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Lincoln Planning Five New Vehicles in China

Lincoln Planning Five New Vehicles in China

Lincoln plans to build five new vehicles in China by 2022. The plans are in an effort for Ford Motor Company’s luxury brand to catch up to rivals in the world’s largest auto market.

Thus far Ford has only confirmed plans to produce a new SUV in China under the Lincoln brand by the end of 2019. Although the nameplate of the SUV has not been confirmed, it is widely expected to be the all-new Lincoln Aviator, which is expected to launch next year.

Beyond the Aviator, sources have confirmed to Reuters Lincoln is planning local production of at least four other models. Production of the replacement for the MKC and MKZ are expected to follow the Aviator in early 2020, while the next-generation Lincoln Nautilus is slated to commence Chinese production in 2021.

The fifth model is rumored to be a coupe-like crossover that begins production in China in 2022. All five of these models are expected to offer hybrid variants to assist Lincoln in reaching China’s stringent emissions standards.

Localizing production is a critical element of Lincoln’s success in the Chinese market. Today all Lincoln vehicles sold in China are imported from North America, meaning they are subject to a near 25-percent tariff. The situation is stifling the brand’s ability to achieve sales volumes comparable to rivals such as General Motors’ Cadillac, who manufactures some of its models in China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week to reduce the country’s stiff tariff on imported vehicles, but details of the reduction have not been offered. Local production will remove the uncertainties of trade between the U.S. and China.

Ford Motor Company was slow to launch the Lincoln brand in China, which just arrived four years ago. Since then the company has been attempting to catch up to luxury rivals in the Chinese market. The company is aiming to greatly increase sales volumes with its upcoming five new vehicles.

Last year Lincoln sold just over 54,000 vehicles in China.

 





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. donmateo
    Andrew_L
    That seems to be the case so far which I would be ok with


    Agreed. Would not buy a Lincoln imported from China (or any make, for that matter).
    Andrew_L
    donmateo
    So China models made in China, US models still made in US?


    That seems to be the case so far which I would be ok with

    Dequindre
    I hope it's something small but very luxurious, like an Evoque.


    I agree 100%
    Dequindre
    Andrew_L
    A coupe crossover is something I wasn't expecting but would fit in with other luxury brands. I just hope it's not something hideous like the 5/6 series GT


    I hope it's something small but very luxurious, like an Evoque.
    donmateo
    So China models made in China, US models still made in US?
    2b2
    found some numbers...

    Lincoln Planning Five New Models for China in Bid to Catch Rivals

    China destined to become brand’s top market, said new Lincoln chief. (DUH)

    TheDetroitBureau - Paul A. Eisenstein - Apr.12, 2018


    ...yada-yada...comments made to TheDetroitBureau.com by Lincoln’s new boss, Joy Falotico, who said...yada-yada...

    ...Among the products that are coming for Lincoln are:

    • The 2019 Aviator, which replaces the largely ignored MKT utility vehicle. It will debut in the U.S. and then move to China, with the vehicle produced locally;

    • A replacement for the compact MKC crossover which has been one of the brand’s most successful new U.S. editions in years. By the time it reaches China it is expected to adopt a more traditional name, Lincoln abandoning its unsuccessful alpha naming strategy;

    • A new version of the MKX, now being updated for the U.S. and renamed Nautilus;

    • A replacement for the midsize MKZ sedan, which will also get a new name...

    ...Lincoln was a latecomer to the Chinese market, launching there only in 2015, and initially through just a handful of dealer. But it has been rapidly expanding its retail network. Sales tripled in 2016 and have continued to grow at a fast pace, even as Chinese demand for Ford-branded products has unexpectedly slowed. Lincoln saw a 66% jump in 2017, and a 60% year-over-year increase in February 2018, the most recent month for which numbers are available.

    Even with that rapid growth, Lincoln sold just 54,124 vehicles in China last year, less than a third of the 175,489 vehicles sold there by Cadillac. And it lagged even further behind key German luxury brands like market leader Audi.

    One reason why it is struggling to catch up is the reality that all Lincoln models currently are produced in the U.S., while most of its key competitors, including Cadillac, have set up major production bases in China. A total of 17,753 Lincoln MKC crossovers were shipped to China in 2017, according to LMC Automotive, making it third-highest among U.S. vehicle exports to that country. The big Continental sedan was 17th on the list, with shipments of 4,927 vehicles last year...
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