Drive Type: Rear
Model: Town Car
Philo, Ohio, United States
Those of you that caught yesterday's op-ed about Lincoln will have heard already, but Mark LaNeve has taken the helm at Team Detroit. Once the North American vice president of sales, service and marketing for General Motors, LaNeve will now head up the agency that handles all of Ford advertising. LaNeve will also run the account for Lincoln. While at GM from 2001 to 2009, the exec oversaw ad campaigns like Cadillac's Breakthrough and sales initiatives like "Employee Pricing for Everyone."
He left in 2009 to join Allstate as chief marketing officer, oversaw the creation of the Mayhem ad spots and was moved into the role of VP of agency operations overseeing Allstate's 10,000 agents. He resigned from the insurer in February 2012 for personal reasons and joined Team Detroit in August 2012 as chief operating officer, in charge of satellite offices in New York and internationally. He replaces ex-CEO Cameron McNaughton, and will continue to hold the title of COO.
Lincoln is trying to get its 2013 back to rights after putting big dollar commercials for the 2013 MKZ on television then having production glitches preventing cars from getting to dealerships. With rumors of a relaunch in the works, it's no surprise LaNeve has been given the reins - and from here it looks like the brand is desperate for the kind of magic he's proved he can marshal. Perhaps he can start by calling a mulligan on the renaming exercise that gave us the hoary "Lincoln Motor Company" and go back to oh, say, "Lincoln." Then he can ask the product folks to get to work on the MKC concept...
With the posh surroundings of Monterey, CA during the Pebble Beach week as a backdrop, Lincoln has unveiled is new personalization and luxury service brand, called Lincoln Black Label. Following in the footsteps of programs like BMW Individual, Range Rover Autobiography, and many more, Black Label is strategic strike, aimed at upping Lincoln's brand cachet while luring new customers into the fold. Speaking about this at the Black Label's introduction in California Thursday, Jim Farley, Ford's executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln, told members of the media that "At Lincoln, our flagship is, you get to choose. That's our flagship."
While Black Label customers will benefit from concierge-like service from their dealers - both during the sale process and throughout ownership - the focus of the introduction is strongly focused on interior design.
Lincoln chose its current MKZ sedan and its MKC Concept crossover (seen in the inset image) as the debutants for Black Label treatment for good reason: the well-received MKC points the way forward for Lincoln styling as a whole, and the MKZ will be the first production vehicle to receive the option of the high-zoot interior design. We're told that eventually, Black Label treatment will be available for the full Lincoln lineup, but the MKZ will be the initial recipient, and not until late in 2014 according to the company's current projections.
General Motors Vice President of Global Design, Ed Welburn, had some dismissive words for a certain cross-town luxury brand during an interview with Car and Driver. When asked about his thoughts on Lincoln, Welburn deflected, before saying, "I don't consider Lincoln to be a competitor for Cadillac."
"They're not a global luxury brand. I don't consider them a competitor. Are they a competitor for Buick? Quite possibly. But not for Cadillac," GM's head designer explained. Welburn, who's been at the helm of GM Design North America since 2003 and is the first to hold the position of VP of Global Design, has been instrumental in the styling renaissance at GM, so predictably, Car and Driver's interview with him focused on the design aspect of cars.
During the interview, Welburn explicitly denied plans for a reborn Cadillac XLR, even as a new Chevrolet Corvette is hitting the market and strides are being made with Cadillac's V-Series performance arm saying, "We have a lot of cars that we're working on for the Cadillac brand. The XLR is not one of them right now."