The expansion of the Lincoln brand to China not only strengthens Ford’s position in its aggressive growth strategy in the country, but also establishes Lincoln as a global brand. This will be Ford’s largest expansion in 50 years as it looks to bring Lincoln’s luxury to the affluent Chinese customers looking for an experience custom-tailored to their needs.
The new Lincoln products will be sold through its own independent dealer network starting in the second half of 2014 and the American automaker will begin meeting with potential dealers later this year.
It’s hard to even call the Chinese market an emerging one – in fact, it’s an evolving one. Many forecast that the luxury segment in China will surpass America by 2020, if not sooner. Whether or not Lincoln will be successful in China remains to be unseen, but surely its rich brand heritage will certainly help. More importantly though, Ford is building five new plants in China, hoping to double its capacity in the country to 1.2 million passenger vehicles a year once they’re all completed.
“Lincoln is an important part of our plan, and introducing Lincoln in China marks the next step in our expansion in Asia and our commitment to serving customers in the luxury market,” said Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally. “We recognize the growth potential for Lincoln in China, building on the growing appeal of our new Lincoln products and unique, personalized customer experience in North America.”