Lincoln Black Label Collection debuts at Pebble Beach

Article by Christian A., on August 16, 2013

In order to move its image further upscale, Lincoln is planning to offer a series of high-end trim packages under a new brand: Black Label. According to the official press release, the Black Label will not translate in new luxury leathers, woods or color combinations, as Lincoln wants to offer a special level of customer service, which will be available only at dealerships that sing up for the program.

Although there are no details yet, the dealerships may create Black Label areas in their stores. “It's not just product but also personal experience," said Matt VanDyke, global director of Lincoln marketing sales and service. "All dealers will have the opportunity to participate, but as we define the experience and the process we expect a choice to be made" by dealers, said VanDyke.

Lincoln aims to compete with other luxury marques’ custom series such as the Designo from Mercedes-Benz or the Bmw Individual. The first vehicles that wil carry the Black Label will be the MKZ sedans and will go on sale by the end of 2014. The other models will have to be redesigned until they receive the Black Label. Lincoln unveiled three MKZs and the MKC Concept in Black Label livery at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The manufacturer will offer three custom packages: Indulgence, Modern Century and Center Stage. The Center Stage is inspired by fashion and theater and is designed for the most expensive clients. The Jet Black interior is highlighted by a Foxfire Red headliner, while Alcantara suede adds plush texture to the doors and seats.

Indulgence is inspired by the lure of premium chocolate to ignite a rich sensory experience. Ganache- and Truffle-colored Venetian leather with a subtle antiqued finish adds richness and depth, while the Ziricote wood features a beautiful natural grain and color inherent in the wood with no added dyes or stains. Modern Heritage offers a fresh take on the classic black-and-white interior with subtle red accents.

Lincoln MKZ models donning the Black Label themes will receive special treatments. For instance, the Indulgence theme lends the MKZ with a Chroma Couture exterior and Truffle interior while the Center Stage theme gives the luxury sedan a Black Tie exterior and Jet Black interior (with Foxfire Red accents). An MKZ donning the Modern Heritage theme, on the other hand, features a Confidential White tri-coat exterior and Vianca interior.

Lincoln’s Black Label vehicles are expected to reach a higher status, thanks to the supreme degree of craftsmanship, meticulous execution and superb choice of materials. Lincoln Black Label experts were tasked to carefully assess every luxury material to create the right choices for the Black Label.

Lampinen remarked that Lincoln took materials selections personally since they consider Black Label as the brand’s highest offering of the expression of personal luxury. He added that the personal touch and involvement invested into these Black Label themes would help Lincoln stand out from its rivals.

Lincoln Black Label’s materials experts picked specialty leathers -- Venetian leather -- that were carefully engineered to deliver the softest feel while giving the seats a premium look. To note, less than one percent of hides around the world qualify to become Venetian leather. Lincoln has made sure that the instrument panel as well as center console and doors are wrapped in leather and are hand stitched. Moreover, the seats and door trim are accented by subtle Diamond-L and Linking-L perforation patterns.

Press Release

New Lincoln Black Label Collection for the Luxury Customer Previewed at Pebble Beach

Lincoln, the luxury automobile brand, today previewed Lincoln Black Label, a collection of ultra-premium exterior and interior themes mated to an even higher level of personal services and experiences that mark the next step in the brand's reinvention.

Showcased on an all-new MKZ and the MKC Concept, Lincoln Black Label eventually will be available on every new Lincoln vehicle. This full-range availability enables more vehicles in the model portfolio to be equipped with this higher-level expression of luxury than currently offered by any competitor.

"The new Lincoln Motor Company is built on three foundational elements – design, quality and personal service; Black Label represents our highest expression of these elements," said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln.

"The progressive luxury client craves to know the story behind the products and services they engage – they want to feel that personal connection. That's at the heart of Black Label; we want to provide special experiences for every Black Label client before, during and after they choose their new Lincoln vehicle."

Lincoln and Black Label dealers will collaborate to create a consistent, personal and integrated client shopping and ownership experience. The entire process will provide respect for the luxury of time with a complete suite of elevated customer services to be unveiled at the time of Black Label market introduction.

Limited-edition design themes, ultra-premium materials, meticulous execution and elevated client service will be the hallmarks of Lincoln Black Label.
Black Label was conceived and designed by a select Lincoln Design team to reflect the breadth of the brand. In its earlier days, Lincoln was a favorite vehicle for unique, sophisticated and luxurious bespoke exterior and interior themes. This has inspired a new direction to provide a higher level of luxury available to all clients of the brand – not just those who purchase the most expensive, top-of-range models.

Creating a family of elegant themes that represents confidence and sophistication, each of the three interior environments presented at the preview is coordinated with exclusive exterior colors.

The materials for each interior environment have been selected to reflect the team's desire to create a warm and sophisticated package that also tells a story.

After starting with nearly two dozen concepts, the Lincoln Black Label design team honed in on a select few themes, each inspired by trends in fashion, food and architecture as well as lifestyles and experiences.

"Each of the theme-based offerings from Black Label is designed with a specific customer profile in mind," said Susan Lampinen, group chief designer, Color and Material Design. "Lincoln Black Label will offer a variety of choices as well as a narrative that speaks to luxury clients – we want them to feel a personal connection with the theme and see themselves in the car."

Lincoln Black Label themes
Center Stage, inspired by fashion and theater, is designed for the most expressive clients. The Jet Black interior is highlighted by a Foxfire Red headliner, capturing the drama of being in a dark theater with the impact of a rich, deep red accent color. Alcantara suede with uniquely designed perforation adds plush texture to the doors and seats.

Indulgence is inspired by the lure of premium chocolate to ignite a rich sensory experience. Ganache- and Truffle-colored Venetian leather with a subtle antiqued finish adds richness and depth. The Ziricote wood trim features a beautiful natural grain and color inherent in the wood with no added dyes or stains. This wood - new to the automotive industry - is often used in high-end yachts.

Modern Heritage offers a fresh take on the classic black-and-white interior with subtle red accents. Designed for the client who appreciates a clean, modern aesthetic, the soft white interior is warm and inviting. Renewed and engineered wood trim - imbued with metal flake between its layers - creates a sparkling effect to stylishly highlight this modern classic design.

The selection of Lincoln MKZs with Black Label execution includes:
• Indulgence with Chroma Couture exterior and Truffle interior
• Center Stage with Black Tie exterior and Jet Black with Foxfire Red accents interior
• Modern Heritage with Confidential White tri-coat exterior with Vianca interior

MKC Concept features Chroma Flame exterior with its Modern Heritage theme.

Material selection, meticulous execution and craftsmanship will elevate Lincoln Black Label vehicles. Lincoln Black Label materials experts examined options from the entire sphere of luxury offerings to create the Black Label palette.

"Because Lincoln Black Label is our highest offering of the expression of personal luxury, we took our materials selections personally as well," said Lampinen. "We believe this personal touch and involvement will help separate Lincoln from other offerings."

Specialty leathers: Carefully selected and engineered to deliver the softest feel with a premium appearance, the seats are made from Venetian leather. Custom-made for Lincoln Black Label, less than 1 percent of hides globally meet the requirements for becoming Venetian leather.

The instrument panel, center console and doors are leather-wrapped and stitched. Subtle Diamond-L and Linking-L perforation patterns specially designed for Black Label accent the seats and door trim.

Natural woods: Sought out globally and selected for maximum richness of color and grain, these woods for the instrument panel, door appliqués and steering wheel bezel complement the themes. The Ziricote wood used with Indulgence was selected because its natural beauty resonates without stains or dyes.

Alcantara®: A long-recognized premium material associated with high design in a variety of industries, including interior design, consumer electronics and aviation, as well as automotive, Lincoln designers specifically selected it to wrap the headliners, visors and pillars and to trim the floor mats.

Clients interested in acquiring a Lincoln Black Label-equipped vehicle will find the shopping and selection process personal and enjoyable. Whether a client's first point of contact is through the Lincoln website or at the dealership, Black Label experts will guide them through the process. Lincoln Black Label is intended to launch near the end of 2014.

"Lincoln Black Label will offer an experience for our clients that will engage them, not overwhelm them," said Farley. "Lincoln Black Label is another important step in our brand's reinvention to appeal to a whole new group of progressive luxury clients."

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