Lincoln Sticking with MK-Lettered Nameplates

Lincoln MKZ ConceptLike them or not, the Lincoln brand's nameplate nomenclatures of "MKT," “MKZ," "MKX," and "MKS" are here to say, according to USA Today.

Last year, Ford CEO Alan Mulally intimated that the carmaker was considering a switch from the MK naming to something more traditional, like Continental.

For the hopeful, those dreams have officially been dashed. At the 2012 Detroit auto show, Lincoln introduced the MKZ Concept, indicating the Zephyr name probably wouldn't be revived.

Jim Farley, Ford's marketing chief, also hinted that the names would stick. "What I've learned in my career is it's product that matters, not the name," Farley told reporters at the show. In a separate interview, Mulally also told reporters he had come to terms with the current naming structure at Lincoln.

No word on if this spells the end of the only model still holding a proper name at Lincoln: the Navigator full-size SUV.

No change: Lincoln Is Stuck With Alphabet Soup Names (USA Today)



As long as Cadillac still calls there version of the Chevy Tahoe, Escalade, Navigator name won't disappear. However, I think Ford should let Lincoln go back to traditional names. It would sound classy to go back to Continental or Mark series.


Names like that are outdated. Continental and other model names appeal to older buyers. I personally don't care what the car is called, as long as it drives and looks good. Naming a car is from another era.


From a branding perspective, it would be best if the nomenclature had some meaning and were memorable. MK-whatever does not mean anything to consumers nor can they discern one from another. Mercedes and BMW and Audi have done a better job of using names to designate platform, engine size and other features. Not just made-up junky names like Lincoln.


I'd guess the MK-? series evolved from the old MK-IV, V classy Lincolns, but it has never made sense on the full line of Lincolns. Seems like FoMoCo could adapt a more meaningful set of model badges for their flagship brand.


So if a vehicle you were interested in had a name like Honda CR-AP (not be confused with CR-V) or Infiniti JU-NK you would buy it. No way. That's why these marketing departments throw around names and these Alpha-Numeric badges to see what will appeal to consumers. Also, when you say outdated, those nameplates represent the heritage of the brand. I'm sure M-B, BMW, even Lexus wants you to know where there models evolved from.


Like your view on branding...

Ken L.

I really wish Lincoln and others with a deep history of selling cars in America would return to naming their vehicles with actual names and not this alpha numeric offering that they currently have. I remember as a kid, there were a few domestic models that I really wanted to own when I grew up, and they all had names. And one of them was the Lincoln Mark Vll. It was a "Mark Vll", not MK7. That coupe was one of my dream cars - too bad they don't make them like they used to. The Imports luxury cars appeared with alphanumeric nameplates, not because they sounded more sophisticated, but because they did not have a history of selling cars here. America had the Continental, the El Dorado, Seville, Mark Vll, etc. I hope that someone will come to their senses at Ford and realize that a concept that captures the essence of style and technology, such as this, will also come with a name. You know, so that the kid that's growing up right now will only be wowed by the style, but also have it in the back of their mind when he/she is old enough to buy and own one. And since alphanumerics' change with their engine size, platforms, etc. Those numeric's change, just like how we age, and none of us want to age.


I would agree with Rich - It is hard to keep these cars straight. Perhaps MK followed by a number. Calls back to Mark # cars, and the different numbers can differentiate bewtween vehicle size. The SUV's should be named with a different but simmilar convention...


I prefer the old names too. Nothing sounds better rolling off the tongue than "Lincoln Continental Mark V". And nothing looks better than the name "Continental" spelled out in fancy script on the car.

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