Lincoln Dealer Confusion Forces Model-Name Changes

Lincolnmkx

When Ford announced it would change the names of the Zephyr and Aviator to the MKZ and MKX, respectively, the auto world cringed. The alphanumeric naming convention — think BMW 320i or the Infiniti M45 — is common, but many buyers prefer plain old names. Lincoln wanted to move more “upscale” and be seen as a competitor to European and Japanese luxury brands that fancy letters and numbers over traditional names. But there was one little snag with Ford’s plan.

Lincoln dealers didn’t mind calling the vehicles M-K-Z or M-K-X, but Ford insisted they should be pronounced “Mark Z” and “Mark X” to build off a traditional Lincoln model name. Confused yet? So were the dealers. Massive complaints over the few months leading up to the introduction of the new models — and names — has convinced Ford to go the more conventional route of the "M-K" pronunciation over "Mark." We still wonder what was wrong with Zephyr and Aviator, two of the classier names on the market.

[What's in a Name?, Detroit News]

Comments 

Bill Hoy

Ford's marketing department just doesn't get it. People will start buying Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury products when they look good, drive well, yet are distinctly "American". The German's figured this out at Chrysler (LX cars). It's a shame to see the great blue oval withering on the vine due to mostly useless attempts at becoming more "competitive" with the Japanese and European auto manufacturers. Ford needs to build Fords, not BMWs or Toyotas.

Kent G. Wartick

Once again, Ford doesn't get it. Instead of building better cars, they try to make sales with different marketing. Hey, Ford, wake up! There is a reason people buy Hondas and Toyotas! They are better cars! Why not start with putting more power in some of your cars, as well as more safety features, such as Daytime Running Lights, Electronic Skid Prevention, and the like? How about having your dealers get off their high horse and learn to be friendly, sincere, and sociable? Then how about some "innovations", such as diesel cars like you sell in Europe? Then maybe some lumbar supports for seats? Stop dissing the general public and treating us like we were stupid or that we have to buy your cars. We don't. There's better out there! Then I might come back to the Ford fold.

For me I just thought the Zephyr and Aviator names were about as good as any others in the industry. They're keeping navigator too. And that really just throws off the whole logic.

As a Ford, Lincoln, Mercury Dealer technician for over thrity-five years, I can atest that todays Ford vehicles are of high quality and reliability. Ask the dealership technicians why their incomes have been decreasing over the last ten years. They will tell you it is because they are doing less warranty repairs.
The vehicles need less maintainence and repairs than ever before. Ford invented stability control, but did not keep it to itself, they shared the technoligy with the other car makers for safety sake. For this Americans are buying cars of foreign manufactures who advertise built in the USA, but in reality the parts are manufactured elsewhere. These parts are shipped to the USA where they are assembled by robots.

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