According to two U.S. sources, Ford Motor premium Lincoln brand prepares to construct as many as five new vehicles in China by 2022 in a move to increase sales in the world’s largest vehicle market that would also blunt the effect of trade U.S-China trade feuds.
Ford has stated it plans to build an all-new sport utility vehicle in the country by the end of next year, however the company has not emphasized future production plans for the Lincoln brand in China apart from that.
“Our localization strategies to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s expansion in China,” Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski stated. “Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing.”
Sources knowledgeable with Ford’s production plans informed Reuters the automaker now expects to start building the new Lincoln Aviator in China in late next year or early 2020, along with replacements for the MKC compact crossover and the MKZ midsize sedan, followed in 2021 by the all-new Nautilus, which takes the place of the Lincoln MKX crossover.
A fifth model, a small coupe-like crossover, is maybe scheduled for production in China in 2022, the sources stated.
It would be a loss for Ford if the spat over trade between China and the US escalates into a full-blown tariff war. Last year, it shipped 80,000 vehicles to China from North America, over half of them Lincolns to support the brand’s expansion.
Every Lincoln vehicles that Ford now offers in China are brought in from North America.
Even if China happened to decrease its 25 percent tariff on imported vehicles – as Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged on Tuesday – it is not apparent that would mean a big, long-term boost in Fords and Lincolns made in U.S. factories heading to showrooms in China.