Ford Motor Company is trying to accelerate plans to build Lincoln models in China. The acceleration comes as the brand’s sales in the country are grinding to a halt due to 40-percent tariffs imposed by the Chinese government as part of the pending trade ware between the U.S. and China.
Lincoln already plans to commence production in China with a local partner by the end of 2019. However, Lincoln President Joy Falotico tells Bloomberg the company wants to accelerate the already short timeline to help boost its sales in China. Falotico admits it will be challenging to move the timeline.
Subsequently, Falotico says the brand is also reevaluating previous plans to import Lincoln products to the U.S. from China. The executive says the company is now taking a serious look at having local production of each model in both countries.
Right now Lincoln sales equate to an extremely small percentage of Ford’s overall sales in China, but Lincoln is hoping to change that with local production and the all-new 2020 Aviator. The new Aviator was designed for Chinese customers, including things like lower door handles and more posh rear seats. The Aviator Grand Touring plug-in hybrid is also an imperative for the Chinese market, which is all but requiring automakers have an electrified variant.