The Cadillac Lyriq has proved popular with customers so far. The EV hasn’t even hit showrooms yet and it’s sold out. But not everyone loves it. In an interview with Newsweek, Jim Farley, CEO of GM’s crosstown rival Ford, had something to say about the Lyriq. He also wants everyone to look to China to see the future of the Lincoln brand.
While Lincoln continues to talk about its EV plans, nothing has materialized from the brand yet. Earlier this year, sources close to the brand said we could expect five all-electric models from the brand by 2026. That’s only four years away. And while its rival Cadillac will have its Lyriq on sale well before then, the most we’ve gotten from Lincoln is a concept car that’s supposed to “set the stage” for what we can expect from its electric car. Whatever that means.
While Lincoln works on its EVs, Jim Farley isn’t too impressed with the Lyriq. From what he told Newsweek, he thinks Cadillac didn’t go far enough with its design. Because apparently EVs have to look different because they are an EV.
“We wouldn’t do the product that Cadillac is showing [Lyriq]. We wouldn’t. Nothing against them, it just doesn’t fit our brand. It’s not far enough. It has a traditional hood, looks a lot like an ICE product… We want people to feel that electrical excitement,” he told Newsweek.
Farley also wants people to look at what it’s doing in China if they want to see the brand’s future direction. Like the not for the American Zephyr recently launched in China. With its mix of technology, smart surfaces and comfort, Farley thinks Americans will soon start using their vehicles as the Chinese do, as a place of “transition”.
In China, people spend a lot of time in their cars for non-motion. They use that time to transfer. Life in China is under pressure. You have three generations, often in the same house. Lots of pressure to succeed. And those transition moments between work and home and home and work are really important.
We see more and more people spending time in their cars, but not driving. I think the same thing is going to happen in the US You know, with autonomy comes the ability to put productivity in your car. You can leave for work an hour later. You can leave work an hour earlier. Your first and last meeting can take place in your car.
When you do that, ETAs become very important and you want to take the long way home because you have an hour long meeting and you only have a 30 minute commute and you don’t want to sit in your seat. driveway while you have your meeting.
Farley also has some… interesting ideas regarding software. He thinks this is the key to luxury and electrification. He even went so far as to say that the future is not trim levels, but “unlocking superior levels of luxury”. That sounds like fancy CEOs speaking for subscription-based features. He used the Apple Watch as an example.
Look, we both wear Apple Watches,” Farley said, holding up his wrist. We probably love our analog watches, but what makes a premium Apple Watch or iPhone? It’s not the physical form. When we go digital, the “premiumness” comes from things other than the physical body structure. It will come from software. So everything should be done impeccably and done within your limited brand.
Now it becomes our software, our autonomous functions. Customers are richer in Lincoln, so yes, I’m going to push our team by saying, ‘Yes, I want our most advanced partial autonomy system in a Lincoln. I want the very best display technology, the best integration of all that complicated information that is now coming into the car.’ … The Lincoln team will have to integrate those things to make them so seamless that it’s not a problem for customers.
There are certainly many interesting ideas for Lincoln, but nothing to see yet. Look for those Lincoln EVs sometime in the next few years.