Grocery stores and discount retailers run “loss leader” sales all the time; in short, they sell product at or below their cost to lure in customers. The idea is that buyers will spend additional dollars on other, high margin products, offsetting any net loss the store would otherwise have to absorb. That’s a reasonable strategy when you’re talking about dish detergent or external hard drives. On the other hand, it’s a pretty bold move when it’s done by an automaker, since consumers aren’t likely to stock up on multiple car purchases at the same time.
Why is Ford selling MKZ Hybrids below their cost? It’s simple – they want to establish themselves as the premier manufacturer of luxury hybrid vehicles. In fact, Lincoln is laying claim to the first luxury hybrid sedan, despite the fact that the Lexus HS 250h has been on the market for a year or so. Lincoln’s spin is that the HS 250h represents a performance hybrid sedan, not a luxury hybrid sedan. Having driven the Lexus, I’m not sure there’s anything performance oriented about it.
One thing is clear: when stacked up against the HS 250h, the Lincoln MKX hybrid gives you a lower price, better fuel mileage and a higher top speed on battery power alone. As you’d expect from a luxury sedan, the MKZ Hybrid comes loaded with standard features, including Ford’s SYNCH multimedia infotainment system, power adjustable seats for driver and passenger that are heated and cooled, genuine wood trim and Ford’s MyKey system that allows parents to reign in new drivers. Left Lane News tells us that MKZ Hybrids will hit Lincoln dealer showrooms this fall.