Lincoln Naming – Cat Food By Any Other Name Would Still Smell As Sweet1
The Madness at Lincoln Continues.
Over that last two and a half months, Ford Motor Company has been misrepresenting its new naming strategy for future Lincolns. At an early reveal of the Lincoln MKS, Ford’s North American Supremo Peter Horbury called the car the “Mark Ess.” Yet at the Detroit autoshow a couple of weeks later, the model was verbally referred to as the “Em-kay-ess” by Ford management and P.R. types. Concurrently the Aviator replacing crossover utility was called the “Em-kay-ecks.” That’s MKX in badgespeak.
At the Chicago show this week, Lincoln unveiled a lightly restyled and reengineered Zephyr that will be called the MKZ. In the press release materials for the successor to the Zephyr, the car is identified as the “Mark Zee.” C’mon guys, make up you minds.
So the new alphabet soup of Lincoln names is pronounced “Mark n” where n is whatever letter they which to use. Of course this begs the question why change from the company’s previous (and quite well established) naming convention. At the Chicago show, a Ford executive who shall remain unnamed mentioned that the company’s research showed that the car was more important than the name to Lincoln customers. Okay I can accept that. But if that’s the case why change your naming methodology at all. Name changes always cost a company money as extra marketing bucks have to be have to be shoveled into creating awareness of the new moniker.
And if what said Executive said is true about the name of a vehicle being unimportant, why didn’t Lincoln change the name of the new Navigator? Could it just be that the marketers and planners at Lincoln are so totally bereft of imagination that the best naming strategy they could come up with is to copy that of former arch-rival Cadillac? Think about it, Caddy dumps all its passenger car names replacing them with three letter glyphs. Catera becomes CTS, Deville is changed to DTS, Seville is now STS and the Cadillac that should have worn the Eldorado name ends up with XLR. Interesting to note that Caddy’s brain-trust didn’t mess with the name of the Escalade.
That item wasn’t lost on Lincoln.
The remaining aberrations at Lincoln are the Lincoln Mark LT pickup. At least you know how to pronounce it, but it is now inconsistent with the MKS, MKZ, MKX badging on the cars. And, of course, the venerable Town Car is still around (for another year at least). Will it become the MKT?