By on April 21, 2014

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As part of the launch of its luxury brand in China, the first step in its strategy of making Lincoln into a global brand, Ford Motor Company used AutoChina 2014, aka the Beijing auto show, to debut the next version of Lincoln’s MKX midsize crossover. The reveal of the MKX Concept is the first time that Lincoln has ever introduced a new vehicle outside of the United States, and focus groups in both the United States and China were consulted in the crossover’s design. The new MKX will likely go on sale in both countries sometime in the first part of 2015.

Matt VanDyke, who is in charge of Lincoln’s international effort, stressed China’s important role to Lincoln in remarks to  Automotive News:

“Lincoln in China has our full attention in product development. “We’re not developing products for the U.S. and seeing if they work there. We are developing out of our global design studio products that we clinic and research in Huangzhou and Beijing and Shanghai and Pasadena, not the other way around.”

 

dealer

At the same time that Lincoln was introducing the new MKX, the company announced its retail and initial product plans for the Chinese market. This fall eight dealerships in seven cities will be the first wave of what the brand plans to be 60 stores in 50 cities by the end of 2016. To start out with, just two Lincoln models will be offered, the midsize MKZ sedan, and the new MKC compact crossover. Both of those vehicles will be exported from Ford’s North American operations. The recently restyled Lincoln Navigator SUV will join them, along with the new MKX, next year.

While those first eight dealerships are being prepared to coincide with the auto show and introduce the brand to Chinese consumers, Lincoln set up a display called The Lincoln Space in an area of central Beijing that is filled with pedestrians. Lincoln hopes to have an addition dozen stores set up by the end of this year. The first dealers will open in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Xi’an, Guangzhou, Huangzhou and Chengdu. A high level of service is intended to distinguish Lincoln dealers from other luxury brands. Service bays will have multiple cameras so customers can monitor work being done on their cars.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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22 Comments on “2014 Beijing Auto Show:Lincoln Debuts New MKX Concept Outside U.S., Annouces Chinese Dealers...”


  • avatar
    VCplayer

    Big improvement in the looks department over the current over-the-hill MKX. Looks pretty close to production too.

  • avatar

    Must be close to production if the concept sports A-pillar DLO fail.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      And they were *so* close, too! If only they could have moved the base of the A-pillar back just a bit more, or the edge of the door forward. If they could do that, I wouldn’t be at all opposed to having those windowlettes in place of the black triangles, like some VW-Group vehicles (Touareg, Cayenne, Mulsanne).

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      Edge Concept has exactly the same issue (larger, even). I’m wondering if the production mirrors are actually mounted there?

  • avatar
    redliner

    Perhaps Lincoln can be in China what it can now only dream of in the US.

    The dealer design strikes me as very 70s chic. Not sure yet if I like it or not.

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      Very 70s chic indeed, that was the first thought that popped into my head when I saw it. I actually like it (the dealership not the car).

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      It’s a very retro statement they’re making, which I’m not sure will appeal to the “everything new/replaced often” modern Chinese city dwellers. It’s a very American retro as well, not an international look. Maybe Chinese people value American nostalgia all the sudden.

      Which makes me wonder why Lincoln hasn’t put this effort into its home country, where we -know- this retro thing would go over well. Obviously we aren’t an emerging growth market, but even so!

      I like the design (DLO fail aside) as it’s more restrained than the dignity-rear wacko-front of the current one (which is looking dated, I might add.) But the color has got to go – it’s retro in a bad “Hey, an old Pontiac at an estate sale!” sort of way.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    Looking good, like the MKC’s big brother. It’ll be interesting to see if the headlights nestled between the grille slats will make it into production–an elegant, unique touch.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Beyond awful and just a rebadge of the Edge.

    Amazing how incompetence is encouraged at Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Like you, I’m a GM fan, but this is just a stupid comment. What we’ve seen of the next Edge indicates that it will look quite different from this. The next Edge and MKX won’t share the same bodyshell like the current ones do, so there goes your “rebadge” theory. This will probably give the RX and the SRX a run for their money.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Think the MKC and the new MKX are better-looking than Acura’s or Lexus’ CUV lineups and like them, it’s platform-sharing and not rebadging (which is what the current MKX and the Mercurys are/were).

      The Lexus SUVs are still essentially rebadge jobs.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        “The Lexus SUVs are still essentially rebadge jobs.”

        The NX and RX aren’t, but the GX and LX are. However the GX’s Toyota-equivalent, the Land Cruiser Prado, isn’t a particularly luxurious vehicle (so that the car would have received significant mechanical upgrades in order to be sold as a Lexus), and the Land Cruiser Prado isn’t sold here in the States anyway. Also, you will find that just about every large BOF SUV is a rebadged version of something else.

        And yes, this is a lot more stylish and cohesive than anything that Acura and Lexus have put out recently; I agree.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Isn’t that what I stated? –

          Differentiating btwn CUVs and SUVs.

          And yes, while luxury SUVs (like the Navjgator and the LX) have pretty much continued to be “tarted up” rebadge jobs, the new Escalade is probably the start to the end of that practice as it shares very little with regard to sheetmetal and even less when it comes to interior.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It’s a distinctive look, but it’s muscular and everything is well-integrated. The corporate split-grille even works here. More of this, please, Lincoln!

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Agreed! The Lincoln designers have finally found their voice.

      I’m not sold on the value proposition, but at least it’s a nice looking vehicle!

      I like the headlights being within the grill – it makes the whale-mouth look work.

  • avatar
    tuscreen-auto

    Dude, it’s just an Audi Q3 rip-off…… :^/

    Pretty good-looking, however, what with the Q3 being a handsome car as well….


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