Ford Authority has learned that production of the Lincoln Nautilus, formerly known as the MKX, will end in July 2024 at the Ford Oakville Assembly Plant in Canada. After that happens, it’s unclear what will happen to the Nautilus. It could be imported from China, or it could cease to be offered in the North American market altogether.
The future of the Oakville Assembly Plant is currently unclear itself, as Ford is due to enter negotiations with Unifor soon. The automaker’s labor contract with the union covering the Oakville plant, the Ford Essex Engine Plant, and the Ford Windsor Engine Plant expires in September.
Recently, we reported on a rumor that the next-gen Ford Edge has been cancelled, and that Ford was planning on moving Nautilus production to China in 2023. Since the two platform mates are the only vehicles currently produced at the Oakville Assembly Plant, that would obviously leave the facility and its 4,000 employees with a murky future.
The report also suggested that the Edge would live on in China. Currently, it’s produced not only at the Oakville plant, but also at the Ford Changan Hangzhou Assembly Plant for that market, so producing the Lincoln Nautilus alongside it would make a lot of sense.
Recently, we spoke with Sam Fiorani, Vice President of Global Vehicle Forecasting at Automotive Forecast Solutions (AFS), who believes that one solution to the issue in Oakville could come in the form of government assistance, noting that it may be tied to having FoMoCo retool the plant for electric vehicle production.
However, Fiorani also noted that there are no signs that Oakville is on the list of Ford plants slated to produce electric vehicles. On the question of how likely a retooling effort for Oakville might be, Fiorani said that “it’s a long shot, but you have to play the game in order to win the big pot.”