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Ford Will Produce Lincoln SUVs In China Amid Strong Demand

Ford Will Produce Lincoln SUVs In China Amid Strong Demand

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) introduced its Lincoln brand in the Chinese market three years ago to great success. Throughout 2016, sales of Lincoln vehicles tripled from the prior year to around 33,000, which prompted the automaker to expand its efforts in the world's largest car market.

According to a Bloomberg report, Ford has decided to begin producing Lincoln SUVs inside of China by end of 2019. The expanded entry will be facilitated through a partnership with China-based Changan Automobile Group as part of a legal requirement for foreign automakers to gain access to manufacturer cars in China.

Ford will continue importing other branded Lincoln vehicles into the Chinese market, such as the Continental sedan which was just introduced late last year.

Why An SUV?

Bloomberg noted that Chinese consumers have a "love affair" with large and spacious vehicles, which makes it a logical choice for Ford to move production of its upscale SUVs in China. In fact, throughout 2017 Chinese consumers are expected to buy a greater number of SUVs and minivans than sedans for the first time ever, marking a continued trend of strong demand after sales of SUVs surged 45 percent in 2016.

The report also cited Yale Zhang, a managing director at Autoforesight Shanghai Co, who told Bloomberg expanding production in China is a natural step after "several years of stable growth" in the country. Perhaps more important is the fact that makers of entry-level luxury cars need to demonstrate a commitment to China by implementing localized production otherwise it won't be able to compete with rivals who have already done so.

"The Lincoln product and ownership in China is resonating with Chinese customers even beyond our expectations," Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln, told Bloomberg. "We are now taking Lincoln to the next level by building a new SUV in China to join a dynamic lineup of imported cars and SUVs."

See Also:

Ford Puts The Brakes On Emerging Market Compact Car Program

China's Plans All But Eliminate High-Tech Imports By 2025


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