How Lincoln's China plan aids U.S. dealers
February 11, 2013
by Bradford Wernle
Lincoln's decision to enter China might seem tangential to the success of the brand's U.S. dealers. But Bill Knight, chairman of the Lincoln National Dealer Council for 2013, sees a clear connection. When Lincoln said in August that it would enter China in 2014, "that was very exciting," says Knight, who owns Bill Knight Lincoln in Tulsa, Okla. "That means we can get our own platforms."
Every dealer hopes, he says, that Lincoln's sales in China, the world's largest auto market, will provide "the scale to lead us down that path. Today, from a dollars and cents standpoint, the volume can't justify such a program."
Lincoln has not talked about future products beyond 2014. The MKZ is arriving in dealerships now. At the Detroit auto show last month, Lincoln showed the MKC Concept, a compact crossover that is expected to arrive in 2014. The MKX crossover will follow, along with redesigns of the MKS sedan and Navigator SUV. Those vehicles share platforms with Ford-brand vehicles.
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