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Wed, 04 Dec 2013 10:00:00 EST
Judging by the success that many luxury automakers are currently experiencing in China, it's no surprise that Lincoln plans to take advantage of the situation by peddling its wares across the Pacific. Lincoln will open its first Chinese dealership next year, but potential buyers there won't be mucking through the same alphabet soup of car names found in American showrooms. USA Today reports that Ford's luxury car division could revert back to legacy names (like Continental and Zephyr) in China while keeping the MK_ names here in North America.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:02:00 EST
In speaking to Ford exec Jim Farley during the LA Auto Show, USA Today says that Lincoln could switch its naming structure as models are refreshed. Farley didn't confirm that the naming revamp would be a China-only decision, but article leaves little hope that American buyers will get to see the return of classic names anytime soon.
Why would Ford rehash old Lincoln names for China only? Buyers there seem to have a better historical associations with the nameplates than in the US. Chinese also still hold Lincoln in high regard, associating the marque with use by prominent government officials.
We've been speculating for years about the future of Lincoln. Some thought that Ford needed to kill the division like it did Mercury, while others saw the sales possibility in a brand with so much history. Ford has finally made a decision, and it wasn't what many people were expecting. Lincoln is launching in China this fall, with the brand rollout starting at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show. A new video hints that we might even get to see the concept for the next-generation MKX.
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 15:30:00 EST
Lincoln is marketing itself in China as a customer-focused, high-end luxury ownership experience. To prove it, the Lincoln Space in Beijing is meant both as a prototype dealer and a grand show of its plans. The modernist structure looks more like an art museum than a car showroom, and the interior decor is like a high-end hotel lobby. The company says that every dealer is going to have license plate recognition technology that knows when an owner arrives, and there will also be a Personalization Studio where potential buyers can design their car with family. Lincoln is promising to have eight showrooms ready in seven cities by this fall.
Of course, a stylish showroom is nothing without cars to sell. Lincoln is promising five models on sale in China by 2016. The MKZ and MKC launch this fall. A midsize luxury SUV, a fullsize luxury sedan and the Navigator are coming later. All of the models sold there are being imported from North America.
Ford is announcing six separate recalls for a variety of issues affecting a dozen models and a total of 100,610 vehicles in North America. However, according to Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker, "None of them have caused accidents or injuries." Half of them cover fewer than 1,000 cars.
The largest recall covers 92,022 North American examples (about 83,250 in the US) of some models of the Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, Ford Interceptor, Flex and Lincoln MKT from the 2013 and 2014 model years; the 2012-2014 Edge and the 2014 Lincoln MKX. All of them have a potential issue with the halfshaft on the right side that might not be fully seated and could move outward over time. If it shifts too far, the models may no longer be able to drive, and the condition could also allow the vehicles to roll away, even when in Park. Dealers will inspect the shaft to make sure it's seated and will replace the part if necessary.
The next-largest recall covers 5,264 North American examples (4,867 in the US) of the Ford F59 Commercial Stripped Chassis from the 2011-2014 model years. It's possible that an electrical junction box can corrode in areas with salty roads and short circuit. The problem could potentially cause a fire. Dealers will replace the box with an improved design.