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Ford’s luxury Lincoln marque looks at expanding in lower-tier cities to boost sales
South China Morning Post


Ford Motor Company’s luxury Lincoln unit plans to expand into the western part of the mainland, as the latecomer to the world’s largest auto market accelerates its presence in the fast-growing premium vehicle segment.

Lincoln is looking to increase the total number of showrooms on the mainland to 100 this year from 72, according to Carrie Lin, its deputy general manager of consumer marketing in the country.

“We are setting our sights on third- and fourth-tier cities to bolster our brand awareness and give customers a first-hand experience of the vehicles,” she said.

“This proactive expansion of our sales network will continue for at least the next five years.”

We are setting our sights on third- and fourth-tier cities to bolster our brand awareness and give customers
a first-hand experience of the vehicles. This proactive expansion of our sales network will continue for at least the next five years
Carrie Lin, Lincoln’s deputy general manager of consumer marketing in China

Lin added that Lincoln has closely monitored trends in the Chinese auto market in its planning and will offer new models specifically tailored for it, which might include alternative-energy vehicles. The brand sold 32,558 vehicles on the mainland in 2016, a hefty 180 per cent increase on 2015.

Lincoln China president Amy Marentic said last year it was considering local production of its cars in its second-largest market after North America.

Some of the new dealers to be opened this year will in south-western or western parts of the mainland, such as Yunnan province.

Lincoln only launched in the market in 2014, and still lags far behind more-established global rivals such as General Motor’s Cadillac and BMW, both of which have vast sales networks spread across the country.

At the end of 2016, Lincoln had 65 showrooms and 7 so-called “branches,” a smaller version of an official dealership, generally located in central business districts.

This year it will add 15 stores to bring the showroom number to 80 and add 13 branches to bring the number of branches to 20.

Lin also said that Lincoln would embark on a “go-digital” programme to help not only bolster sales but offer customer-friendly services to drivers and potential buyers.

“China is the world’s front-runner in e-commerce and use of mobile internet technologies,” she said. “We are looking at a lot of things to better attract and serve Chinese people.”

One is better connectivity with mobile apps such as instant messaging services WeChat in vehicles, through their in-car entertainment systems, which have become practically compulsory for many buyers of up-market car models, most of whom are much younger than their counterparts in the west.

Five Lincoln products are available on the mainland including the small premium utility vehicle, the MKC, and full-size luxury SUV Navigator.

Local production would certainly give Lincoln another boost, to tap the mainland market in its efforts to compete against other luxury brands
Yale Zhang, managing director of industry researcher, Automotive Foresight


Lincoln-branded vehicles range in price from 300,000 to 1 million yuan. Lin says his marketing strategy for China is best described as “one-size-fits-one”, to show that it is determined to offer individualised products and services to different customer groups.

“We want to cater to different customer groups but fine-tune all our designs to give them the best experience possible,” he Lin. “We are very optimistic about the prospects for the luxury vehicle market in China.”

Vehicle sales climbed 15.6 per cent in the mainland during the first 11 months of 2016, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

“High-end cars grew at a pace twice or even triple that of the overall market,” said Yale Zhang, managing director of industry researcher, Automotive Foresight.

“Local production would certainly give Lincoln another boost, to tap the mainland market in its efforts to compete against other luxury brands,” added Zhang.

In terms of sales in 2016, five of Lincoln’s top 10 stores around the world are based in China.
 

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...Lincoln has closely monitored trends in the Chinese auto market in its planning and will offer new models specifically tailored for it, which might include alternative-energy vehicles...
bet China won't have to settle for JUST an ORDINARY HYBRID


...Lincoln China president Amy Marentic said last year it was considering local production of its cars in its second-largest market after North America...
...Lincoln-branded vehicles range in price from 300,000 to 1 million yuan. Lin says his marketing strategy for China is best described as “one-size-fits-one”, to show that it is determined to offer individualised products and services to different customer groups...
...“High-end cars grew at a pace twice or even triple that of the overall market,” said Yale Zhang, managing director of industry researcher, Automotive Foresight.
“Local production would certainly give Lincoln another boost, to tap the mainland market in its efforts to compete against other luxury brands,” added Zhang...
imho
when/IF they get to building vehicles in China, bet they'll offer EVERY DriveTrain That FITS in EVERY Model
compact-to-medium: 1.0 3cyl to largest v6
medium-to-large: 1.5 3cyl to new/small v8-Turbo
& ALL with electrification OnTop of those engines + pure BEVs

hmm... ...actually sounds like a LUXury Brand

 

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At the end of 2016, Lincoln had 65 showrooms and 7 so-called “branches,” a smaller version of an official dealership, generally located in central business districts.

This year it will add 15 stores to bring the showroom number to 80 and add 13 branches to bring the number of branches to 20.
I like this, those branches will get the job done without the major infrastructure needed for main dealerships.
I wonder if word of mouth and more actual presence in the market will increase sales just as quickly this year..

I have a very good feeling about the Chinese embracing the Continental....
 

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deliberately down-playing a recent article because IMHO they miss the point of How Much Lincoln accomplished in 2016
Lincoln ... Retail expansion will be less aggressive this year
AutomotiveNews(ish)

Michael Martinez - January 23, 2017

...Ford Motor Co.'s luxury brand exceeded its target by totaling 65 dealerships in dozens of Chinese cities by the end of last year. That's up from about 30 stores in the world's largest car market in 2015...
...Galhotra declined to say how many dealerships he wants in China by year end, but noted that the brand has reached most major cities, and is now focusing on smaller urban areas.
Lincoln's 65 dealerships helped it sell 32,558 vehicles there last year, triple the amount it sold a year earlier...

...At the end of 2016, Lincoln had 65 showrooms and 7 so-called “branches,” a smaller version of an official dealership, generally located in central business districts.

This year it will add 15 stores to bring the showroom number to 80 and add 13 branches to bring the number of branches to 20...
I like this, those branches will get the job done without the major infrastructure needed for main dealerships.
I wonder if word of mouth and more actual presence in the market will increase sales just as quickly this year..

I have a very good feeling about the Chinese embracing the Continental....
 

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I wouldn't mind seeing more Lincoln-branded Tesla-esque "stores" in various malls around the country here in the States.....I think they're doing this with the Lincoln Lounges, no? The Telsa store is always packed in the mall its in down here; it'd be interesting to see Lincoln have a mini store with a Continental, MKX, and (new) Navigator parked in there for shoppers to explore while at the mall - just as a different way to create some interest in the brand and introduce people to the new Lincoln. No sales procedure or vehicle inventory at the store - if they're truly an interested potential customer, you could hand them a brochure, and then direct them to a local dealer.
 

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Shoot, even hybrid MKZ and Continental would be a start, maybe even energi versions?
A much better option than diesel.
 

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...offer EVERY DriveTrain That FITS...
Shoot, even hybrid MKZ and Continental would be a start, maybe even energi versions?
A much better option than diesel.
well, the Z has a Hybrid &but since Fusion ALSO has an Energi, can't see why they doN'T do a MKZ-ENergi
but reallyREALLY would like to a Conti Plug-In!...MAX-battery!! ...if not also a BEV
:nerd:
I wouldn't mind seeing more Lincoln-branded Tesla-esque "stores" in various malls around the country here in the States...
...No sales procedure or vehicle inventory at the store - if they're truly an interested potential customer, you could hand them a brochure, and then direct them to a local dealer.
yeahBUT, I can see dealers raising a stink about favoritism - esp the worseR dealers

:angel
 

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Shoot, even hybrid MKZ and Continental would be a start, maybe even energi versions?
A much better option than diesel.
There is a Hybrid MKZ I own one :wink2:
 
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yeahBUT, I can see dealers raising a stink about favoritism - esp the worseR dealers

:angel
Favoritism how? Because the mall store would direct people to one dealer over the other?

I just mean the store would be there, and would tell the potential customer "oh we have dealer X, Y, and Z in this area that you can go visit to go on a test drive and purchase," not directing them to one specific dealer (I mean unless the customer says "I live here, which dealer is closest?").
 

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^ oh even just the locationLocationLOCATION of the Experience-store

( sorry, at first hit edit instead of quote :facepalm: )
I guess.....but they're not an actual dealer, so it's not like they're competing with said dealers. It'd just be an "experience" store to check out the vehicles. No discussion of purchase, no inventory, etc. - just have a store with two or 3 vehicles in it for people to look at, with a few employees to answer questions and as I said before, direct interested people toward an appropriate dealer. It'd just be another step in reinventing the brand's image to the general public, where they could see the brand's product, and that they're not your grandfather's old Town Car.
 
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