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BMW | San Francisco Travel Blog

Ford Plans Fiery Makeover of Lincoln Brand

By San Francisco Limousine Specialist on December 8, 2012

Sales of Ford Motor Company’s luxury Lincoln brand have declined 63 percent since sales peaked in 1990. The Lincoln Town Car, the brand’s flagship sedan and a staple of airport and business transportation for many years, has been crowded out by competition from Lexus, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and other luxury automakers. Tired of losing sales and market share, Lincoln’s brand managers are about to unveil a new marketing campaign that involves a most unusual angle – setting a Lincoln Town Car on fire. The new campaign is slated to begin in late December with a television commercial that opens with a Town Car being engulfed in flames and the new MKZ sedan emerging from the flames.

You don’t have to be a film director to see the symbolism at work here. Lincoln’s marketing department is looking to distance the sleek new MKZ and MKX models from the past, and they are doing so in unmistakable fashion. An earlier version of the ad involving a voiceover by Leonardo DiCaprio with him at the wheel of a MKZ was greeted enthusiastically by Ford staffers but flatly rejected by Lincoln chief Jim Farley.

“It’s not going to break through,” Farley said. “Find me something that’s going to break through. The tricky part is getting noticed. You don’t have much time because you haven’t earned the right to be in people’s minds.”

Sales demographics indicated that over one in three Lincoln owners is 65 years of age or older. Farley and his staff are clearly going after younger buyers in the highly desirable 40- to 60-year-old age group. Lincoln also plans to air their first Super Bowl ad next year, as well as other ads including an actor posing as Abraham Lincoln, footage of Dean Martin and Clark Gable leaning against the fenders of an MKZ and other commercials to increase brand awareness and attract new buyers.

From our perspective, this is great news. While we love the Lincoln Town Cars in our fleet of luxury vehicles, particularly for our San Francisco airport transportation and business clients, we are excited to see what Lincoln’s designers and brand managers have up their sleeves for the new models. Like all of our other luxury vehicles, our Lincolns are immaculately clean, roomy, comfortable and very affordable. So, the next time you need clean, comfortable San Francisco airport transportation, business transportation or any of our Bay Area limousine rentals, just give us a call at NLS Limo at 800-339-8936.

Daimler Announces Plan to Discontinue Maybach Line of Luxury Vehicles

By San Francisco Limousine Specialist on December 14, 2011

Daimler, owner of the venerable Mercedes-Benz line of luxury automobiles and the Maybach line of ultra-luxury vehicles has announced that they will discontinue producing Maybachs sometime in 2013. Daimler revived the Maybach brand around 11 years ago in an attempt to gain market share against the undisputed leader in the ultra-luxury auto segment, Rolls-Royce. Since its debut, Maybach sales have been disappointing, and there has been widespread speculation that Daimler would have to shelve the brand due to economic losses. Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche confirmed the company’s plans recently in an interview with a German newspaper, claiming that the company will focus more of its attention and resources on the Mercedes-Benz brand.

“We held extensive discussions internally about which way would promise the greatest success in the luxury segment, and we came to the conclusion that the sales chances for the Mercedes brand were better than that of Maybach. It would not be sensible to develop a successor model for the current Maybach,” Zetsche told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

It’s easy to forget that Daimler reintroduced Maybach after missing an opportunity to purchase Rolls-Royce and Bentley a few years ago. BMW and Volkswagen bought these automakers, respectively. Maybach limousines sold for around $1 million each, and sales over the last several years have been a disappointing 200 or so units sold annually, insufficient volume for Daimler to keep the brand in production. The automotive press had received word that Daimler was in talks with Aston Martin to collaborate on keeping the Maybach brand alive, but talks between the two automakers were not successful.

We mourn the passing of the Maybach as it is truly one of the world’s great luxury automobiles. These vehicles are beautiful pieces of machinery inside and out, and, despite the fact that very few of us will ever own one, we hate to see the clean lines and striking profiles of these cars come to an end. We don’t offer any Maybach in our fleet of San Francisco limousines and other luxury vehicles, but we do offer a wide selection of vintage Rolls-Royce limos, contemporary Mercedes-Benz sedans and other luxury vehicles. For information on each model, rates and availability, please call us at NLS Limo today at 1-800-339-8936 to speak with one of our reservation specialists.

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