Craftsmanship helps define the overall quality of any luxury product. Customers of the Lincoln MKX, for example, cite overall quality as their No. 1 purchase reason for the medium crossover.
This desire is seen beyond automotive as well. A study by the Luxury Institute and Epsilon finds that 74 percent of wealthy consumers believe that superior quality is the most important attribute of a luxury product, followed by superior craftsmanship.
The new Lincoln MKX, on sale this summer, elevates craftsmanship by subtly fusing form and function, sometimes in areas not immediately seen or felt by the customer.
“Craftsmanship sits between the worlds of engineering and design,” said Stacy Swank, Lincoln craftsmanship supervisor. “Our role is to bring those worlds together to enhance the experience for the customer. We like to think that if you don’t notice what’s been done, then we’ve done our job.”
Some “hidden” improvements to the 2016 Lincoln MKX include:
- Foam was added to the wrapped console side panels, providing a softer area for the leg to rest, and also added to the door armrests and steering wheel
- Extra strength was added to the dead-pedal area – where a driver rests his/her left foot – to make the area more firm
- Scuff materials in the door and tailgate were upgraded to stainless steel, which is more resistant to scratches and helps maintain a beautiful appearance
The 2016 Lincoln MKX offers available Bridge of Weir® Deepsoft leather, created specifically for Lincoln seating surfaces. Bridge of Weir Deepsoft leather goes through a 16-hour softening process, which is a considerably longer process than most automotive leathers. A hand-sewn and -stitched Wollsdorf® leather-wrapped steering wheel is available on higher-series vehicles.
The center console was redesigned to improve functionality while elevating craftsmanship.
The armrest includes a two-button clamshell execution. This arrangement allows for one button to open only the flocked storage with the tray and the other to open the main bin, creating a versatile storage option.
To increase the crafted appearance, the gooseneck hinge arms that connect the armrest and clamshell tray to the hinge are hidden.
Throughout the interior, the smallest areas were upgraded to higher levels of craftsmanship. To create a cleaner appearance where the A-pillar meets the headliner, for example, a 2.5-mm indent (the thickness of a couple of dimes) was created on the inside of the joint. This allowed the materials to align better.
Lincoln craftsmanship engineers review data at computer-aided-design stations, experience the vehicle in a virtual lab and pore over prototypes to help ensure quality. In the interior of the new Lincoln MKX, for example, there are more than 1,200 interfaces.
Reducing margins and eliminating sharp edges, cut lines, parting lines and visible fasteners – while using genuine wood and metal – drives fit and finish.
“The data, the science and the math help ensure everything fits together correctly and address the tangible elements of quality,” said Swank. “Part of the role of the craftsmanship team is to address the intangible elements of quality – how the space makes you feel, your reaction when you get in and experience the vehicle.”
– See more at: https://media.lincoln.com/content/lincolnmedia/lna/us/en/news/2015/06/16/meticulous-attention-to-detail-elevates-craftsmanship-of-next-li.html#sthash.1FcgzDZC.dpuf