AD #2307 – Ram 1500 Highlights, BMW Sets Sales and Revenue Record, Does Lincoln Need to Expand Its Lineup?

March 9th, 2018 at 11:34am

Runtime: 8:01

0:28 Toyota & Mazda Establish Joint Venture
1:06 Toyota Helps Make Taxis More Efficient
1:47 BMW Sets Sales and Revenue Record
2:52 Nissan Reveals Sketch of the New Altima
3:12 Kia Teases the New K900
3:50 Highlights of the New Ram 1500
5:56 Does Lincoln Need to Expand Its Lineup?

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33 Comments to “AD #2307 – Ram 1500 Highlights, BMW Sets Sales and Revenue Record, Does Lincoln Need to Expand Its Lineup?”

  1. MJB Says:

    Good for Lincoln for not following in the footsteps of MB and BMW and keeping a decent head-count on their model lineup. Stay lean!

  2. Lisk Says:

    The Kia K900 is a nicely styled car that is priced decently but I think it strays too far from Kias customer target. Rather than move up to a K900, I think folks are going to another highline brand. I don’t think the K900 tells the right image people want to project. Look everybody, I drive the finest Kia made doesn’t really impress anyone.

    So the Ram adds ANOTHER 4″ inches to the wheelbase. Wow. This isn’t a truck anymore. I can’t imagine finding a parking space to fit this beast into. I have a first gen GMC Sonoma (Syclone) and it’s the perfect size of truck. There has to be a need for this size of truck? It’s only a 2-seater but how many times do you see a crew cab that’s full of people?

    BMW made a ton of money last year, especially when you look at the net income versus the EBIT. When GM, Ford, or FCA make that kind of EBIT, the net is usually a third of that number.

  3. Brett Cammack Says:

    The relentless upsizing of pickup trucks reminds me of the bloated whales we ended up with in the 70s in passenger cars.

    I think the root cause is that, if you ask your existing customers what they want, they invariably opine that they wish there was a little more leg room, or a little more hip room, etc. Of course they’re older than they were when they first purchased, their family has grown since then, etc.

    Look how Honda had to introduce the Fit to bring a truly small car back into their lineup. The current Civic is much larger today than the original Accord was at introduction.

    Me, I’m still waiting for that Ram 700 to come north.

  4. Lex Says:

    I wonder if Kia and Hyundai will combine their efforts for a high end models and focus customers into their Genesis Luxury Brand. I see this in the Hyundai showrooms but not at Kia Showroom. In the same way Chevy and Buick loyalists can step up to Cadillac or GMC Denali vehicle. Why can’t Kia and Hyundai channel customers towards Genesis? I know Genesis is lacking in the CUV & SUV categories, but hopefully that will change in the near future.

  5. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    My view on Lincoln is there new strategy is a dead end. As long as you can look at a Lincoln and see Ford hiding under the sheet metal they are not in the true luxury market. Take the new face of Lincoln grill. Dull! Yes I do not like grills such as what we see with Lexus, but this rounded off box design is a step backwards from the previous wing/waterfall design. Also to consider is how much value a Lincoln will have when most people trade for their next car. Where do they think their buyers will come from? Would a BMw/Mercedes/Audi/Jaguar owner go to a Lincoln? Not many. And where is the performance versions that many buyers like? Time will tell in the next few years to see their market share.

  6. Lisk Says:

    4) I doubt too many Hyundai dealer will be suggesting to their customers they move to Genesis since Hyundai is taking most of the Genesis franchise away from existing dealers.

  7. phred Says:

    Lincoln needs to deliver a clear premium product and not bring back the pick-up truck to fill gaps. The showroom dealer traffic for Lincoln is a ghost town in So. California!!

  8. Lex Says:

    I heard a news report that VW will discontinue producing the iconic VW Beetle or Bug. Would the VW Bug be the ideal nameplate to transform into an EV?
    The Electric Beetle / Bug or e-Beetle / e-Bug or Beetle Type E might get a whole new generation of buyers interested in the VW Brand. I performance version called the Super Beetle / Bug with dual electric motors and range extending ICE mini power plant.

  9. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    7 I wonder if Ford regrets selling off Jaguar? To me Jaguar should have become their luxury brand and put Lincoln out to pasture. Caddy is enough for pseudo-luxury brands built in the USA. Add in Acura and where is Lincoln going thrive?

  10. BobD Says:

    Does anyone know the incentive package that Alabama/Huntsville had to offer to get the plant? Wisconsin offered something like $3 billion for 3,000 jobs for Foxcomm which seems crazy. Hopefully Alabama was much smarter.

  11. Drew Says:

    @5&9, Please invest a little time at a Lincoln showroom. You’ll find it to be a 1st class experience and you won’t find any Ford commonality in that showroom (you might find a little commonality if you crawl underneath).

    I completely agree with Lincoln’s “quiet flight” dimension of luxury. It is American and provides a premium experience that distinguishes itself from the rest of the moronic autobahn wannabes (our roads are too congested with lollygaggers to experience autobahn dynamics).

    And I appreciate a simpler product line-up. BMW is nuts with too many overlapping products (e.g., grand coupes, high/fat crossover coupes). M-B has similar ailments. Audi, Cadillac, Acura, Lincoln, and Infiniti are about right.

  12. Lisk Says:

    I think Lincoln is taking the right approach. I think Mark Fields should take a lot of the the credit. He played to the traditional Lincoln customer. I’m sure Lincoln is getting a lot of Cadillac conquest sales. Not everyone wants a car that corners like it’s on rails, some want a nice comfortable ride. With the exception of the XTS, today’s Cadillac’s have a stiff ride and far to much road noise to live up to the Cadillac tradition.

  13. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    11,12 Time will tell with sales figures. Lincoln will have to expand the model choices. The more models offered the more customers will look. Its like going to the super market…the more shelf space you occupy the more the customers notice your offerings. I have to agree BMW has gone nuts with their confusing array of models. But as long as people buy them they will continue the large lineup.

  14. Len Simpson Says:

    If ToyoMaz was smart , They would put up an employee only condo next door w/a Wally World & a credit Union on the ground floor. Also a trolley service

  15. mpm Says:

    @ Lisk I agree with you, the K900 looks great. I believe people who buy KIAs and Hyundais are after bang for the buck. They are likely to say something like, “My KIA does all of this great stuff, and it cost me way less than your German luxury car.” They seem to have hit the mark again with one.

  16. Bob Wilson Says:

    Living in Huntsville AL, the 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariff could not have come at a worse time. A plant is built from steel, aluminum, copper, and concrete but now the factory has just become a lot more expensive and the metals needed to make a car. We also have a Toyota engine factory, another major user of steel and aluminum as well as a Remington factory that needs steel.

    In 2002 GW Bush imposed a steel tariff and it failed. It turns out there are more people using steel to make product than actual steel workers. As those manufactures go out of business, domestic steel demand slacked off an everyone lost jobs. Then there was the 1930 Smoot-Hartley Act that poured gasoline on the Great Depression.

    Local incentives were land, roads, and tax schemes. We also have excellent BBQ, a milder climate, and excellent air, rail, and river access. I’ve included a link to an article about the incentives.

  17. Bob Wilson Says:

    Next time you have Archates, please add these to the list of questions:

    1) It looks like the connecting gear reduces the rpm of the crankshafts. What are the practical gear ratios of the crankshafts to the connecting gear?

    2) Could a metal link chain connect the two crankshafts and reduce weight and volume for smaller engines?


  18. Drew Says:

    @17 – I also wonder about a metal link chain in lieu of the large gear. Perhaps a chain can’t withstand the torque.

  19. Ctech Says:

    Kia K900 sales: 2014 1330, 2015 2524, 2016 834, 2017 455. Why is Kia stubbornly holding on to a silly name for a serious car?

    It always struck me as odd that we have so many empty or under-used manufacturing plant areas around the country and companies choose to build in totally vacant areas. Why not take over the Mitsubishi plant in Illinois?

  20. Bob Wilson Says:

    @17 – I am thinking smaller engines in the motor cycle to Jetta range. The efficiency and potential emissions advantages make smaller versions much more attractive.

    Bob Wilson

  21. BobD Says:

    17 – On the Achates, I suspect the gears were used for precision timing/syncing the two pistons. Chains require “slack” which is okay if the power transferred is uni-directional, but does not work well with cyclic loading. There are also durability and efficiency issues with chains. I had the same question as was asked on the show, why were the drive gears straight-cut spur teeth rather than helical to cut down on noise and vibration. Seems pretty low-tech for a supposedly high-tech engine. Also why one large idler gear rather than three smaller ones for packaging.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 I recently visited my local Lincoln/Jaguar/Land Rover dealer, and the Lincolns I saw were a Fusion, an Escape, an Edge, and an Expedition with somewhat different body work and a nicer interior, for quite a bit more money than the Ford version. Then, there was this really ugly MKT thing. The Lincoln that was kind of appealing, to me, was the Continental. It is basically a stretched Fusion, but the interior was attractive and room, and if it is quiet and rides well, it really fits the Lincoln name.

    I like some of the Cadillacs, but they do not sell well. They are building cars with the virtues of BMW’s “ultimate driving machines” of years ago, but that is not what most Cadillac prospects want.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Regarding the Kia Canine Thousand, what is the point? Just make Genesis the H/K luxury brand. They need more products, especially some crossovers, but they seem to be off to a very good start.

  24. Bob Wilson Says:

    @21 – Thinking about it, having the cranks turn in opposite directions probably balances the engine more than having them rotate in the same direction. The single or an odd number of connecting gears works.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I am watching the Achates show, and one thing continues to make me skeptical. They drag this F-150 glider around all to shows, the Autoline studio, etc., but it apparently isn’t real. They apparently can’t make a vehicle that will actually run, and they should quit hauling this fake truck around to shows.

  26. wmb Says:

    Being a Ford man, I am really disappointed w8th Lincoln. What is interesting though, is that all the luxury brands that Ford purchased and later sold for pennies on the dollar, are all doing better in their respective markets (perceptually), then Lincoln is doing in theirs! What is even more interesting is that, with maybe the exception of Aston Martin, some of these brands current success is off the backs of updated, but old Ford platforms. The current XJ: in modern, aluminyze version of the platform used for the Lincoln LS/S-Type. The F-Type: born from the bones of the EK coupe and convertible, which itself was made for the same platform as the LS/S-Type. From the aluminum XJ, came the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, with the Evoque, Discovery sport and then Volvo’s new 40 Series being drive from the previous-generation Ford Focuses platform! Add to that, is the fact that the turn around of most of these brands, while under new ownership, has been at the hands of the same leaders that they had when owned by Ford! All of this seems to suggest, IMHO, that Lincoln’s struggles, may not come from the products that they sell, but more then likely the constraints placed on them by upper management. I understand that Ford sold off these brands, so that they could keep themselves above water. I just worry that, had Ford kept them, would they be where they are now, or like Lincoln, still looking for greatness To come back their way?! I t makes no sense that, in the eyes of the automotive landscape, that the new Genesis brand, and now Kia, may have a more serious offering in the luxury vehicle segment, then the story Lincoln brand. Like I said at the beginning, while i LOVE Ford, i am really disappointed in Lincoln!

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 I suspect Tata had “deep pockets,” which helped a lot to get Jaguar/Land Rover where they are now. I think all of the Jaguar cars look great, but the reliability is so-so. Yeah, Ford helped JLR a lot, with product design, and quality improvement. It’s unfortunate that they were unable, or unwilling to hold on the company.

    As far as Lincoln, they seem unwilling to make products that differentiate themselves enough from Ford. The best selling Lexus products, though, aren’t much different from Toyotas. Somehow, Lexus established a “premium image” that has worked well. The Lexus dealer experience may be part of it, or maybe just having cars like the LS and RC in the showroom makes a difference.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    wmb, maybe you know. Is the Aston-Martin V-12 engine still based on two Ford V-6′s end to end, or do they have a different V-12 now?

  29. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Two aspects of Lincoln are part of the problem with their image. First at least where I live Lincolns are sold right next to Fords with sales people selling both. I don’t ever see Lincoln having stand alone dealers. They could not survive. Second, the ads on TV are weird like Volvo. To me they talk to a very small market with their tone and message. I remember the beginning of the Lexus brand and it was from the begining built on quality followed by the luxury. The first LS400 was just that in its resulting vehicle. I owned for 16 years a 2000 RX and it was just that for all the time I owned it. My only time needing a warranty claim was right after I moved from Florida back to NJ. It was 2 months after the warranty expired and the battery died. The dealer here in NJ replaced the battery and checked the entire charging system for free. While it was in the shop they insisted on giving me a loaner LS for the day. That is how Lexus built their brand.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 Where I am, the Florida “space coast,” Lincoln is sold along side Jaguar and Land Rover, so the dealership appearance is “premium.” Surprisingly, I don’t see even one of that dealer’s vehicles at my condo complex, even though they are the closest new car dealer, and there are a few Benzes, BMW’s, and Lexi here.

  31. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    30 that is an interesting dynamic. Is that commom outside of you area? Wonder what is the ratio of sales per brand at that dealship. On my last trip to Nebraska and back(2800 miles round trip) I only saw 3 new Lincolns with the new grill design, may have missed a few but that was shocking. I thought I would see more especially On I80 passing south of Chicago. I wish them well(Lincoln).

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t know the people at the dealership well enough to ask about sales numbers, etc., but it would be interesting to know. If Lincoln could just improve their image, they should be able to compete with Lexus RX, with the Edge-based MKX. If it’s reliable, those cystomers should like it well enough.

  33. Dave Foley Says:

    The story about Lincoln adding additional models made me chuckle. Not at them though. I think they are doing themselves pretty well.

    What made me chuckle was that Lincoln is covering all major segments pretty well, and over at FCA, Chrysler still stumbles along with 2 models. TWO!!! Haha!! And from what I’ve read, they have no imminent new models to add to the ‘fleet’ any time soon.

    I was recently looking at a Chrysler brochure from a decade ago. In it, there was a group shot of all the cars in their lineup. They had 8 distinct vehicles. One was even a convertible version of another one. Today, TWO.

    The other funny part is even Sergio claims that Chrysler is supposed to move into becoming the “Mass Market” brand, and not a slightly upmarket vehicle, as it always has been. Mass Market, with 2 models. SMH. I’m officially off the Sergio praise train.

    So, good job Lincoln! Boo FCA.

    (And I’m a Mopar guy!)

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