“Black Label vehicles will come fitted with one of four designer-inspired interiors that will feature ultra-posh Venetian leathers, Ziricote wood and Alcantara suede…”

Not all the action took place on the floor of the Los Angeles auto show.

At a mansion, high in the ritzy Hollywood Hills neighbourhood, Lincoln hosted a classy special event to launch its Black Label edition vehicles for the well-to-do.

Black Label vehicles will come fitted with one of four designer-inspired interiors that will feature ultra-posh Venetian leathers, Ziricote wood and Alcantara suede. Buyers also select from an exclusive array of exterior paints and custom colours and the vehicle will come with unique trim and lighting elements that will identify it as Black Label.

“These are our busiest customers and we’ve got to deliver a very unique and personalized product that can reflect the innermost passions of our customers,” said Lee Jelenic, Lincoln Marketing Manager (and a native of Sudbury, Ontario). “It has to go well beyond the product and provide membership privileges that fit where they are and around their time.”

The top five per cent of existing Lincoln customers are expected to move up to Black Label, according to Jelenic. And he expects about two-thirds of Black Label customers will be conquests from other luxury brands. “It’s not exclusive to our most expensive products” he added “and will be offered on the entire product line and through selected dealers in major metropolitan areas, who meet internally set criteria.”

A separate Black Label salon will be added to the selected Lincoln dealers in the program, but a buyer may never actually need to go to a dealership. A Black Label liaison representative, from the dealer, will go to the customer, at their office, home, to show them the materials, themes in the package and arrange a test drive. If legal to do so in a particular jurisdiction, even the sale contract can also be finalized, without going into the dealership.

In addition to the unique buying experience, an owner also receives a number of perks, such as a better warranty that includes wearable part replacement. They also get unlimited free car washes, a free once-a-year detailing and a concierge-style dealer pick-up, drop-off plus a free loaner vehicle when the vehicle goes in for service.

Black Label homes, like the one I visited in Hollywood, will feature the design themes and materials used in the vehicles and more will be set up in Dallas, Miami, New York and Michigan. In Canada, the Black Label cities are expected to be Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. Lincoln also wants to link Black Label to a cultural or prominent event of some kind, within each city.

Initially, Black Label will only be available on two Lincoln products, the new MKC (compact crossover) and the MKZ sedan, and it comes with about a $6,000 (US) price premium. The plan is eventually to have a Black Label edition of every Lincoln, as all-new vehicles are added to the product line. A Canadian version of Black Label (similar to the US) is expected to be launched about this time next year.

Contact: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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