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Ford Must Face Down the Germans if Lincoln Is to Succeed

"Cruze is genuinely compelling and well-executed," Brauer said. "People are not so brand-loyal if they see a better alternative. People who thought American cars weren't good enough were willing to give Cruze a chance, and it is certainly within Lincoln's grasp for the same thing to happen."

Immediately following the Lincoln MKS unveiling that was the principal event of the auto show's media day on Wednesday, Jim Farley, Ford group vice president of global marketing, sales and service, acknowledged that "as a challenger brand, it's up to us to invent something new.

""In the past, Lincoln has been kind of a neglected brand," he said. "People were not waking up saying, 'I am going to trade in my Lexus' "for a Lincoln. But Farley, who previously ran Lexus for Toyota, said that in the luxury segment he learned a lesson from Gucci and Burberry .

"I know one," Farley said. "The one thing that luxury customers always want is they want something new."

-- Written by Ted Reed at the New York Auto Show

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/tedreednc.

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