By on October 30, 2018

2018 Lincoln Navigator

The man who oversaw the development of Lincoln’s current vehicle lineup will retire effective November 1st, the automaker claims. Scott Tobin, a Ford Motor Company veteran who hopped the pond from Europe to the U.S. in 2006, had a hand in developing a wide swath of the company’s current products.

Tobin’s departure comes at an interesting time for Lincoln. The premium brand, having returned from its near-death state in the earlier part of the decade, finds itself in need of volume-boosting new product.

The turnaround point is expected to come with the arrival of the nicely sculpted Aviator midsize SUV next year, a model that capitalizes on the newfound popularity of the revamped-for-2018 Navigator. A renaming (Nautilus) and refresh for the brand’s midsize crossover took place for 2019, with the next-generation MKC expected to carry the Corsair name. Meanwhile, the long-in-the-tooth MKZ sedan appears ready to follow its Fusion stablemate into the grave. The Continental? Things aren’t looking good.

Year to date, Lincoln’s U.S. sales have fallen 9 percent, driven by declines in all models except the high-margin Navigator (it’s up 81.9 percent through the end of September).

Automotive News reported Tobin’s departure Tuesday morning. The automaker, giving no reason for the departure, claims Phil Collareno, Ford’s executive director of North America and global product programs, will take over Tobin’s role until a replacement can be found.

Tobin headed up development of all of Lincoln’s contemporary vehicles; before that, he worked on the current-gen Ford Explorer, Taurus, and the Flex. Beginning his career at Ford in 1989, the executive switched to Lincoln in late 2011, soon busying himself with modernizing the brand’s culture while boosting profits. An effort to provide customers with a more premium experience was also his doing.

[Image: Lincoln Motor Company]

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23 Comments on “Lincoln Product Boss Hangs Up His Hat...”


  • avatar
    akear

    The writing is on the wall. Hackett is driving the company off the cliff and most reputable people within the company know it. This will be one of many defections coming in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      That’s a bit melodramatic. He’s not going to work for Audi, he’s retiring. After being with a company nearly 30 years, sometimes people are ready to retire.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Eh no loss. Hopefully they can get someone in there that can make Lincoln a desirable and legitimate luxury brand.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    They did a very nice job with the new Navi.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Man, with the brand new Continental down nearly 30% YTD after like 2 years on the market… hard to blame them. Looking over at Chrysler… the tired “make it RWD with a V8!” trope almost has some credibility.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      It’s gotta be a kick in the teeth for the remaining FoMoCo employees and for that matter, fans to see the all the RWD Lincoln cars(First the LS, then the Town Car) getting axed and forced to deal with mostly Taurus variants for the past 10 years or so, while Daimler-Chrysler and then FCA keeps strutting around with their 2(!) RWD V8 sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Well for what its worth the LS sales started falling basically the day it came out. Can’t blame the market as it was red hot. Once bitten twice shy and all that.

        Market is speaking- maybe screaming- WRT American luxury sedans. We don’t want ‘um. Even the “successful” 300 has to sell at 25-30% discounts to maintain volume. Everyone can’t eat that.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        Thing is, I don’t think the demographic who are interested in a grampa-style Lincoln or ChryCo 300M are worried about which wheels do the driving or if it’s got a V8. If you’ve ever driven a Taurus or MKS (even with the base 3.5) they are comfortable, quiet, and will move along if you push them. Add in a pair of turbos and they will MOVE!
        I think the biggest issue with the Lincolns of the past 10 years is that they were just far too close to their Ford brethren. I cross shopped them all and for the premium you have to pay from Taurus to MKS or Flex to MKT, there just isn’t enough to justify the price. When shopping lease buybacks, the prices are nearly identical! Great value for the used shopper, not a very good way to promote the brand if you’re looking to sell your luxury brand as a TRUE competitor to the Germans.

        Seriously though, if you want a nice used ride, MKS Ecoboost is where it’s at.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          “I think the biggest issue with the Lincolns of the past 10 years is that they were just far too close to their Ford brethren.”

          With the limited development money that Lincoln got it was brethren or nothing, where they went wrong is that they brethrened exactly the wrong cars. Nobody (at retail) wanted Tauruses nor Flexes to begin with let alone higher trims. The Lincoln Escape was three years late. The Lincoln Edge was the one rebadge that they did correctly, and because of that was their best selling vehicle for the past three years.

          Where was the Lincoln Explorer? The Lincoln Mustang?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’d just like to say Conti resale is surprisingly high whereas conventional wisdom is it should still be dropping. Makes me wonder if Zephyr was dropped and pricing a little more competitive how much volume this thing could really put out.

    MY17 Lincoln Conti FWD Premier

    10/19/18 $30,9004,7214.66G/AWhiteLeaseSoutheastFort Lauderdale
    10/17/18 $27,10019,5354.56G/ABlueFactoryMidwestDetroit
    10/16/18 $27,9004,0565.06G/ABlackLeaseMidwestChicago
    10/9/18 $23,000*27,9514.56G/ASilverFactoryNortheastNew York
    10/4/18 $29,7008,7444.46G/ABlackFactoryNortheastPennsylvania
    10/4/18 $22,300*28,5143.46G/ABlackLeaseMidwestDetroit
    9/27/18 $27,60023,9144.46G/AWhiteFactorySoutheastNashville
    9/26/18 $25,60040,5173.86G/ABlackLeaseSouthwestDallas
    9/26/18 $28,60022,3654.26G/ASilverLeaseSouthwestDallas

    MY17 Lincoln Conti FWD Select

    10/25/18 $31,5009,8984.56GT/ARedRegularWest CoastSouthern California
    10/24/18 $35,3007,9554.66GT/ABlackLeaseSoutheastTampa
    10/23/18 $34,1009,4464.96G/AGoldLeaseSoutheastGeorgia
    10/17/18 $28,9007,0954.8- -/- -SilverFactoryMidwestDetroit
    10/17/18 $34,2007,3884.96G/ARedLeaseMidwestDetroit
    10/15/18 $28,50033,1854.66G/ABlackFactorySoutheastGeorgia
    10/11/18 $31,70015,8664.56G/ABlackLeaseMidwestDetroit
    10/10/18 $32,00013,3824.66GT/ABlackLeaseSoutheastTampa
    10/10/18 $27,50034,0694.66G/ABlueFactorySouthwestDallas-Fort Worth
    10/10/18 $33,75019,128- -6GT/ABurgundyRegularSouthwestNew Mexico
    10/9/18 $30,1008,7174.16GT/ABeigeFactoryNortheastNew York
    10/4/18 $33,80010,3134.16G/AWhiteFactoryNortheastPennsylvania
    10/4/18 $33,5005,7214.56G/AWhiteFactoryNortheastPennsylvania
    10/4/18 $31,6009,8524.36GT/AGreenFactoryNortheastPennsylvania
    10/4/18 $32,10013,1914.56G/ARedFactoryNortheastPennsylvania
    10/4/18 $28,9005,2214.66G/AWhiteFactoryMidwestDetroit

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      @28-Cars – especially compared to the XTS. Although the XTS is a best seller.

      Lincoln must be resisting the siren song of rental agency sales on the Continental.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      I saw my first Continental three weeks ago during a road trip that took me through Richmond, Williamsburg, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. I just used the Lincoln website to shop for one and my local dealer, Colonial Lincoln of Charlottesville, has no Continentals at all. Is 60% retained value after a year really all that great?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Well the XTS is at 50% so that makes 60% look good in that class. CPO Avalons are pretty cheap, so are Lacrosse.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @Todd

        We’re in MY19 now so it’s two MYs old now. To answer your question, Lexus has always been the best I have seen, they will still do 70% msrp two MYs in on most models. I full expected this Conti to fall to $20-23K by now and hit its equilibrium 10-15 tops. What will happen is the equilibrium will fall about 20 meaning there will be high miles (75K+) examples of this which will wholesale at that price. This is much higher than I expected, the Conti as far as I can tell will not reach hoopty status as previously thought. Now if Ford drops the axe on the model? The math will change.

  • avatar
    craiger

    A bunch of people who post here on TTAC could do a better job than most of these yutzes.

  • avatar
    craiger

    Is it Mark T or EmmKayTee? I still don’t know.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      It’s EmKayTee, which is somewhat of a play on the Mark label. The whole MK naming scheme was hatched under Mark Field’s tenure (yes, another play on the Mark label). As for the actual names: MKT = touring, MKZ = Zephyr, MKC = compact crossover, MKX = crossover.


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