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.