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!

2017 Lincoln Continental Blends Power and Elegance

2017 Lincoln ContinentalOne of the most buzzed-about vehicles at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show is the 2017 Lincoln Continental. While the Continental name has traditionally been a glamorous name in the auto world, many consumers may have forgotten it since the line was discontinued in 2002.

After a 14-year absence, the Continental will make its triumphant return on U.S. dealership floors this fall. Lincoln is targeting this flagship vehicle specifically at the American and Chinese auto markets, a strategy which the automaker hopes will allow it to reclaim its predominant position as a luxury auto provider. Two of the key attributes that distinguish the 2017 Continental from the competition are power and elegance, both of which combine to create a unique luxury sedan that’s sure to satisfy a variety of tastes.

In terms of power, the 2017 Lincoln Continental provides a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine capable of 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The vehicle’s all-wheel-drive capabilities are complimented by Lincoln’s Dynamic Torque Vectoring, which transfers torque to the rear wheels as needed for added drivability. In addition, Continental drivers have the option of three settings—comfort, normal and sport—for a greater degree of steering and handling.

The 2017 Continental also provides a variety of elegant technological touches. For instance, LED signature lighting activate once the driver puts the key in the vehicle’s ignition. These lights appear in both the front and back end of the vehicle, as well as in mat lights around the front doors. Moreover, Lincoln’s new E-latch door release allows passengers to open the vehicle’s doors with a push of the button for effortless entry.

The technical elegance of the Lincoln Continental is matched only by the vehicle’s sumptuous interiors. Because Lincoln customers (rightfully) expect nothing less than the best, designers modeled the Continental’s Perfect Position Seats after seating typically found in private jets. In addition to automatically conforming to the passenger’s body shape and weight, these seats also provide temperature control and massaging features for maximum comfort.

The exterior of the Continental is just as impressive. Naturally, the vehicle includes the signature Lincoln grille, which has been slightly redesigned to accommodate this unique model. A panoramic sunroof gently swoops across the Continental’s roof to complete the sedan’s dynamic and progressive look.

The 2017 Continental also comes equipped with a Revel audio system with three distinct listening modes for optimal audial enjoyment. At the same time, the vehicle’s Active Noise Control ensures an environment of comfortable contemplation.

As with the 2017 Lincoln MKZ, the Lincoln brain trust, including Lincoln president Kumar Galhotra, touts the “quiet luxury” of the 2017 Continental, thereby making it the complete package.

“The Continental name has long been associated with the ultimate in Lincoln beauty and luxury,” said Galhotra. “With the all-new model, we are focusing on creating more human, personally tailored experiences for our clients—providing what we call quiet luxury.”

You can purchase your 2017 Lincoln Continental at a dealership near you in Fall 2016. Call, email or visit a West Point Lincoln representative to see if they’ll reserve a Continental for you today!

2017 MKZ Becomes First Lincoln to Feature Panasonic’s SYNC 3 System

2017-lincoln-mkzIn our last West Point Lincoln blog post about the 2017 Lincoln MKZ, we discussed the “quiet luxury” that distinguishes this luxury sedan from the competition. With that said, the 2017 MKZ (pictured) can also make a big noise when the occasion requires it. To wit: the SNYC 3 infotainment system that was unveiled to patrons of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lincoln collaborated with Panasonic Automotive, the world’s leading provider of automotive infotainment and connectivity solutions, to introduce the exclusive SYNC 3 system and lithium ion battery to the 2017 Lincoln MKZ. Panasonic Automotive president Tom Gebhardt explains how his company’s partnership with Lincoln is an ideal match of two brands used to delivering high-quality products to its customers.

“Luxury consumers have high expectations that their infotainment systems will provide an experience that is as responsive and elegant as their mobile devices,” said Gebhardt. “With Panasonic’s history in both consumer electronics and automotive, we have been able to expertly marry the two worlds and create a vehicle experience that is smart and sophisticated.”

While Ford vehicles have featured the SYNC 3 system for the past few years, the 2017 MKZ is the first Lincoln model to include this in-vehicle connectivity technology. The next-generation SYNC 3 will provide many of the benefits that users have come to expect, such as voice recognition and hands-free calling. The Panasonic infotainment system for the 2017 MKZ will also include a touchscreen that mimics the responsiveness of a smartphone, as well as a larger graphical interface that will allow drivers to better recognize the apps they’ll access. Moreover, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity will be a standard feature in all Ford vehicles starting with the 2017 model year.

Panasonic’s lithium-ion battery, otherwise known as the Li-ion Battery, will be a vital component of the 2017 Lincoln MKZ’s 3.0-liter V6 engine. Gebhardt says that it took Panasonic decades to perfect its lithium-ion battery technology, which involved considerable investments in manufacturing and lab research. The fruit of Panasonic’s labors have borne the company a well-deserved reputation as the world’s leading supplier of lithium ion batteries for the automotive marketplace.

Ultimately, of course, it’ll be up to customers to decide if the hard work was all worth it when the 2017 Lincoln MKZ goes on sale in summer 2016. In the meantime, you can learn more about Lincoln’s SYNC 3 system here.

In Time for Christmas: 2017 Lincoln Continental Spy Photos

2017-lincoln-continental-conceptHow would Santa be able to deliver presents on Christmas without a sweet sleigh to transport him around the globe? Like many iconic vehicles, Santa’s sleigh will receive a technological upgrade that kicks in just in case conventional reindeer power doesn’t do the job. According to North Pole experts, Santa will rely on high-powered jet fuel in order to carry out his appointed rounds, and the economists who crunched the numbers say he’ll need 45 million gallons of it to travel the 226 million miles needed to visit each and every child across the world.

While the 2017 Lincoln Continental (pictured) won’t be jet-fuel powered, it’ll have plenty of goodies to keep young-at-heart luxury vehicle drivers happy. Spy shots of the upcoming Continental were leaked just in time for the Christmas holiday, giving people plenty to buzz about from now until the vehicle’s release date sometime in the coming year.

From concept to production version, we’ve followed the progress of the 2017 Lincoln Continental. It made its public debut several months ago at the 2015 New York Auto Show, but now Lincoln fans have their first real glimpse of what the vehicle will likely look like, particularly on the inside.

The Lincoln Continental displayed in the recently released spy photos closely resembles the concept model from the NY Auto Show. A vertical-split grille, traditional three-box shape and transparent-chrome taillights are a few of the vehicle’s more prominent stylistic features. The Continental appears to be utilizing Ford’s CD4 platform designed for front- and all-wheel drive vehicles. Many current Ford models, including the Ford Fusion and Edge, as well as the Lincoln MKZ, use this popular platform architecture.

The Lincoln Continental that will arrive in U.S. dealerships in 2016 will likely sit a slightly stretched version of the CD4 platform with a wheelbase of over 200 inches. It will also come equipped with an all-new 3.0-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine that generates 400 horsepower. Not quite Santa’s jet-fueled sleigh, but it should be more than enough power if you’re not pulling an around-the-world all-nighter.

While exterior shots of the Lincoln Continental were plentiful, photos of the interior were harder to come by until now. Based on spy shots, it’s safe to assume that the Continental’s cabin will remain fairly faithful to the concept model. This Lincoln luxury sedan will feature black leather and shiny wood trim on the dashboard and doors. The production model Continental emphasizes those elements while eschewing the blue velvet and chrome touches present in the concept version.

One apparent change to the production version of the Continental is the appearance of two separate air vents, as opposed to one attached unit, on top of the dashboard. The 2017 Continental will also sport a host of advanced in-car technologies, including a Ford Sync 3 infotainment system and a Revel audio system.

Lincoln says that the Continental will make its next appearance this coming January at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. The automaker has been coy about when this made in the USA vehicle will go on sale, except that it’s scheduled for sometime in 2016.

The West Point Lincoln Blog will be sure to let you know when you can purchase your own Continental as soon as we can—until then, have a happy and joyous holiday season!

Empire Star Performs in Lincoln MKX Launch Party

linc3As Jamal Lyon in Fox’s megahit drama Empire, Jussie Smollett is used to delivering stunning musical performances in high-profile situations. It only stands to reason that the Lincoln Motor Company recently solicited Smollett (pictured) to perform at its Afternoon of Luxury in Los Angeles. The event held at the famous Viceroy Santa Monica hotel was designed to introduce the all-new Lincoln MKX to the masses, while also treating them to live music, refreshments and even a fashion show.

Hosted by branding expert Miss Diddy, the Afternoon of Luxury event was presented in conjunction with Automotive Rhythms, a multimedia marketing company focusing on the automotive industry. The Afternoon of Luxury preceded the 2015 LA Auto Show and afforded Lincoln another avenue to promote its brand. Lincoln says that its primary goals for the event were to display its latest models, including the MKX, and to provide test-driving opportunities to interested participants.

At the Afternoon of Luxury, Smollett sung three songs featured on Empire: “You’re So Beautiful,” “No Doubt About It” and “Heavy.” In discussing the event with Electronic Urban Report, Smollett expressed his appreciation to Lincoln and the other organizers for putting together a fun event.

“Lincoln chose such a beautiful day in California and brought an even more beautiful crowd together to celebrate,” said Smollett. “I’m so blessed to make music and to be able to sing a bit to this type of crowd, the energy was perfect for me.”

The Afternoon of Luxury event was given the subheading “The Feeling Stays,” which abbreviates the tagline from the recent Lincoln ad campaign featuring acclaimed actor Matthew McConaughey. Lincoln wants to ensure that “the feeling stays with you,” so for more news on the MKX and related models be sure to follow #thefeelingstays on Twitter.

Embrace the Quiet Luxury of the 2017 Lincoln MKZ

2017-lincoln-mkzThe typical car buyer wants a vehicle that’s fast and flashy. But the discerning luxury car owner prefers a vehicle with a style all its own. For those who fit the latter category, Lincoln has just the vehicle: the all-new 2017 Lincoln MKZ.

Lincoln refers to the MKZ driving experience as “quiet luxury,” and it’s easy to see why. This redesigned luxury midsize sedan has all the creature comforts one could want, including a sleek exterior design, plush interiors and a panoply of user-friendly technologies. Observers say that the 2017 MKZ most closely resembles the Lincoln Continental concept that recently debuted at the Detroit Auto Show, which is great news for drivers who enjoy American-made cars with a bit of old-school charm.

In terms of stylistic and technological features, the Lincoln MKZ stands alone in terms of uniqueness. Here’s just a brief listing of its highlights:
• radar-guided cruise control
• automatic parking assist
• push-button gear shift
• floating center console
• Active Nose Control system
• three Lincoln Black Label personalized interior packages
• fully retractable panoramic glass roof
• Revel door-mounted audio speakers

Lincoln emphasizes three factors that make the 2017 MKZ especially unique: intuitive technology, effortless performance and distinctive design. With that in mind, here are a few details about each.

Intuitive Technology
The MKZ’s adaptive cruise control allows drivers to stop and start as needed. When approaching a stop point such as a red light, the system automatically deploys the brakes without having to hold the pedal. Afterwards, the MKZ can resume its normal high speeds while lessening the severity of potential frontal crashes with the Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. Once the vehicle has reached its destination, the park assist feature can help maneuver in and out of a particular parking space.

Effortless Performance
The Lincoln MKZ is available in two engine options. The first is an exclusive, 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine that can generate 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The second is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder AWD engine that churns out 245 horsepower. Additionally, the 3.0-liter GTDI engine works in concert with the vehicle’s Dynamic Torque Vectoring feature to deliver smooth, precise cornering. Finally, MKZ drivers have three Lincoln Drive Control options that allow them to travel the streets in style.

Distinctive Design
The MKZ’s unique features include adaptive LED headlamps that lights the way for drivers in all conditions. Moreover, the vehicle is available in two all-new Black Label themes, Chalet and Vineyard, which, in addition to Thoroughbred, gives Lincoln drivers a customized driving experience.

The all-new Lincoln MKZ is on display now at the Los Angeles Auto Show from November 20-29. The MKZ is scheduled to go on sale in summer 2016. You can purchase a current-model-year Lincoln MKZ today when you visit West Point Lincoln, your new Lincoln dealership for the greater Houston area!

The Secret Origin of the Lincoln-Based Batmobile

george-barris-1960s-batmobileFamed custom car designer George Barris died earlier this month at the age of 89. Barris (pictured, left) was known in automotive circles as the “King of the Kustomizers” for designing customized vehicles for celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and John Lennon.

Perhaps Barris’s biggest claim to fame were the custom cars he built for some of the biggest TV shows and movies ever produced. Arguably the most famous of those cars was the Batmobile featured in the 1960s Batman TV series. What many may not know is that the vehicle was originally a 1950s-era Lincoln concept car.

The story behind this Batmobile is as captivating as the TV series itself. The vehicle was first designed by two of Ford’s lead stylists, Bill Schmidt and John Najjar Ferzely, who were responsible for unique exterior design elements like the double, clear-plastic canopy top and the large rear tailfins. The vehicle, which was later dubbed the Lincoln Futura, was entirely hand built in Italy by the auto design firm Ghia and cost approximately $250,000 to make.

The Lincoln Futura concept car was officially unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in January of 1955. It then toured the auto show circuit throughout 1955 and was later prominently displayed in the 1959 movie, It Started with a Kiss. Like many concept cars, however, the Futura never made it into production.

For whatever reason, the Futura was forgotten about soon thereafter. In fact, it may have been consigned to the scrap heap were if not for the intervention of George Barris. Barris struck a deal with Ford that would’ve made even Peter Minuit jealous: he purchased the 1955 Lincoln Futura for the nominal price of $1.00 plus “other valuable consideration” (whether Ford collected on that “consideration” is a mystery lost to time).

The Lincoln Futura sat in Barris’s repair shop for several years until 1966, when producers for the then-upcoming Batman TV series approached Barris to build a new Batmobile. The producers had previously contracted another noted custom car designer, Dean Jeffries, but they were unhappy with the result.

The show’s producers gave Barris three weeks to produce a customized Batmobile. With a short turnaround time, Barris remembered the Futura he purchased years earlier and thought that the rear tailfins were reminiscent of bat wings. And the rest, as they say, was history.

The Barris-designed Batmobile proved to be such a resounding success that Barris built several replicas of it while owning the rights to the original vehicle, which he leased to 20th Century Fox, the studio that produced the Batman series. The Futura-model Batmobile eventually sold at auction in 2013 for the then-record sum of $4.62 million.

While other Batmobile designs have come and gone over the years, the iconic Barris design based on a Lincoln concept continues to endure. As Barris himself once put it, “The car had to be a star in its own right,” and that certainly proved to be accurate.

You can see specs on the Batmobile from the 1966 Batman TV series here.