Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)‘s Lincoln luxury line has had a rough patch of years and earlier this year the redesigned MKZ stumbled out of the gate a few months late to dealers because of supplier issues and lengthy quality inspections. If Ford can perform the same impressive turnaround with its Lincoln brand as it did with the Blue Oval, things are about to get interesting. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s recently previewed ultra-premium “Black Label” theme designs debut in late 2014 and could help reinvigorate a brand that has long since forgot it was a top-selling luxury lineup over a decade ago.
“Lincoln Black Label will offer an experience for our clients that will engage them, not overwhelm them,” said Farley. “Lincoln Black Label is another important step in our brand’s reinvention to appeal to a whole new group of progressive luxury clients.”
Lincoln’s goal with its Black Label designs was to create an ultra-premium story using expensive and high quality materials, as well as exclusive color schemes for the interior and exterior. The materials in certain themes will include Venetian leather, premium Alcantara material, as well as Ziricote, a rainforest wood that is often used in high-end yachts. But it goes behind just super premium materials and product; it’s also about stepping up its service programs with dealerships that sign up for the Black Label program.
There will be three Black Label themes available in late 2014; Indulgence, Center Stage, and Modern Heritage. All three will be available for the MKZ while the MKC will feature the Modern Heritage theme. Here’s how Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) described its Modern Heritage theme in a recent press release.
Black Label: Modern Heritage
“Modern Heritage offers a fresh take on the classic black-and-white interior with subtle red accents. Designed for the client who appreciates a clean, modern aesthetic, the soft white interior is warm and inviting. Renewed and engineered wood trim-imbued with metal flake between its layers-creates a sparkling effect to stylishly highlight this modern classic design.”
Interior of the Modern Heritage Black Label trim. Photo: Automotive News.
Ford/Lincoln’s MKZ with Black Label Center Stage trim. Photo Credit: Ford Motor.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is years ahead of cross-town rival General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) in taking value to its bottom line through efficient operations and running plants near capacity. It also is years ahead in consolidating its global platforms which is drastically improving its cost position. One thing Ford is years behind in, is with its luxury line and has been on the sidelines watching Cadillac have its most improved year in sales since 1976.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) launched its all-new MKZ this year to kick off a round of Lincoln redesigns aimed to reverse years of low sales – down another 8% in sales this year. Ford’s stock price is up almost 80% over the last year and Investors hoping to see Ford continue its stock price increase will need to see success in its Lincoln lineup over the next two to three years.