the word.

We lost money on small gas engine cars every year (I know the numbers but won't say here how much per vehicle - except that it was a LOT), but smart business people understand you need their larger sales volume in your mix to spread out your fixed costs, and make your overall line-up more profitable. WCF doesn't agree, so we have a business plan based on the concept of "profitable share", which means raise prices as high as you can to offset the added fixed cost hit you take on the vehicles you still sell, after you stop selling the price leaders like Fiesta and Focus.

They tried doing that on Taurus, but sales dropped as a result and it was discontinued. I think Mustang is now hitting the same wall. Hence the electric version you now see coming that they are banking on to keep the nameplate alive. (I think Camaro is also seeing price resistance, btw.) New car customers have loads of knowledge and history with car prices, and many will look for used cars or go elsewhere instead of paying "too much". So "profitable share" hasn't worked well with cars, the imports are there in the market and don't play along with this plan.

However, trucks going for those astronomical prices you see is consistent with WCF's "profitable share" concept. Keep pushing up prices with new trim levels and new models, until the market will take it no more. Customers buying trucks right now, as opposed to car buyers, have no baseline mentally where a truck's price is reasonable, and many are first time buyers, so a whole lot of them pay whatever is asked; string their payments out 6 or 7 years to afford it. It's crazy, but good for our automotive profits right now, and Ford Credit is contributing a lot of profit back to the parent Company books on the leases and loans, but like you I don't think that's good for the Company long-term.

Low income people get priced out of the new vehicle market with this business plan, and if the upper income group's income get pinched you have a disaster recipe. Wall Street, usually an entity I loath but in this case I think they are correct, right now values Ford stock at only $5-6 a share because they doubt the business plan WCF is pushing. What they see of it, anyway. Jim Hackett is WCF's guy, hasn't communicated well, and neither of them know how to run an auto company imo. Wall Street sees this. And the import brands are bringing out more trucks to the market now, too.

Mark Fields was a much better CEO, understood our business internationally and we were stronger in China under his direction, but he was too independent and not bringing WCF's mobility plan along fast enough, so he was let go in favor of Hackett.

So you think we are ceding the market.....
here is my belief, somewhat informed but I admit I've been retired too long to have inside info any more.....

WCFord wants electric vehicles to catch on so bad he is willing to take near-term hits on sales of gas engine cars, to create a big pent-up demand for electric cars. We make good profit on all truck sales in the meantime.

As demand for gas engines falls because supply is gone, you will see an inverse relationship happen to gasoline prices.... they will rise because the political/environmental agenda WCFord supports will force up oil companies' cost, and they have less volume to cover it. They are already writing off a lot of asset value on their books, if you've noticed lately in business news. Price goes up to compensate for the write-downs, even as demand for gasoline falls.

Pick up trucks getting 15-19 mpg will be seen as too costly to operate with fuel prices climbing after Biden takes over. Customers will come back to cars which will be coming back, and which will now be twice the price that they were when they were discontinued in 2019/2020, cheaper than trucks but now all-electric or hybrid. And all that will be consistent with WCF's "profitable share" plan to push up prices. The auto companies only need to say you are paying for government-mandated technology.

So we aren't "ceding" the car market. This will be temporary. We (GM, Ford, FCA) are creating electric/hybrid car demand by stopping the building of gas-engine cars that would go into the used car market, and when gas engine used car supplies dwindle customers will have less choices versus higher new electric car prices.

Biden might be pushed politically into another "cash-for-clunkers" program like Obama did, to speed up the meltdown of any remaining gas engine used cars and trucks. He will want to be seen as the guy who gets the US to meet the Paris Climate Accord.

One thing I've learned about big corporations..... often times what you see is what they want you to see, while they do something else. I was involved in early stages of the manual transmission pull-out plans, customers didn't drive that so much as we just stopped building cars/trucks with manual transmissions and putting them on dealer's lots to sell. We said we were discontinuing manuals because customers weren't buying. Not a lie, but not the truth either. We made more profit by discontinuing manuals and putting more automatics on dealer lots. Hackett is too quiet on all this discontinuing of cars, piece-mealing it out. They could have cut the Lincoln cars 2 years ago when they announced the Focus was going away, but didn't. Why not? Because Lincolns were profitable even in low volumes. Why do it now? Again, creating demand for the electric replacements when they come.

Edited by - Skylark on 07/03/2020 23:15:05
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