Lincoln Now Sells More Product in China Than U.S.

lincoln now sells more product in china than u s

After years of Ford unsuccessfully trying to court the Chinese market in the same way General Motors did, Blue Oval has finally hit an important milestone. For the first time ever, the Lincoln luxury brand has achieved more sales in China than in the United States.

On Thursday, Lincoln announced that it had delivered more than 91,000 vehicles in China in 2021 – representing an increase of 48 percent increase against 2020. Meanwhile, the brand managed to lose ground in North America with just 86,929 sales for last year. That’s the worst Lincoln has seen in over a decade, though the company has basically witnessed its share of the U.S. market seesawing in the wrong direction since the 1990s.

Prior to 2008, Ford’s luxury arm could reliably count on six-figure volumes in the U.S. each year. But that would be cause for celebration these days, as the company typically falls short of its sales targets.

Automotive News framed Ford’s Chinese connection as a clear victory for the automaker and – from a purely monetary perspective – it absolutely is. While it seems kind of sad that Lincoln cannot reliably depend on its home turf for the maximum amount of sales, Ford has been trying to get the brand into China for nearly a decade. Back in 2014, former CEO Mark Fields estimated Asia would help get Lincoln to a point where it could move 300,000 vehicles globally by 2020. It’s not there yet. But with business from China, there’s a chance it could be within striking distance within a few years, assuming the brand continues growing at its current pace.

From AN:

Lincoln opened its first China dealerships in 2014, well behind much of its luxury competition. But the brand made a point to study Chinese customers and offer them a unique car-buying experience, called the Lincoln Way.

Lincoln hired Eight Inc., the firm that designed the original Apple stores, to craft warm, welcoming dealerships including tea rooms, waterfall displays and a heritage wall that showcased the brand’s history. Designers insisted on a small number of vehicles in the showroom, and placed those models on pedestals with special lighting.

Dealers were told to pamper customers and focus on the experience before they focused on the sale.

While Lincoln is predicting additional growth in Asia, has continued selling the Continental there (despite its elimination in the U.S.), and decided on debuting the upcoming Zephyr sedan in China, the manufacturer has said it will continue selling on the home market. That said, it’s also going to be localizing as much product for Asia as it can to avoid catching the ire of the Chinese government. It’s likewise going to be building more direct-to-consumer stores within the region.

“Ford starts 2022 with strong momentum from the execution of our China 2.0 plans centered on a robust portfolio and electrification,” Anning Chen, president and CEO, Ford China, said on Friday. “The steady rollout of new vehicles – including the locally built Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford EVOS and Lincoln Zephyr – combined with the launch of Ford’s network of direct-to-customer battery electric vehicle stores positions us well for growth ahead.”

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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2 of 36 comments
  • Whatnext Whatnext on Jan 18, 2022

    Sadly this shows why China will likely triumph over the West eventually. In the end, Capitalists will sell out their mother for the biggest market for their goods.

  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Jan 19, 2022

    Perhaps the "blocky" styling of Lincolns is closer to the domestic products in China but have the cachet of being "imports"

  • 2ACL What tickles me is that the Bronco looks the business with virtually none of the black plastic cladding many less capable crossovers use.
  • IBx1 For all this time with the hellcat engine, everything they made was pathetic automatic scum save for the Challenger. A manual Durango, Grand Cherokee, Charger, 300C, et al would have been the real last gasp for driving enthusiasts. As it is, the party is long over.
  • MaintenanceCosts The sweet spot of this generation isn't made anymore: the SRT 392. The Scat Pack is more or less filling the same space but it lacks a lot of the goodies, including SRT suspension, brakes, and seats. The Hellcat is too much and isn't available with a manual anymore.
  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
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