By on June 6, 2016

17LincolnContinental_03_HR

After entering the hot Chinese car market two years ago, Lincoln Motor Company now wants to start building its vehicles there, sources close to the matter tell Bloomberg.

Lincoln is reportedly in talks with partner Changan Automobile Group to build a manufacturing facility — which would serve as an export hub — as early as 2018. Timing of production depends on whether sales continue their upward path.

American automakers see China as a key part of their worldwide growth plans, and the resurgent Lincoln brand is no different. The company sold 11,630 vehicles there in 2015, and has plans to grab a much bigger portion of the country’s premium market share.

The Chinese market was top of mind when the automaker developed its flagship 2017 Continental, which has to be mildly modified before going on sale in that market. (They don’t like new car smell there.)

Discussions between Ford Motor Company and Changan are still in the preliminary phase, the sources say, so a Chinese manufacturing presence isn’t a done deal for Lincoln. Zhu Huarong, president of Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., told Bloomberg his company had “no detailed plan at the moment” for producing vehicles with Lincoln.

Still, it makes sense Lincoln would want to follow in the footsteps of rival General Motors, which aggressively targeted China with its Buick and Cadillac brands.

So great is the love affair between GM and China, we’ll soon be driving Buicks manufactured in that country. Well, one model, anyway.

[Image: Lincoln Motor Company]

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31 Comments on “Lincoln Looking to Build Vehicles in China: Report...”


  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    So if Lincoln starts building in China, how long before fake Lincolns start showing up on the streets?

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      1. Why would they be fake? Lincolns are Lincolns as long as they’re built by the Ford Motor Company. Where the plant is does not matter. I don’t notice anyone claiming an American brand built in Mexico is fake.

      2. Why are you automatically assuming they’re going to be built for export to the US?

      • 0 avatar
        Corollaman

        Got confused with the earlier story about the Land Rover look-alike.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Because when you go to the lowest cost manufacturer in a land famous for not respecting IP, you are training your competition, and they’ll be building your design. My clients manufacturer told him “You weren’t buying enough, I found another buyer.” This after he paid to put in the equipment that made his designs possible. Now he’s out of business and I can buy stuff just like his at a big box store.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          The day is fast approaching where technology transfer from western firms to Chinese firms will result in appropriation of joint venture factories/R&D facilities/etc.

          Foxconn will kick Apple out for starters, and the Chinese automakers JV’ing with western automakers will follow, as will all others.

          There’s a reason why China’s gov’t insisted and codified that any western (or other foreign) firm wanting to sell products in China had to partner up with a Chinese company.

          This is call technology transfer on the cheap, and China’s government is actually wise and looking out for their own population for having so insisted on this.

          Western and other developed nation firms and western politicians sold their domestic constituencies down the river for blood money over the last 30 some years (just as Ross Perot predicted).

        • 0 avatar
          tekdemon

          Honestly I don’t think anybody would bother to counterfeit a Lincoln to begin with, because Lincoln hardly has any sales to start with. But Ford has already been partners with Chang’An for a long time now (15 years actually) so I doubt they’d continue to partner with them if they had any IP concerns.

          There’s definitely shady ass Chinese partners, but Ford’s been doing well with Chang’An for a long time now so it’s a bit ridiculous to suggest that they’ll suddenly start cloning Lincolns.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe Btfsplk

      Not to worry … for the domestic market, they will be badged Rincoln Kontinental. See… all is good!

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        So you know about the joke I was referring to?

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        Ah, idiotic racist jokes that don’t even take into account that the Chinese have L’s and R’s unlike some other Asian languages. If the Chinese can’t say the L-sound then why are there so many with last names that start with L? Lee, Long, Lin, Liu, Lau, Leong, etc. Go back to your KKK meeting and sell them your Kontinentals you ignorant hick. The world will be that much better off when old racist idiots like you die off.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Fake replicas are no match for American car company’s incentives.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’m reminded of an old, bad joke, featuring a Chinese man and an ophthalmologist.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    This is crap ! Next, we will have Fords made in China too. Let’s hope that Mr.Trump puts a big tariff on Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and Korean-made cars and trucks.
    Alternatively, Mrs.Clinton would accept a $100 Million donation from the ChiComms to the Clinton Crime Family Trust and look the other way.
    Remember that Reagan put a 320,000 quota on Japanese car imports, and a 25% tariff on Japanese motorcycles. So it COULD be done.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      And yet by the end of his administration, more buyers chose Japanese cars than ever before.

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        American carmakers foolishly chose to raise prices rather than to shore up market share. Once upon a time, GM had 50% of the market. Now they have 15% and change.
        You can lead a horse to water, but maybe he wants an apple instead.
        However, we now have millions who work part-time but desperately want a full-time job. Raise the income of more workers and it helps the whole economy. Those workers have more to spend, and that helps other industries. And their workers have more to spend. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. (Not a Cadillac model).
        And if you (not you personally) really believe the government’s unemployment numbers (4.7%) you are really gullible.
        This time, maybe we should put a new tariff on ALL cars that are imported ESPECIALLY those sold by the Big 3. Maybe Ford, GM, and FCA would build more cars and trucks HERE if their own cars made in Mexico, China, Korea, and elsewhere were affected too. The Japanese build cars here, why should domestic (?!?) automakers build cars elsewhere ?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Unemployment rates are figured the same way they always have been.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            Not so. The workforce participation rate affects the unemployment rate, when the unemployed run out of benefits, they are no longer counted as unemployed. And part-time workers who work 29 hours per week are counted the same as full-time workers.
            Google it.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yup. The workforce participation rate today is <63%, IIRC. So we have fewer people actually working and paying taxes.

            OTOH, this is exactly what America wanted. This is what America voted for. Not just once. But twice!

            No need to get a job. The government will send you money for nuttin' and food stamps fer free.

            So we have <63% of the eligible workforce keeping the other freeloading 37% living the high life.

            Welcome to the new America.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “The workforce participation rate affects the unemployment rate, when the unemployed run out of benefits, they are no longer counted as unemployed.”

            Er, there are SIX unemployment rates.

            Two of those rates include the long-term unemployed, etc., and one of them includes the underemployed.

            The workforce participation rate doesn’t mean what you think it is. It is not an unemployment rate. But you’ve been posting ignorant garbage here for years, so I’m not expecting much from you.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Mr. Trump won’t be able to do s**t without Congress…as much as he’d like to convince you otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      I don’t understand why the cars can’t be built here and imported to China. We have 365 million dollar trade deficit with China. Isn’t the idea of free trade that we sell our products to them and they sell their products to us? Building our products in China kind of defeats that purpose. I hope Mr. Trump puts an end to this.

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        So-called “Free Trade” actually means that a corporation is FREE to send your job anywhere there is a lower wage rate and/or fewer costly regulations that they have to comply with.
        That is the “FREE” part.
        It also means trading big under-the-table payoffs for the votes of politicians who support it.
        That is the “TRADE” part.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Actually, the U.S. annual trade deficit (aka imbalance of trade) with China is roughly negative 600 billion USD.

        China has literally built out its national infrastructure and economy since Bill Clinton granted them MFN trade status in the 80s with American Consumer money fueled by dirt cheap manufactured consumer goods.

        And China’s labor force is an estimated 650 million people strong; she’s a nation with demographics skewing young, and the true unemployment rate in China is estimated to be 7x to 10x higher than official estimates (many Chinese manufacturing jobs have moved to lower-wage nations, especially hungrier emerging Asian tigers such as Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, etc. (TPP will accelerate this).

        China has huge problems in terms of debt, infrastructure, pollution, and now, structural labor woes, which if not managed very astutely, literally threaten the political apparatchiks with serious social unrest.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      Right, but when Reagan did that it’s not like American car companies had any market share whatsoever in Japan (for that matter, they still don’t). But they’re building this Lincoln in China to try and sell it there because they want to compete with GM and VW who are already the top sellers in China. If you tarriff their cars then I can pretty much guarantee you that the Chinese market will be entirely won by German made vehicles.

      All you’d do is kill GM and Ford in China-since China doesn’t even actually export any cars to the US, such a tariff would screw the US over without hurting the Chinese at all, because you’d be giving them an excuse to implement in-kind tarriffs on American branded vehicles in return and they’d love to do that so that their own domestic brands would sell better.

      • 0 avatar
        Joe Btfsplk

        Your local Buick dealer will be happy to sell you their “All New Buick Envision” manufactured in the Peoples Republic of China.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        And China will ignore the US consumer market, with which they enjoy a $365 billion dollar trade surplus, or $600 billion if Dead Weight is right. Ok. They’ll do anything to keep even a portion of that if we start pushing back.

        It’s time for the US to develop some confidence and balls and protect its citizens. China is still going to want to sell here even if we tell them we want to build the cars that we sell in China to employ our people and prevent our own instability.

        And if they don’t play ball who cares? Bring some of that $365 – $600 billion back in house. It’s not like the average citizen is benefiting from the trade deals with China anyway. They’re totally lopsided in favor of China.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    China has both a large market and high import tariffs, which creates an incentive to build plants there. I doubt that exporting those cars back to the US is a priority — the first order of business would be to increase Chinese demand for Ford products.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Behold, fanboys – FoMoCo’s true plan for the Lincoln brand. Forget about your dreams of Mustang-based luxury sedans and RWD Continentals. They’re building cars for the Chinese, not North America, and they’ll probably make more money doing it.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe Btfsplk

      You bet they’ll make money. When an American company can build with no unions, no labor laws and no environmental concerns, you can make boatloads of money. The American resistance to Chinese vehicles is being eroded by GM as we watch. First one and then another model will be slipped in under the shadow of Free Trade. The salvation of the American-made vehicle will be automated (robot) assembly plants… and it will be SUV’s and pick-ups.

  • avatar

    Trump and the Unions will stop this. Actually, I have no problem with them being built in China, as long as they are not sold here. They should also be designed and engineered in the US as well.

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