It would appear that Lincoln’s upcoming replacement for the MKS sedan will be aimed squarely at the Chinese market. Rumors of a proper RWD flagship notwithstanding, the die has been cast, and it’s all entry-luxury-derived from here on out.
Based on potential insider information we’ve recently received, we can now predict that the next MKS, which will be based on Ford’s global front-drive CD platform, will be twinned with a Chinese-market flagship code-named the GOBI.
Documents represented to us as corporate internal communications claim that that Ford will
Offer a step up product from CD533 [Ford’s codename for the Lincoln MKZ. -Ed] that meets the needs of the Gobi business customer, with class leading rear seat package and amenities.
Our source tells us that styling for the cars will draw some cues from the Continental concept of 2002. In keeping with the China-centric theme of the GOBI project, leg room and rear seat amenities are a key part of GOBI to suit its customers, which are frequently chauffeured. What is unclear is whether GOBI will be a separate nameplate or simply a long-wheelbase version of the future MKS.
This past week’s Pebble Beach Concours saw Lincoln bring over prospective Chinese dealers, with some suggesting that their Black Label interior packages were aimed at Chinese consumers as well. Lincoln’s following the lead of Cadillac here, reaching to the East to salvage their reputation and their bottom line. When the day comes that both remaining American luxury brands are primarily concerned with China, what will that say about the American auto business — or about America itself?