Industry News

Lincoln Will Launch An All-New Chinese-Built SUV By Late 2019

But will it be sold in the US?

China is quickly becoming Lincoln’s go-to market. Like GM and other German automakers, Ford’s luxury division is anxious to set up shop in the world’s largest automotive market, and will do so by expanding its dealership network as well as commence in local manufacturing. According to Automotive News, that manufacturing will entail an all-new SUV, which is slated to begin production by late 2019. This so far unnamed SUV will be, for the time being at least, Chinese market only and designed specifically to cater to local preferences.

More than likely, Ford will build the new model at an assembly plant it already jointly operates with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. Currently, Lincolns are imported to China from North America, but there’s a genuine need for local production: Lincoln sales increased by nearly 180 percent in 2016. Lincoln has apparently been considering production in China for some time now, while at the same time its dealership network has grown to 65 locations. An additional 15 are set to open by the end of this year, while an additional "five to 10 smaller sales branches" will also open in the near future in order to attract customer in smaller Chinese cities.

So we know what at least some of you are wondering: Is there a chance for China-built Lincolns to end up in the US, as is the case with the new Buick Envision crossover? Anything’s possible these days, especially as automakers need to achieve scale, meaning they need to maintain production efficiency and meet demand. We also know that Ford Motor Co. is planning to build 13 SUVs/CUVs models by 2020, a majority of its entire lineup. A redesigned Lincoln Navigator is also about to debut, but it’ll probably be built at either its current location in Kentucky or alongside its Expedition cousin in Michigan. But a future, smaller Lincoln SUV could potentially be assembled in the Far East, if the business case swings in that direction.

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