TO THE EDITOR:
What most impressed me reading “Big switch for Ford credit whiz” (Feb. 26) was Joy Falotico’s “very deep relationships with the dealers” — a sign she really understands the business. Many years ago, I was a Lincoln designer. My first car was a used 1937 Lincoln Zephyr. Its radical design inspired me to become an automobile stylist.
I’ve given a lot of thought to what Ford should do for Lincoln, but it would set the management’s collective heads of hair on fire! However, Ms. Falotico, Lincoln’s new leader, might see some merit in it.
My turnaround proposal includes a concept car to leapfrog Cadillac. Ford built a V-12 engine for Aston Martin, and Edsel Ford once specified V-12 engines exclusively for Lincolns. I’d re-buy a token interest in Aston Martin and commission it to build a one-off car, a 2+2 V-12 Lincoln convertible, jointly designed with Ford and acknowledging the classic lines of Edsel’s 1938-41 convertibles, to retail in the $200,000 range.
Most Lincoln dealerships can’t stand alone for the foreseeable future, so I would create a Cougar 2+2 convertible (not badged as a Lincoln), based on a Mustang with new front and rear end caps and upgraded content. It would be trimmed with fine wood veneers and Lincoln-quality leather to generate traffic and explore the possibility of a stand-alone dealership in the tradition of the Lincoln-Mercury franchise.
The key is Ms. Falotico is talented and insightful enough to pull this off, if her career isn’t jeopardized by even suggesting it!
BOB MARCKS, Scottsdale, Ariz. The writer is a former Lincoln-Mercury stylist and a retired Chrysler product-planning, marketing and sales executive.