Lincoln launches new MKZ sedan at Coral Gables’ Biltmore Hotel

 Former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning checks out legroom in new Lincoln MKZ sedan.

Former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning checks out legroom in new Lincoln MKZ sedan.

Lincoln chose the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables to announce its corporate rebranding and launch a new automobile that officials hope will help pave the way for a return to a competitive position in the luxury automobile market.

Coinciding with simultaneous news conferences in New York and Los Angeles, Lincoln marketing officials in Coral Gables unveiled the all-new 2013 MKZ luxury midsize sedan, the first of four new models the company will roll out during the next four years. The new vehicles will be designed to appeal to a “new breed” of luxury automotive customer.

“Today we are announcing a new beginning for a brand that has been part of the Ford Motor Company and the American fabric more than 90 years,” said Lincoln marketing manager Kate Pearce. “The new Lincoln brand will be defined by great new luxury vehicles — such as the new MKZ — that feature quality, unique style with substance and innovative technology. These elements, coupled with a new level of warm, personal and surprising experiences, will enable Lincoln to appeal to today’s new luxury customer.”

Pearce said the change was brought on in part by the recent recession in the United States, which evolved a new type of luxury automotive buyer.

“Attitudes and buying patterns have changed since the start of the recession,” Pearce said. “People are no longer interested in buying a car simply because it impresses other people. They want a vehicle that speaks to their unique tastes and needs.”

Pearce said Lincoln now will be known as The Lincoln Motor Company and noted that parent Ford Motor Co. has given Lincoln $1 billion earmarked to restore the company to competitive status in the luxury automotive market.

“The brand will be defined by great new luxury vehicles such as the MKZ,” Pearce said. “But its hallmark will be basic quality, unique style with substance and innovative technologies. But it doesn’t just stop with the product; we will combine these great vehicles with a warm, personal, unique customer experience both in the buying and ownership experience that will entice a new breed of Lincoln luxury customers into our dealership showrooms. Our combination of vehicles, great service and an exciting new brand will be a true enticement to these customers.”

Pearce added that with its focus on attracting a new market of individual-minded luxury consumers, Lincoln will deliver a range of vehicles that combine stunning elegant design with technical innovation.

Meantime, Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally was in New York making a similar announcement about the new beginning for Lincoln.

And, just as all-time NFL rushing leader and three-time Super Bowl champion Emmitt Smith was with Mulally for the MKZ launch, former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning was on hand in Coral Gables to help with the Biltmore unveiling.

“It’s an honor to be here and join Lincoln Motor Company on its comeback journey,” Mourning said. “I’m excited to be a part of the launch of the new MKZ.”

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