Monterey Car Week wrapped up on Sunday with auction sales topping over $300mm. While the world is abuzz with the news that 71 classic vehicles sold for over $1mm each, Team Fresh has been chewing on a smaller, yet still talked about factoid: Lincoln unveiled a new “Black Label” Collection. It includes three themes, available on the MKZ and MKC models, that boast coordinated interior and exterior color and design combinations that speak to the theater, luxury chocolate, and minimalist design. In other words: food, art, and architecture. I can almost picture my gear-head father cringing at the thought of chocolate being anywhere near the interior of any car, let alone, a well-designed one.

The (marketing) devil, surely, is in the details: Venetian leather, Ziricote wood, and Alcantara. Ultimately, Lincoln is striving to overhaul its image to compete with Mercedes, Rolls Royce, and Bentley by focusing on design, quality, and personalized service.

Personalized service, especially in automotive circles, isn’t a new concept; neither is quality or design.  So why the fuss? Why is this Lincoln debut commanding attention? The cynics will cry: MONEY! While this certainly is part of the equation, as someone whose pop can recite in his sleep the differences between a ’65 and ’66 Shelby GT 350, I’m game for a guess:

We need the distraction and we, as a society, love a comeback. We want to get lost in the small details. We want to feel that we’re a part of something bigger, whether we’re involved in its creation or the end-user. We especially want Detroit to succeed, and find their way back to intelligent design and marketing. At the end of the day, whether you’re a marketer, a gear-head,  or a Big Data engineer, we need to connect. And Lincoln, undoubtedly, is hoping we will.

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