Lincoln To China: Fresh Start, Or Relaunch?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
lincoln to china fresh start or relaunch

In the most recent installments of the never-ending rumors on Lincoln’s long march to China, Chinese media claimed that the Lincolns would be built at a new Ford plant in Hangzhou. Dearborn denied everything. Yesterday , Ford confirmed for the first time that Lincoln would be coming to China. Today, Ford broke ground at the Hangzhou plant, while someone says that Lincoln had been in China on the say, and that it did not work out.

“Hangzhou is really critical because of the market that it serves, and it diversifies our operations,” Ford CEO Alan Mulally told Reuters after the groundbreaking. “The customer base here is fantastic.”

The Hangzhou factory is only one of five Ford is building as a foundation of its better-late-than-never attack at the world’s largest auto market. On Monday, Mulally was at another groundbreaking of Ford’s third assembly plant in Chongqing.

Currently, the plan is to import Lincolns from the U.S. Chinese production, be it in Hangzhou or elsewhere, is not being debated.

What is being debated is Ford’s claim that Lincoln is a virgin as far as China is concerned. “This is a relaunch of the Lincoln brand” says a source in China that wants his name unmentioned for fear of recriminations. “Lincoln sold the Navigator in China in 05/06 via Ford dealerships. I was in a Ford dealership with someone from Ford back then, and I asked him why there were Navigators everywhere. “ When people asked the same question later , they were told that “these were probably gray imports.” Further questions were rebuffed with an “I didn’t work at Ford during that period, I don’t know.”

“The Navigator was a turd in China,” says the source. “No wonder they want to forget it.”

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4 of 6 comments
  • Mandalorian Mandalorian on Aug 29, 2012

    All they need to do is bring over the Navigator, people will buy it like it is going out of style.

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Aug 29, 2012

    Lincoln is not going to see any significant sales as long as they are going to import vehicles into China which means getting hit by the hefty auto import tariff. Lincoln can't command the premiums that the added cost of the tariff would require, not when the Germans are building their most popular models in China and Cadillac to start Chinese production.

    • See 1 previous
    • Th009 Th009 on Aug 29, 2012

      @Tstag Exactly. In spite of the Ford PR, how many Chinese really aspire to own a Lincoln, rather than a Land Rover -- or Audi, BMW, Mercedes?

  • Jdt65724922 How can a Chrysler E-Class ride better than a Chrysler Fifth Avenue?
  • Lorenzo This series is epic, but I now fear you'll never get to the gigantic Falcon/Dart/Nova comparison.
  • Chris P Bacon Ford and GM have decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Odds are Chrysler/Cerberus/FCA/Stellantis is next to join in. If any of the companies like Electrify America had been even close to Tesla in reliability, we wouldn't be here.
  • Inside Looking Out China will decide which EV charging protocol will become world wide standard.
  • Chris P Bacon I see no reference to Sweden or South Carolina. I hate to assume, but is this thing built in China? I can't help but wonder if EVs would be more affordable to the masses if they weren't all stuffed full of horsepower most drivers will never use. How much could the price be reduced if it had, say, 200hp. Combined with the instant torque of an EV, that really is plenty of power for the daily commuter, which is what this vehicle really is.