2014 Lincoln MKZ and MKC Concept Showcase New Black Label Collection
- The new Lincoln Black Label collection, which highlights personalization, was unveiled Thursday on the 2014 Lincoln MKZ and MKC Concept in advance of the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
- The Lincoln Black Label will eventually roll out on every new Lincoln, the automaker said.
- Three new interior packages were shown with an eye on sophisticated materials and top-drawer execution.
PEBBLE BEACH, California — The new Lincoln Black Label collection, which highlights personalization, was unveiled Thursday on the 2014 Lincoln MKZ and MKC Concept in advance of the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
The Lincoln Black Label will eventually roll out on every new Lincoln, starting near the end of 2014, the automaker said. Pricing was not announced.
The upscale Ford brand is under pressure to spice up its lineup and win over finicky luxury buyers. Its chief competitor, Infiniti, is in the process of an aggressive makeover of its image and products.
Lincoln reported disappointing monthly sales earlier this month, with total sales dropping 1 percent to 6,919.
Automotive News pointed out that "sales of the Ford Fiesta subcompact outsold the entire Lincoln brand in July."
The term "Black Label" is used frequently to market high-end commodities from athletic shoes to beer.
The moniker "Black Label" brings to mind the expensive scotch whisky sold by Johnnie Walker and is likely to trigger associations with top products in the minds of consumers. Retailer Ralph Lauren also has a Black Label line of apparel. Puma has a line of athletic shoes called "Black Label" with special models by top designers, including Alexander McQueen. Even Pabst Beer has a special "Black Label" brew.
"The new Lincoln Motor Company is built on three foundational elements — design, quality and personal service," said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. "Black Label represents our highest expression of these elements."
Lincoln displayed three interiors as part of the Black Label collection.
They include "Center Stage," which features a Jet Black interior highlighted by a Foxfire Red headliner. It is supposed to evoke the feeling of being in a theater.
"Indulgence" is inspired by chocolate candy. It features special leather and the Ziricote wood trim sometimes used in high-end yachts, according to Ford.
"Modern Heritage" has a modern look with a black-and-white cabin with red highlights. When the line debuts, Lincoln says Black Label experts will help to guide a customer through the process of selecting custom materials for their cars.
Edmunds says: Not exactly an original idea, but one that may resonate with some premium buyers.