Back-to-School Driving Tips: Staying Safe in School Zones

Back-to-School Driving TipsNow that school is in session, it’s important to stay safe on the road. Whether you are a parent, teen, or college student, you should keep these back-to-school driving safety tips in mind. In addition to staying alert, there are some necessary steps to take to prevent serious accidents. Not only will these prevent you from getting a ticket, but they could also save someone’s life.

According to Safety Insurance, always keep an eye out for buses—they’re painted bright yellow for a reason. You should always give a school bus extra following distance, because it can be difficult for the driver to see. It’s also important to stop when the stop-sign is deployed, and to never pass a school bus. This could result in a fatal accident, as well as expensive fines.

Know where school zones are. Most school zones are advertised well, and the speed ranges from 15 to 25 mph. Always keep your foot on the brake, and be aware that traffic laws change when you enter these areas. Not only does speed decrease, but fines increase and no texting or talking on the phone is allowed, period.

Finally, walk better. If you are one of the many walking with students, or if you are a student yourself, be sure to pay attention to traffic. Put away electronic devices, only cross at corners or crosswalks, and look both ways. Parents should spend extra time talking to their kids about traffic safety, and older students should get a refresher as well.

At West Point Lincoln we want to keep you as safe as possible on the road so we’re happy to bring you these back-to-school driving tips.

Lincoln Service Valet: Free Pickup and Delivery for Maintenance and Repairs

2017 Lincoln Continental

Lincoln is setting itself apart from competitors, especially when it comes to service. The luxury automaker recently announced that it will provide free pickup and delivery service to new owners, beginning with the 2017 model year. No more finding a ride to the dealership or finding time to take your car in. Simply let the dealer know, and a certified driver will be out to pick up your vehicle.

According to Automotive News, this Lincoln Service Valet, as it will be called, is designed to set the brand apart from other luxury brands. In addition to picking up your car for service or repairs, the company will also drop-off a Lincoln of equal or lesser value. As soon as service and maintenance are complete, the dealership will simply give you back your car and pick up the loaner.

“Our dealers view this as a way to differentiate the client experience for Lincoln owners,” said Andrew Frick, Director of Sales and Services for Lincoln. “No matter what Lincoln vehicle clients have from our portfolio, they have the peace of mind of getting that vehicle to and from service at a location of their choice, with a complimentary Lincoln loaner in order to maintain their busy schedules.”

Over 90 percent of customers said this is a highly satisfactory service, something that sets the brand apart. Plus, owners are more likely to have service performed if it is this convenient, making it easier to maintain your vehicle. When you buy a Lincoln model, you don’t just get a car—you get an experience.

Top Reasons to Buy a Luxury Car: From Tech to Comfort

reasons to buy a luxury car

Luxury models are not for everyone; however, exclusivity is one reason this segment of vehicles has become so popular in recent years. Offering the latest technologies, the best in safety, comfortable rides, and a sharp image, there are many reasons to buy a luxury car. Whether you want to lease or own a luxury car, there is a massive selection to choose from at West Point Lincoln.

When many people think of luxury models, their minds go to the financial elite. While it is true that many luxury brands are purchased by the rich and famous, these models are more than just status symbols. In fact, if you want the latest in entertainment, you should probably get a luxury car. According to Forbes, luxury cars are usually the first to get technologies like in-car Wi-Fi, smartphone integration, and exclusive audio systems. If infotainment is a priority, choose a luxury model.

Similar to entertainment technologies, luxury cars usually have state-of-the-art safety systems. In fact, Lincoln was one of the first to get driver assist technologies like Blind Spot Monitoring, Brake Assist, Night Vision, Lane Departure Warning, and more. Plus, Lincoln models are engineered with safety in mind, with high-strength chassis and rollover protection systems to keep you safe in most crashes.

Comfort is definitely a reason to choose a luxury car. Lincoln Black Label designs surround you in leather, real wood inlays, metal trim, and more. Climate-controlled seating keeps you at the perfect temperature, while convenient features like voice command give you access to media with ease.

Finally, there is a certain image that goes along with buying luxury. “Some people want the latest and greatest of whatever,” says Jeff Bennett, an automotive marketing professor at Northwood University in Midland, Mich. “It’s about having the money to buy it. It’s about being able to say, ‘Hey, this is how successful I am.’” If you want a subtle way to show off your success, buy a luxury car. Most Americans recognize luxury when they see it, making a luxury model a great way to maintain your image.

2012 Ford Focus

Ford Motor Company Releases 2015-2016 Sustainability Report

Earlier in 2016, the Ford Motor Company created a new subsidiary called Ford Smart Mobility LLC, built to design and work with a variety of emerging mobility services that used present Ford innovations and technologies. With such a division in place, Ford is planning on collaborating with different tech companies and individual startups to improve mobility services and introduce new systems that can make driving safer and more optimal for consumers. With so many new developments on the horizon, the Ford Motor Company released a sustainability report to provide interested customers with updates on how the project is progressing.

 

In addition to such programs, Ford is also planning on experimenting around the world in order to solve some of their most complex technical issues. Between 2015 and 2016, the major automotive manufacturer has conducted over 30 global mobility experiments in order to better gain insight into different consumer preferences. Some of these pilot programs include things such as the GoPark, which is a company that specializes in building predictive parking systems that can help drivers direct their vehicles onto streets that are more likely to have empty parking spaces. This system is currently being developed in London, where another program, GoDrive, is finalizing operations. GoDrive is a car-sharing program that allows vehicles to enjoy guaranteed and immediate parking at otherwise busy locations.

 

Additionally, the report covered the automaker’s efforts to expand its research and planned developments for electric vehicles in Asia and Europe. The automaker recently invested $4.5 billion into electric vehicles, planning to add upwards of 13 specialized vehicles to its overall selection. This means that the automaker is planning on making approximately 40 percent of their total portfolio electric vehicles. Ford also plans on expanding further facilities in the United States. Representatives have said that the industry giant is planning on spending upwards of $2 million on a new advanced facility at the University of Michigan. This new section will allow the automaker to allocate the necessary resources towards the research and development of new battery technology, optimizing the development of future electric cars and related systems.


Ford Focus Electric

Ford’s report also focuses on optimizing energy efficiency even during the production process. In 2015, Ford met a global goal to reduce the amount of water used during vehicular production by 30 percent as compared to 2009 figures. For 2017, the company is planning on raising the standard and setting a new goal as they exceeded their goal for 2016. The professionals behind the group initially aimed to reduce water use by two percent and succeeded in reducing water use by upwards of five percent. In addition to water use, Ford is also planning on reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. In 2015, 29 of the company’s non-manufacturing facilities and six manufacturing facilities were able to achieve a zero waste to landfill status, resulting in a total of 63 percent worldwide.

 

With the new report, Ford launched a pilot program that is designed to enhance mobility services in rural regions in South Africa and Nigeria. This project includes the assistance of several organizations around the world, such as World Vision South Africa, and several independent social entrepreneurs in order to deliver better health education, medication, and basic nutritional services to thousands of inhabitants in the more remote regions of the country. Many of the company’s fans are excited to see how Ford will continue to revolutionize the field, especially considering the magnitude of such projects. These innovations promise to change the field for electric vehicles from all over the world.

Ford Lincoln to Approach Luxury Vehicles in a Novel Way

Ford LincolnThe Ford brand name has always been focused on enhancing the driving experience for customers. Whether providing customers with improved safety features or more intuitive driving functions, Ford is always innovating with the driver in mind. The company’s approach is particularly noticeable with their Lincoln line of vehicles. With the new Lincoln Continental, the major manufacturer promises to provide customers with an even more intuitive way to drive. It is just one of several quality-of-life improvements that the brand plans to make for regular drivers.

The system is known as the Lincoln Approach Detection function, and it is designed to automatically know when the vehicle’s owner is close to the vehicle. When the owner is close enough, the car can then light the path to the vehicle. Though this already stands out as an intuitive way to prevent accidents and problems on the sidewalk, there is more to this function than simply providing owners with a smart lighting system. This seemingly small adjustment also allows the Lincoln Continental to welcome drivers if they have friends or family over. It makes the car feel as though it is a welcome part of the family, and it is symbolic of people’s reliance on their vehicles.

The company’s global trends and futuring manager, Sheryl Connelly has said that the vehicle also helps make you feel right at home, establishing a more serene and familiar place. Practically speaking, the vehicle is designed to project large welcoming mats on the ground near the doors when the vehicle’s owner gets within eight feet of the vehicle. This illuminates the owner’s vehicle, and then also lights up the door handles, which makes them easier to find. This cabin lighting setting is easy to trigger at its softest setting, and once the driver has entered the car, the side view mirrors actively fold out, ready in their driving position.

Lincoln’s exterior design manager, Solomon Song, has explained that this is designed to be a more subtle touch to reinforce the brand’s commitment to quality and improving the experience for their drivers. The manager has defined this function as providing drivers with a sense of quiet luxury. It paves the way for future experiences by establishing the powerful and serene message, effortless in its delivery and yet symbolic enough to provide drivers with the comfort they need on long drives or thoughtful adventures.

Though these features may seem to be a gimmick, such as entertainment systems providing vocal cues, the unique quality of silence in these features improve the experience for owners. It makes the luxury aspect seem much more effortless, and the trend itself is only growing among other vehicle manufacturers. Modern advancements in technology are making it easier for vehicles to include such basic functions, providing manufacturers with the opportunity to innovate according to their car’s design rather than focus on traditional craftsmanship.

Another such quality-of-life improvement was developed by the Land Rover brand name. The company created a Tile object tracking option, which allows drivers to make sure that they have everything they need for the road. It tracks things such as keys, laptop bags and even sunglasses according to a tile system. If one of the objects is missing from the vehicle, it notifies the driver. The primary function of such advancements and features is to save drivers time and effort when they are about to head out. Time is slowly becoming one of the largest luxuries vehicle drivers can enjoy, and many fans are excited to keep up with future advancements to be featured in the Lincoln line.

Lincoln Announces New Standard Features on the 2017 MKC

Lincoln MKCThe Lincoln MKC was first introduced at the 2013 LA Auto Show with the first production model up for sale in June of 2014. The MKC has a refined design taken from the second generation MKZ. Drivers have four trim level choices of premiere, select, reserve, or black label. Innovative marketing ideas have been used by this brand for the MKC. In addition to Matthew McConaughey, an Oscar-winning actor, starring in commercial spots for the 2015 version of this vehicle, Lincoln has offered date night test drives giving interested buyers dinner for two on the company.

Later this year, Lincoln will release the 2017 MKC. The company recently revealed some exciting details regarding this vehicle. In addition to all of the expected bells and whistles, this entry-level crossover SUV will showcase several technologies that are new to Lincoln vehicles.

For instance, the 2017 Lincoln MKC will come equipped with an auto start-stop system that will cut the engine while the vehicle is sitting at traffic lights. This brilliant technology feature is good for the driver’s budget and for the environment. It will reduce emissions and also reduce the use of fuel.

Manufactured in Ford Motor Company’s Louisville assembly plant, the 2017 MKC will come with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that boasts up to 240 horsepower with 270 pound-feet of torque or a 2.3-liter engine with up to 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. The smaller engine unit will have the option of FWD and AWD while the larger engine will only be available with AWD.

The start-stop system is new to the 2.0-liter all-wheel-drive models of the MKC and is standard on the front-wheel-drive version. Also useful for sitting at traffic lights or in stop and go traffic is the aptly named Auto Hold system. This innovative technology allows the driver to take their foot off of the brake pedal yet keeps the car stationary until the gas pedal is utilized.

A power liftgate comes as standard equipment on the all-new MKC. Previously it was an add-on option on some MKC trim levels. For drivers who desire the latest in entertainment and information, this crossover will also come standard with Sync 3 with AppleCar Play and Android Auto.

In 2015, over 25,000 Lincoln MKCs were sold in the United States, up from just over 13,000 in its introductory 2014 year. Since the beginning of 2016, Lincoln has released over 5,000 MKCs in the United States, a slight decline compared to last year’s numbers at this time. Although it was Lincoln’s first attempt at entering the quite popular compact crossover SUV class, it has been regarded as an overall success and is a leader for the Lincoln line of vehicles. The MKC is loosely based on the Ford Escape compact crossover.

As with previous year’s models, the 2017 Lincoln MKC is expected to come in many color options. Depending on the selected trim, options may include black velvet, chroma flame red premium metallic, ingot silver metallic, chroma cabernet red premium, diamond black metallic, midnight sapphire blue metallic, and palladium white gold metallic.

It has come as a nice surprise to Lincoln that the MKC has been a favorite among female drivers. In the past, Lincoln had difficulty bringing female buyers to their brand, however, the MKC has showrooms filled with potential female buyers.

The price of the 2017 MKC has not yet been released, however, it is estimated that it will start as low as $34,185, which is what the 2016 model starts at. Ordering for this Lincoln crossover will begin sometime in May 2016.

Women Responsible for Increased Lincoln Luxury SUV Sales

Women Responsible for Increased Lincoln Luxury SUV Sales As a general rule, women are known for their discerning tastes and an appreciation for the finer things in life. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the fairer sex purchases Lincoln vehicles at record numbers, according to an internal analysis of vehicle registration data from HIS Automotive, an industry information and consulting services company.

As Lincoln notes in a press release, Lincoln registrations among women increased by 45 percent in the past 10 years. This statistic is particularly significant given that, within the same time frame, the rate of women car buyers grew at more than 11 times the rate of the Lincoln brand. Moreover, the growth of the female car-buying demographic over a 10-year span was twice that of the luxury vehicle segment as a whole.

These statistics are corroborated by independent reports from The New York Times and NPR, which concluded that women were the primary drivers behind luxury product and vehicle sales last year. As women achieve greater social and financial mobility, according to Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s global consumer trends and futuring manager, they are asserting a stronger influence on the automotive market.

“It’s no surprise that as women reap the rewards of their success, they have increasing influence in shaping the luxury market landscape,” said Connelly.

Another valuable statistic gleaned from IHS Automotive data centered on the sales figures two of Lincoln’s high profile vehicle launches: the Lincoln MKC and the MKX (pictured). Women were chiefly responsible for the sales growth of these luxury models—MKC registrations among women increased by 52 percent between 2014 and 2015, while MKX registrations increased by 48 percent over the same period in 2014.

Lincoln attributed the success of its luxury vehicle lineup among women to several external and internal factors. In terms of external factors, the US Census Bureau found

more women than men held master’s degrees, which suggests an increased likelihood that they will purchase luxury vehicles. In terms of internal factors, Lincoln’s recent, high profile launch of the 2016 MKX has made the Lincoln brand more appealing to women car buyers.

With its embrace of the quiet luxury concept, the Lincoln MKZ, MKX and MKC are high-quality luxury sedans that appeal to women car buyers. These models also include women-friendly design features such as a headrest that allows a woman driver to lean back comfortably while wearing their hair in a high ponytail. Such subtle yet significant touches within Lincoln’s luxury vehicles go a long way with female consumers, according Marcia Salzberg, Lincoln senior designer for color and materials.

“A more traditional material, such as luxury wood trim, or a more modern take in the form of a wrapped aluminum mesh, may hold equal appeal for women,” said Salzberg. “It’s where and how the material is applied, and its relationship to the colors and surfaces enveloping it that creates a holistic expression of quality women recognize and appreciate.”

The vehicle registration data referenced here can be found on the IHS Automotive website. Once you have had a chance to peruse that data, head on down to West Point Lincoln to check out our line of great Lincoln luxury sedans and SUVs. We look forward to seeing you!

Lincoln Tailors the 2017 Continental for Chinese Consumers

lincoln-factory-chinaThe distance between Michigan and China is over 6,800 miles. This fact is significant because starting this summer Lincoln will begin exporting 2017 Lincoln Continental units from its Flat Rock, MI assembly plant to various markets across the globe.

Arguably the most prominent of these markets is China, which, as a recent Automotive News report illustrates, has grown into the largest auto market in the world. In 2015 alone, vehicle sales in China eclipsed sales in the U.S.: Chinese consumers purchased 24.6 million vehicles versus the 17.2 million vehicles bought by U.S. car buyers. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that automakers like Lincoln offer versions of their vehicles that are modified with the specific needs of Chinese consumers in mind.

For instance, China will be the only country to receive a 2017 Lincoln Continental with a 2.0-liter engine. The Chinese-market Continental will be further equipped with exclusive interior features like a longer wheelbase, more spacious rear seats with taut leather, and even the removal of the “new car scent” that apparently turns off Chinese car buyers.

While these details may seem inconsequential to us, such minor alterations can pay major dividends, according to Pei-Wen Hsu, Deputy GM of Marketing for Lincoln China.

“They have high demands in terms of craftsmanship and fit and finish,” said Hsu. “By learning from the Chinese consumers, we’ve been able to refine our offering.”

According to Automotive News, previous automakers failed to make inroads in the Chinese car market because they weren’t attuned to the cultural nuances that influence consumer behavior. In addition to satisfying the specific tastes of the Chinese auto consumer, Lincoln also addressed regulatory issues specific to the Chinese market. For this reason, Lincoln wouldn’t attempt to sell a vehicle with roof rails or trailer hitches, since both features are illegal in China.

Chinese consumers tend to appraise vehicle quality in microscopic detail, which is why it’s important that automakers are also attentive to the finer points. It’s especially important to an automaker like Lincoln, which is still making inroads in China after entering it a few years ago. Lincoln’s goals in the short term are to add more dealerships and increase its overall vehicle sales. In time, we suspect that Chinese consumers will be attracted to the quiet luxury of the Continental, along with the other luxury vehicles in the Lincoln lineup.

The 2017 Lincoln Continental is scheduled to begin production later this summer. In the meantime, visit West Point Lincoln for best new and pre-owned Lincoln vehicles in the greater Houston area!

McConaughey Lets the Dogs Out in His 2016 Lincoln Navigator

2016-lincoln-navigator-time-to-eatBack in September, the Lincoln Motor Company announced that it was renewing its partnership with Matthew McConaughey for its Lincoln MKX ad campaign. McConaughey may have exhibited his trademark cool in the MKX spots, but his latest commercial for the 2016 Lincoln Navigator has the acclaimed actor going straight to the dogs.

In a spot entitled “Time to Eat,” McConaughey takes a ride in his full-size Lincoln luxury SUV with two special passengers in the rear seats: a German shorthair pointer and a Weimaraner. In the quirky, 30-second ad, the True Detective star consults with the two pooches about where they’d like to eat until he takes his prerogative as the human in the vehicle.

McConaughey’s 2016 Navigator commercial represents a sharp departure from his other Lincoln ads in that he is seen talking to other vehicle passengers, even if they can’t answer them. As opposed to the heavy soliloquies delivered in the MKX ads, the McConaughey featured in “Time to Eat” has no deeper concern than figuring out where he and his four-legged friends can find some grub.

As an actor accustomed to portraying a wide range of characters, McConaughey appreciated that “Time to Eat” allowed him to present another facet of his estimable abilities. Also, he liked the fact that this commercial had dogs in it.

“Lincoln and I wanted the new ad to be more lighthearted and fun, so when they pitched the ‘driving with dogs’ idea I was in,” said McConaughey. “People love their dogs, I’ve got three myself, and yes, I, like most of you, even talk to them.”

While offering a more lighthearted view, the Navigator ad is consistent with the other Lincoln performances delivered by the one-time winner of the Best Actor Oscar. The Lincoln spots prioritize the need for quiet luxury, and the 2016 Navigator certainly delivers on that promise with a quiet cabin and smooth handling that promises a peaceful ride.

The full-sized SUV features a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that has plenty of power behind it (380 horsepower, to be exact). At the same time, the Navigator’s array of family friendly safety features and Sync 3 connectivity ensures a safe journey for you and your passengers—whether they have two legs or four.

As with the Lincoln MKX spots that featured McConaughey, “Time to Eat” was directed by noted auteur Gus Van Sant of I Am Michael fame. Jon Pearce of the Hudson Ridge ad agency values the creative approach Van Sant brought to directing the Lincoln Navigator commercial.

“Gus really understood how to bring the story of the Lincoln Navigator to life,” said Pearce. “The setting, our canine passengers and some pithy dialogue all work together to tell the story of the type of person who likes to drive a Navigator.”

McConaughey’s “Time to Eat” commercial recently debuted during the broadcast of the 2016 Grammy Awards. If you didn’t see the commercial during the Grammys—or even if you wish to watch it again—you can do so here:

Lincoln Co-Sponsors 2016 Black Women in Music Event

lincoln-sponsored-eventThe Lincoln Motor Company partnered with Essence Magazine to deliver the 2016 Black Women in Music event. Lincoln proudly served as a presenting sponsor for the 7th annual edition of the show, which celebrates the contributions of African American female artists during the high-profile occasion of Grammy weekend.

The featured performers at this year’s Black Women in Music event held at the Avalon Hollywood nightclub in Los Angeles were soul singers Andra Day (pictured) and Jazmine Sullivan. Day and Sullivan each received Best R&B Album nominations in the 2016 Grammys.

The high-profile performers for the 7th annual Black Women in Music included musical director Adam Blackstone and the BBE All-Star Band, along with DJ Rashida on the ones and twos. Attendees for this year’s round of performances included George Clinton, Queen Latifah and Christina Milian.

Essence President Michelle Ebanks discussed the greater significance of the Black Women in Music event.

“Each year, Essence looks forward to bringing together artists, music industry influencers and fans during Grammy week for a remarkable evening celebrating the many performers who not only entertain but inspire us,” Ebanks said. She also took time to thank the event’s sponsors, Lincoln and African Pride Shea Butter Miracle, for their support.

Since the event’s founding in 2010, the Black Women in Music stage has been shared by such superstars as Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott and Kelly Rowland, among others. This February, Essence celebrated the accomplishments of African American women in a variety of fields, including music, fashion, sports and activism.

For more information on the 2016 Black Women in Music event, visit Essence.com. And to see great new and pre-owned Lincoln models, head on down to West Point Lincoln in Houston, TX today!