While GM’s premium car brand, Cadillac, has been enjoying very healthy sales increases in the market, Ford decided to enter the luxury game as well – with its Lincoln upscale brand.
Ford itself is a late comer on the Chinese market, but that hasn’t stopped the US automaker from coming very close to the top three foreign brands podium lately – which makes the executives confident on their ability to also implement the premium brand.
According to John Lawler, head of Ford’s China operations, the carmaker plans to introduce eight Lincoln retail outlets in seven cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, beginning with October.
Ford was “excited about the potential opportunity” in China, he said, and while “the market might not grow at the same pace as before, but we still think there is a lot of growth left. The party isn’t quite over yet,” Lawler added.
“Culturally there’s a high degree of mistrust about what happens with service and if you take your car in for a service are you getting factory authorized parts,” said Matt VanDyke, Lincoln’s global director. “So, we’re going to be extremely transparent about how we conduct the service.”
After the first outlets, Ford later on aims to take the store number to 60, reaching a total of 50 cities by 2016. Ford is not the only one to arrive rather late in the premium market, as Nissan’s Infiniti and Honda’s Acura brand were also recently introduced.