Buick and Lincoln. Both “entry-level” luxury brands. Both American.

Upcoming cars for Buick: the Cascada convertible, a body style the brand hasn’t had for over 20 years. And the (potential) Avenir, a beautiful concept car that looks nothing else on the road and yet still looks like a Buick.

Upcoming cars for Lincoln: the MKX, a restyled Ford Edge.

Was Ford too busy with the new GT? Did they forget that Lincoln exists? Maybe it’s just bad timing, perhaps Lincoln has some fantastic products in the pipeline. But I doubt it.

Remember when no one cared about Chrysler? And then the company showed off the 300 in 2003? It was the car to get.

Chrysler went from “who cares?” to “gotta have it!”. That’s what Lincoln needs, a car that people lust after.

The Avenir concept from Buick is just the kind of car that excites people about a brand. And unlike some automakers that try to differentiate their halo cars from the rest of the fleet (see Hyundai’s Genesis and Equus), the Avenir looks terrific wearing the Buick badge and grill.

Lincoln sold 94,474 cars in the US last year. That’s significantly less cars than Oldsmobile sold the year the brand was canceled (less than 300,000).

Lincoln’s current lineup is easy on the eyes, but there’s nothing lustworthy. The brand needs something, anything, before it’s too late.

Times Are Changin’

Times Are Changin'

Back in the day, Lincoln cars were rear-wheel drive and powered by V8 and V12 engines. The president of the United States rode in a Lincoln. And the youth wrote ballads about the brand. And now… Ha! Have you seen the new Lincoln ads featuring Matthew McConaughey?

Actually, they’re pretty good. Of course, being ads centered around celebrity endorsement, there are no objective reasons given in the commercial as to why you should buy a Lincoln automobile. Still, as a mood piece centered around emotional appeal, the commercials succeed.

The ads might get consumers talking about the Lincoln brand, but it still doesn’t solve the core problem of the Lincoln Motor Company: currently every single vehicle they sell has a counterpart from the Ford brand. While they all have interior and exterior designs to differentiate themselves from their Ford brethren, the brand still falls behind in sales when compared to Cadillac, Buick, Acura, Audi, Lexus, and Infiniti.

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