Lincoln: Defining a Brand as a Forerunner in the Premium Luxury Category

An interview with Terry Erb, director, at Lincoln Motor Company of Canada Ltd.
By David Taylor, Epoch Times Contributor
May 28, 2018 Updated: May 28, 2018    

The definition of luxury is changing, evolving. Luxury, when it was initially defined eons ago, likely by those who were more fortunate than most, was, for the most part about the perception of status and ownership of things, objects—possessions. It was a differentiator, an imaginary line drawn in the sand to delineate an “us and them” milieu.

Today, however, it’s more about experiencing life—but on your own terms. Now, for most, the ultimate luxury is time. Not possessions. Time. Something which everyone has and likely feel is in short supply—and probably desire a little more of, regardless.

From a strictly aspirational point of view, we want to spend the time we have available on emotionally engaging experiences: spending more time with family, friends, and loved ones. Enjoying life with those who bring joy and even happiness into our everyday lives.

No matter what we do, we aspire to enhance our existence and if that may be achieved through opportunities which actually save time, or manage our time in better ways, so be it.

Terry Erb (Lincoln Motor Company)

We recently sat down with Terry Erb, director at Lincoln Motor Company of Canada Ltd. to talk about how an established luxury brand has recently reinvented itself and is providing services and product which short- and long-term, may well be able to provide their clients with that most valuable of priceless commodities—time.

At Lincoln, they’re setting their brand apart by introducing thoughtful, time-saving luxury experiences built-in and alongside every new vehicle they introduce.

Lincoln is the luxury vehicle brand of the Ford Motor Company. As part of the 2012 rebranding, the Lincoln lineup underwent several major design revisions. According to Mr. Erb, Lincoln made sweeping changes to invigorate and give the brand greater purpose, resulting in a relevant standalone, premium luxury brand. Through a deliberate combination of elegant, eye-catching styling, innovation and forward-thinking technology, this established marque has purposefully become a brand making a strong case for safety, design, and general presence. “It’s all about attention to detail,” states Mr. Erb.

“Lincoln has a strong, distinctive portfolio with a common and recognizable identity built upon a “platform” which achieves four design tenets: sanctuary; human; gliding; and, beauty,” continues Mr. Erb. “Everything within the new Lincoln lineup today under the leadership of David Woodhouse, Lincoln’s design director, pays strong attention to quality and detail. Some of it may be imperceptible. Two different types of stitching on interior cabin leather surfaces, a greatly reduced number of knobs and buttons on the dash. Clean, elegant, and practical lines throughout. It’s fluid. Intuitive. Form and function in tandem is what the engineers and designers have strived to attain.”

While today’s Lincolns are chock full of technology, the learning curve is deliberately brief, saving clients’ time in the short- and long-term.

MKZ (Lincoln Motor Company)

The current vehicles Lincoln has in dealerships across the country, includes three strong-sellers for the brand which have undergone major changes—the MKZ and Continental sedans and, the flagship of the lineup, the commanding full-size, three-row SUV Navigator which has caused positive chatter within the automotive community.  And, coming down the pike in short order, “We’re excited to add Nautilus to our Lincoln family of luxury SUVs, along with a new name that better reflects the ideas and attitudes of Lincoln clients.” This mid-size luxury SUV will replace the outgoing five-passenger MKC.

The distinctive fresh design of the Lincoln Nautilus aligns it with the rest of the redesigned Lincoln family, presenting the new, identifiable, bold, signature star mesh grille.

Lincoln has taken steps to differentiate themselves from the growing premium luxury market segment. Now, when you approach one of the all-new vehicles, clients are “welcomed” with Lincoln Embrace lighting, first from the outside, then from the cabin. And it all occurs in a specific order—again, attention to detail was a major consideration. The new cabins are thoughtfully designed, providing a spacious, intuitively modern interior that keeps the focus on comfort and serves as a sanctuary from the outside world.

Navigator (Lincoln Motor Company)

Available Ultra Comfort seats can be adjusted up to 22 ways for personalized comfort, providing lumbar massage designed to reduce general fatigue. This feature is especially beneficial on long trips or while experiencing the frustration of “hurry-up-and-wait” tedious rush hour traffic conditions. Improved ergonomics also saves time: less likelihood of requiring a break to recover from a long road trip.

Adding to the human experience side of things, in February of this year, Mr. Erb announced a complimentary Pickup and Delivery service for all 2018 and up model year vehicles at Lincoln dealerships across the country.

“Lincoln dealers valet service picks up a client’s vehicle for any service need, at any location, provides the client with a complimentary loaner vehicle, and will return it in the same manner. Further, clients can book and track the progress of the service via the Lincoln Way app. This provides an exclusive and personally-crafted service experience that saves clients a true luxury item—their time.”

Continental (Lincoln Motor Company)

On balance, Lincoln is committed to providing new and existing clients with exceptional products and service which satisfy and fulfill from a value, engineering, and design standpoint while ensuring that the overall experience does not fall short.

After all, Lincoln has no desire to waste your time.

David Taylor is an independent automotive lifestyle writer, producer, and editor based in Barrie, Ontario who is fascinated by innovation and technology which enhance the overall driving experience. He’s also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) and is Co-Chair and a Director of that organization’s Canadian Car of the Year Award (CCOTY). Follow him on Twitter @Omemeeozzie or on Instagram @hugoscaroftheweek.