By on April 29, 2014

2014 Lincoln MKX Concept

Long after the first SUV gold rush in the United States, the Detroit Three are gearing up for a second gold rush, this time in China.

Automotive News reports SUVs and crossovers have snagged 19 percent of the local market in 2013 as the once-dominant luxury sedan market fell from 47 percent in 2000 to 15 percent. General Motors forecasts as many as 7 million SUVs will leave the showroom by 2020, with president Dan Ammann noting that 60 percent of first-time buyers in China bought an SUV last year. Further, Ford credits crossovers for a sales surge of 49 percent in 2013, pushing Toyota out of the No. 5 slot in a local market that views SUVs and crossovers as being, in the words of Chevrolet dealer He Sei, “sportier, more fashionable and more youthful” than other vehicles.

To capitalize upon the upcoming boom, GM brought the Chevrolet Trax to last week’s Beijing Motor Show with plans to add 10 SUVs during the next five years, while Ford introduced concept versions of the body-on-frame Everest and Lincoln MKX crossover, both of which will soon see production. Finally, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will resume Jeep production in China through a joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group Company, with three models due in 2015.

Meanwhile, Lexus, Audi, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Citroen are following the Detroit Three’s lead into the Chinese SUV/crossover market, bringing a number of concepts and production-ready vehicles to Beijing. That said, they will have a hard battle against the three U.S. automakers, as SUVs and crossovers have been their bread and butter since the first rush in the early 1990s through the late 2000s.

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30 Comments on “Detroit Three Lead The Charge In Chinese SUV Boom...”


  • avatar
    gtrslngr

    Testing 1 2 3

  • avatar
    This Is Dawg

    Though it (unfortunately for Lincoln) looks like a Kia Sportage, that is one good looking SUV. I know the B&B don’t love the baleen look, but these new Lincolns certainly stand out on the road.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    I dunno, I think the MKX is a pretty awesome looking car/truck. Cruck? Let’s go with cruck. It’s a great looking cruck.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’m going to peg 2005 as the height of most companies having a decent, nice looking SUV selection. After that we go downhill into gaudy, over-styled large SUVs, or pointless tall-wagon CUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This was right around the time the progenitors of the SUV, the Detroit Three, were all slowly creeping toward insolvency. What is currently out was probably being developed around that time, and what was out in 2005 being developed 5-7 years prior.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Yeah, makes sense the cars designed at the late 90s and dot-com boom were the best.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          In terms of design maybe (although I disagree with you) but their SUVs today destroy those dot com designed ones in terms of quality and materials. Unless you like seas of hard grey plastic

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            How many “SUVs” are really still out there for sale? Not many, and one of them, Expedition, still does date from 2003.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh yes, I only meant styling. At that point there were reliable, simple power trains in use as well:

            GM 4.3L V6
            GM 5.7? (Tahoe)
            Toyota 4.7 V8
            Ford 5.0? (Navigator)
            Chrysler Hemi 5.7
            Toyota 3.5 V6
            Nissan 3.5 V6

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Expedition/Navi
            Tahoe/Yuk/Escl
            4Runner
            LC/LX
            QX
            LR4 (sorta)

            I think that’s it.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I don’t see Expeditions as often as I used to. I had a meeting with my boss yesterday, and was suprised to see that he just purchased a 2014 Expedition EL Limited 4×4. It still looks nice, even if its a dated design.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The exterior of that Expedition isn’t the issue, ’tis the inside and the terrible materials!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I can’t believe I forgot about 4Runner. I’d through JGC and Wrangler into the mix too.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It is terrible on the inside. The seats aren’t bad, just everything else around them. I swear the steering wheel looks like its from my 2000 F150 (It probably is).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I sat in a brand new Expedition Limited about two years ago at a dealer. I couldn’t believe the lack of quality in there, and the huge panel gaps. They were dwarfed only by the huge price tag on the windshield.

            Everything inside looks like new materials grafted onto a used up old house. It’s like the final versions of the XJS in 1995 – should have been totally reworked 10 years earlier.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 2015 Expedition and Navigator that I have been in have been better as far as interior marterials. However, I still think they could be better. Ultimatly, the new Ford SUV twins are just stop gaps until the 2018ish model.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          No doubt, although I enjoyed the Gen X designs of the early to mid 90s. Somehow between now and today, car designs by and large went backwards.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            So many classic, clean designs then. Early to mid 90s clean designs to me means three cars:

            1995 LS400
            1995 S500
            1995 (or 98) SL500
            1995 740iL

            *I like the JDM look of the 1998ish Q45 as well, but I won’t force that on people. If it said PRESIDENT on the back, then I would.

            Big, wide, clean, simple, restrained, power.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Forgetting quite a few my friend. B-body Fleetwood? E-body Toro? G-body Riv? FN10 Mark VIII? Z30 SC300/400? LH New Yorker? Legend? CL500?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Well, the Fleetwood isn’t exactly restrained, at all.

            Toro too small. Riv too bloated, not clean!
            While I like the Legend, I don’t think it’s on par with the others on the list.

            Mark VIII added to list.
            SC400* added to list.
            New Yorker** added to list.
            ZX300 easily added to list.

            *Prefer the slight restyling for MY97, IIRC.
            **Because stylistically significant. Not b/c 2.7.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Gen 1 LH shipped with 3.3 or an optional 3.5.

            “The first generation LH cars used the existing 3.3 L OHV V6 as well as a new 3.5 L SOHC V6, and a four-speed automatic transmission.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_LH_platform

            I have to disagree on Toro, the 90 refresh made the car much bugger.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Learned something on the LH then. So the 3.3 is the Mitsu, and the 3.5 is a real Chrysler engine?

            If the first gen wasn’t killed by the engine, what killed them all off? They sold so many, and now they’ve all but vanished.

            I’ll agree on the Toro. I had no idea it was 200 inches long. It just doesn’t have that length presence when you see them out and about. It’s longer and wider than the LS400.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            “So the 3.3 is the Mitsu, and the 3.5 is a real Chrysler engine?”

            3.3/3.8 were Chrysler engines, as well as the 3.5. 3.5 was the first OHC V-6 Chrysler produced.

            3.0 was the Mitsu engine.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Corey

            The first gen LHs were beasts, esp the Eagle/Dodge 3.3s. I imagine age, long use, and possibly transmission issues are what’s killing them off. The second gen was plagued by the engine who shall not be named, and I also seem to recall some common issues with torque converters. Big domestic cars tended to have steep depreciation and I doubt the third and forth owners were financially resourceful enough to put “new transmission/engine” grade money into them. Kreutzer should weigh in on this since seems to be somewhat of an LH expert, but based on his posts and those of others it seems like at least the 300M has a small following.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I had a 2nd Gen Concorde with the 3.2L. Transmission problems is what is killing these beasts. It is still running as it was purchased by a Chrysler used car sales manager for his kid. My Dad said he saw it in the dealership parking lot last week.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Thanks for the info. I always did prefer the Vision to the Intrepid. It seemed to come in more interesting two-tone combinations (though probably 80% were that aqua blue). And even to my child eyes, it was more rare than the Intrepid.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    I am delighted by any development that promotes global market domination by tall vehicles. May the Chinese continue to grow in both physical stature and purchasing power.

  • avatar
    jrasero23

    I think this will be great for Lincoln. If the Chinese love Buick they will love the ride and styling of Lincoln. The new MKX and MKC aren’t game changers but the MKC looks better than its Ford Escape sister and the MKX looks leagues better than its older model or the Edge.

    Buick is the Chinese hottest luxury brand and I think the Last Emperor owned one nearly a century ago, so if the Chinese like Buick Lincoln will be a step up. Also with Lincoln going to China they have the opportunity to hopefully take a few more risks in designing cars since the Chinese have different needs and tastes.


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