Car Tips

Lincoln embraces the future with MKZ sedan

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The 2013 Lincoln MKZ ($32,925 base price) is heralded by Lincoln as the car that's going to change the brand.

It's luxurious all right, and very stylish, but it did have one problem: slowness. Not on the road, slowness in arriving at its own debut.

"Right now the launch of the new MKZ has been held back a little bit so that engineers can look at each car individually," said Brian Allan of Galpin Lincoln.

That was close to two months after the MKZ was supposed to be in showrooms. But at Galpin, one of Lincoln's biggest dealers, there was not a single example in their inventory. This was the problem, as splashed on the cover of industry publication automotive news in late March.

MKZ's had left the factory in Hermosillo, Mexico but got side-tracked to a facility in Michigan for inspections and post-assembly corrections.

Lincoln didn't want to release a car that wasn't up to quality standards, but dealers and customers were left waiting a long time for their cars.

Lincoln says the production problems with the MKZ have been solved. Cars are in showrooms and they're actually selling well. But now that that issue is over with, they have to deal with competition, an issue that affects any new model.

And that competition comes from many brands as the luxury arena is filled with lots of choices. Lexus redesigned its ES model last year and even Hyundai has a viable entry-luxury sedan with its latest Azera. And then there's Lincoln's longtime domestic rival Cadillac with new models like the small ATS and large XTS. A new CTS will also be arriving this year.

The MKZ has styling and features to compete, including the option of a hybrid powertrain.

Everyone on the Lincoln side is positive about the new car and the brand's future.

"The Lincoln product coming out is going to be state of the art and bring back the essence of what American luxury dominance really was," said Allan.

To do that, Lincoln has plans for many more new models in the coming years. The next model they bring out will more than likely show up on schedule.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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