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Ford Motor Company (F): Lincoln’s Ultra-Premium Theme Designs Impress

For the younger luxury buyers out there, you might be surprised to know that Lincoln was a top-selling U.S. luxury brand 15 years ago. After the financial crisis and following recession Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) went through a massive restructuring and decided to focus on its core Blue Oval brand and scrapped many brands leaving only Ford and Lincoln. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is years away from replicating the success Lincoln had more than a decade ago, but Ford is finally in a position to put money into its luxury brand to revive the all but dead lineup. One part of its strategy is its new ultra-premium “Black Label” themes set to launch in 2014.

Exterior of MKC Black Label Chroma Flame exterior concept. Photo credit: Ford Motor.

Lincoln’s Black Label is a collection of super-premium exterior and interior themes that are designed to attract a specific consumer.

“The new Lincoln Motor Company is built on three foundational elements – design, quality and personal service; Black Label represents our highest expression of these elements,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of global marketing, sales, and service at Lincoln, in a Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) press release.

Each Black Label theme will have exclusive exterior colors and interior environments that combine into a sophisticated package to tell a story. See what I mean in the following snippet from Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s press release:

Center Stage, inspired by fashion and theater, is designed for the most expressive clients. The Jet Black interior is highlighted by a Foxfire Red headliner, capturing the drama of being in a dark theater with the impact of a rich, deep red accent color. Alcantara suede with uniquely designed perforation adds plush texture to the doors and seats.”

Interior of MKZ Black Label Center Stage interior concept. Photo credit: Ford Motor.

It’s not just the flashy new look and colors that will impress consumers, but the material selection was very meticulous. The seats will be made from Venetian leather, a premium style for which less than 1% of hides globally meet requirements. Another Black Label theme, Indulgence, offers a Ziricote wood trim that has natural grain and color inherent in the wood, with no added dye or stain. What’s wild about this wood trim is that it’s completely new to auto consumers — unless you also happen to own a high-end yacht, that is.

Investing takeaway

As a Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) shareholder, I understand how important Lincoln’s revival is for the company. Right now if you aren’t interested in a redesigned Lincoln MKZ, you don’t have many options, and oftentimes consumers are walking to competitors — even if they’d like to stay loyal to Ford. That defection shows in sales, as the Mustang outsold the entire Lincoln line last year, and the Escape more than tripled its sales.

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