By on September 3, 2012

A few days ago, an anonymous source told us that Lincolns have been in China for years, and that Ford won’t admit it.  Ford said they probably were grey imports.  Before the Chengdu Motor Show opened its doors, three Lincolns were seen entering the hall with big grins on their faces, and everybody thought they were brought by Ford.  No they were not.

Grey imports again! The source of these grey imports are said to be dealers on the US West Coast, who make their quota by shipping the beasts to China.

Says Tycho of Carnewschina:

The Lincolns, two MKT, two MKX and a Navigator, were on display at the booth of a local Chengdu dealer group. On these smaller shows in the Chinese hinterlands, dealer booths are quite the norm. Some dealers offer cars that the brands officially don’t sell, and this is the case here. The Navigator is widely sold grey all over China, but this is the first time I see the MKT and MKZ. “

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22 Comments on “Chengdu Motor Show: White, Brown, And Black Lincolns Are In Fact Grey...”


  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    Maybe it’s just me, and I don’t mean to be all “lol Chinese knock-offs” but seeing the Lincolns in China just makes them look even more like fake luxury cars.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      China aside, the current crop of Lincolns *are* fake luxury cars.

    • 0 avatar

      Funny thing is that Americans seriously consider Acura, Genesis and Infiniti to be a luxury cars and then complain about Chinese doing the same. Anyone who lived in Europe will laugh if you call Acura luxury brand – they are not competitive even with VW and Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have to agree, but Americans on average are quite stupid when it comes to car purchasing decisions… Acura and Hyundai are no more of a luxury brand than Ford, Infiniti maybe.

      • 0 avatar

        Luxury cars must have elegant design or at least presence. When you look at Infiniti first thought you have is WTF is that? Where they find those designer? Are they designed by commettee? Why not just hire Italians or design studio in California to do the job?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have to be honest, I pretty much detest the lines of almost every luxury and faux luxury brand out there, but I like Infiniti. I agree they aren’t in the Bentley/Rolls/Mercedes category in terms of heritage and presence, but the cars are smooth and attractive looking, whereas ironically Nissans have a horribly cheap look. Personally I’m a big fan on the G37.

  • avatar
    John

    Kim Jong-Il was carried in a Lincoln in his funeral procession. I’d be interested in knowing the provenance of that car.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      The North Korean government has had them for decades, the exact same cars were used in Kim Il-Sung’s funeral in 1994. They would have had to be black market imports, as the US did not trade with North Korea in the ’70s (or even today), and China would not have been a likely intermediary, either, since we had only just started diplomatic relations with them and had not progressed fully to open trade.

      I would hazard a guess that they possibly were imported through India, since that was just about the only non-Communist bloc country that had normal relations with both the US and North Korea in the mid ’70s.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I read somewhere after KJI’s funeral those Lincolns were his father’s personal transport (the stretch was armored) and in China (and presumably NK) the Lincoln Continental specifically was highly revered by their cultures in the 60s and 70s. Maybe Mao was a fan as well?

      • 0 avatar

        Some people in US may have short memory but Lincolns were regarded as a luxury car no so long ago and pretty high end in that respect if Russian hand made ZIL was knock off Lincoln Continental. Before that they copied it from various Packards. Believe it or not they did not copy RR or Bentley let alone Mercedes or BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Unfortunately the brand declined as America’s position has declined on the world stage. If the will is there the brand and the United States could come back.

      • 0 avatar

        I am afraid changes are evolutionary so there will be no simple roll back. America’s dominance was causes by destruction of all other superpowers in WWII and the advantage of pure nature of American style capitalism still had in mid XX century against half-baked and compromised European capitalism and other totalitarian and socialist regimes. Asian were not even in the picture. Then America during cold war made everything to establish American way of life to Europe and Asia and strangely enough at same time deconstructing American way at home. Attack on American capitalism started in the end of 19 century by progressive movement and currently coming to logical conclusion under current administration. Rebirth of America may happen but with lot of pain like for recovering drug addict. I mean there will be pain – no way around, but will it lead to recovery or American capitalism is damaged beyond repair is anyone’s guess.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have to agree with your conclusion, significant pain is inevitable, and how it shapes the future of nations remains unseen. Major geopolitical events thrust the United States on the world stage and future significant events could again do the same.

    • 0 avatar
      blowfish

      thought all these Iron curtain folks goes with Merc 600 grossers,

      dont think ever seen any Lincolns been bespoken to a hearse in North America.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    I would love to know the appeal for the Chinese. Being grey market, there’s no particular reason for one brand over another if you have all the brands of the world to choose from. Why Lincoln? Ford should be asking that question and seeing if they can leverage the answer quickly.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Did anyone else notice the motor-home and camper behind the MKX?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      So Chinese are fond of camping?

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Good question they have had RV shows with vehicles from Europe and the US. Locally built vehicles are starting to appear. Some appear to be fairly stylish.
        http://www.21rv.com/Files/2012/04/qufeng/1.jpg
        http://www.21rv.com/Files/2012/04/qufeng/4.jpg
        http://www.21rv.com/Files/2010/01/xiaoleidi/201001261049014.jpg
        http://www.21rv.com/Files/2010/01/xiaoleidi/201001261049015.jpg

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Nice to see at least the Saudis, Russians and Chinese can still afford big, BOF, truck-based Detroit (and/or Canadian) steel.

    FWIW, current average price of gasoline in China (converted to US$) as of 20 Mar 12 (the latest I was able to find via the Google – credit to latimes.com): $4.43/gal for 90-octane. Not much more expensive than, say, Hawaii or certain affluent parts of California.

    The BIG difference is, the Chinese have more jobs than lower to middle class Americans now. Those who have numbers to prove otherwise, please comment now.

    I’m considered lower-middle class, but can only afford to put gas in a Hyundai Accent.

    Can’t afford, say, a gold-plated Ferrari or Lambo for instance…

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Yes they are actually Chinese buit RV’s. That industry is taking off in China. Motorhome has an IVECO base.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Chengdu has one of two panda research centers in China. It’s open to the public, worth a look.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Yes, Lincoln is but a shell of its former self. But in city after city, all around the world, what is the predominant stretch limo? A white Town Car. Guess that will change now that they are out of production. I will say this, the standard Town Car is not a very impressive vehicle, but the majority of riders in the stretch versions are quite impressed. And not just by the free champagne.


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  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
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