Ford Motor prepares to start production of new luxury Lincoln models in China for that sector as they are launched, beginning with the new Corsair later this year, to take advantage of lower costs and avoid the risk of tariffs, a top executive stated on Monday.
“It’s a huge, huge opportunity for Lincoln because we observe China as Ground Zero for Lincoln given the size of the market and how well the brand has been received,” CFO Bob Shanks stated at a Goldman Sachs conference in New York.
Ford has lower levels of regional production compared to competitors General Motors or Volkswagen AG, that make more vehicles in China for Chinese consumers, taking advantage of lower labor and material costs, and avoiding tariffs in the burgeoning trade war among the United States and China.
Shanks stated all new Lincoln models, with the exception of the Navigator produced in Louisville, Kentucky, are going to be produced in China.
He refused to state how much Ford will save through regional production.
Ford has been having a hard time to revive sales in China, the automaker’s second biggest market. Ford sales dropped 37 percent in last year, following a 6 percent decrease in 2017.
Shanks stated that all of the issues the automaker faced in China last year were associated with the Ford brand, not Lincoln, which is well known with Chinese customers.