Report: Ford Mulling Lincoln Production in China
The Lincoln Motor Company broke new ground in late 2014 when it began selling the MKC and MKZ in China, bringing its brand of luxury to the biggest auto market on the planet at long last. Now, according to reports, it appears that Ford’s next plan of action involves bringing Lincoln manufacturing to the country.
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Per The Detroit News, sources close to the situation indicate that Ford is in talks with Chinese partner Changan Automobile Group to begin producing Lincoln vehicles in the southwestern city of Chongqing. There, Lincoln vehicles would be built for both domestic sales and Asian export purposes.
It is noted that building Lincolns in China would spare Ford the 25% import tax slapped on every vehicle, thus allowing the brand to be even more competitive with rival brands. Lincoln sold 11,000 vehicles in its first year in the country, and Ford is looking to build upon that number by increasing the number of Lincoln stores to a total of 60 by the end of 2016.
Zhu Huarong, president of Chongqing Changan Automobile Company, said “there’s no detailed plan at the moment” with regards to Lincoln production in China. A Ford spokesman told The Detroit News in an emailed statement that it “has nothing to announce regarding localized production.”
It is anticipated that production of Lincoln vehicles in China would not potentially get under way until 2020 at the earliest, as internal discussion of the matter is said to be in its infancy.
According to Ford, a total of 5,484 Lincoln vehicles were sold in China during the first quarter of 2016.
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News Source: The Detroit News