Ford’s Lincoln Motor Company luxury division will produce a new model in China starting in 2019, reports Bloomberg. The vehicle in-question will be a new SUV, and importantly, it won’t be subject to the same 25% customs tax that’s currently levied against China’s imported Lincoln vehicles.
Lincoln will still continue to import some models, like the flagship Continental sedan and the Navigator full-size SUV.
Ford’s luxury marque first started selling vehicles in China about two years ago. By the end of 2016, a total of 65 Lincoln dealerships had been erected in the market, and the brand racked up more than 32,000 new-vehicle sales there last year.
“China is incredibly important to Lincoln,” says Autotrader.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs. “They have shown they can do fairly well there and that it holds great potential.”
Lincoln’s decision to make its first locally-built model an SUV will most likely prove a smart one, as such vehicles are on the rise there much as they are in many other global markets; SUV sales surged 45 percent in China last year, according to Bloomberg, while overall growth for the passenger vehicles was only at 15 percent.
“The Lincoln product and ownership in China is resonating with Chinese customers even beyond our expectations,” says Lincoln President Kumar Galhotra. “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.”
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