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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
While we have all seen pictures of the new concept for Lincoln dealerships in China, it's always nice to visit and person and see how it translates to real life. I was able to get there last weekend for a visit, and come away very impressed. After seeing the photos and reading about Lincoln's China concept I knew they were onto something, and the showroom shows very well...


The Lincoln store isn't in a particularly busy or automotive area, but has decent visibility from an elevated roadway in front. What's refreshing is how simple and elegant the design of the building is; in general, the Chinese aren't known for their architectural restraint, so this store is pleasing to the eyes. I'm not sure if this dark brown is a Lincoln 'thing', but it works very well, both inside and out.



Before I even got to the building I saw three transport trucks full of MKZs and MKCs being unloaded! This is the first time I've seen either in the flesh, and there was a whole range of colours. I know some love and some hate these cars; I for one find them very sharp, and especially love the rear 3/4 view of the sedan.

The store is large, with lots of open space. A doorman greets you at the door and opens it for you, and a woman was sitting at the reception desk for any questions. What I REALLY liked was that they were available but not pushy; I HATE being chased around a store, and that is very common in China. The receptionist is right beside the Lincoln waterfall; obviously a picture doesn't do it justice, but it's really very impressive. There's an old Lincoln car as you enter to, so right from the beginning you get the feel of the 'Lincoln Legend'. A gentleman came to see me but couldn't really speak English; he was able to say that he could get an English speaker for me if I needed one, which was a nice touch.





The dealership is arranged in two major rows; for now there is the front row with MKZs, and the second with MKCs. In-between are many small lounges, with chairs and tables. At first the low ceiling height struck me as odd, but I very quickly realised that it was to create a cosy and intimate atmosphere, and it works. The sedans were on a raised platform, so they truly are on display, but everything was unlocked and powered up to see the lights.







There is Lincoln branding everywhere, but it's very tasteful. I loved the huge logo in the middle of a wood-paneled wall; just the logo, nothing else. They clearly really want to make their mark. There were even some display cases selling discrete hats and wallets, all with the Lincoln name or logo, but nothing garish or tacky. There were rows of private glassed rooms for hammering out a deal, and a back office in the far corner. I even got a view of the repair bays, where several shrink-wrapped Lincolns were clearly undergoing inspection.





In all of the small sitting areas there are old Lincoln ads and pictures and slogans; there's no doubt as to the 'heritage' angle they are trying to play. I think that it works well; even if you have never heard of Lincoln, you come away at least understanding the brand's focus.



The coolest thing to me was the huge interactive screen. A giant touchscreen is built into a table, and it faces an even bigger display screen. The touchscreen works like most automotive 'build your own' websites: you pick the model and colour and options you want, and can rotate the vehicle and see different colours. You also see the price and details of the options. Only the image of the car is projected onto the screen, which is very slick; you don't see all the other info, just a gigantic picture of the car. The system is quite responsive, and the 3D image is very smooth when it's rotating. You can also go up and down to see the car from different high and low viewpoints (it doesn't simply rotate 360 degrees).



I had to wait my turn to play, as a young couple was there ahead of me. You can choose English or Chinese, and the display is very simple to use. One unexpected feature was the swatches. Samples of each exterior colour, seat fabric, leather, metal and wood finish is available on the wall behind the screen. You can look at an touch and compare them all, but you can also bring them to the touch screen and 'swipe' the electronic base across the screen at certain pages and the car updates to that choice! Smartphone-savvy Chinese people are going to LOVE this feature!



In the end I was enjoying myself so much that I forgot to take enough pictures. I also went with my Blackberry from 2007, so the picture quality is pretty embarrassing. I was also alone trying to manipulate the screen and film it, so the videos are pretty amateur hour! Sorry guys and gals; I will try to get back again soon and get some better quality images, because mine don't do the place justice.

So voilà, colour me impressed. I didn't see the word Ford once, so the general public is not going to guess this is anything but a stand-alone American luxury brand. I know the Lincoln back story and baggage, but I really do think the MKZ and MKC have the looks, the features, and just as importantly the top-notch dealership experience to make a few fans in China.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Now for a couple negative points, as there always will be... it might be because they didn't have much stock until now, but there were two white MKCs and two burgundy and one white MKZ; they REALLY need to get a variety of colour in the showroom!

They also need some landscaping outside. The building is very attractive, but the parking lot in front is simple asphalt. A few trees and flowerbeds to break up the stark blacktop would be nice. There are some trees out by the road, but right in front of the building it's a bit bland.

Finally, I didn't think to get a picture, but off to the left as you arrive is a small Nissan dealership! It's a boring gray building tucked off to the side, but it has no place being there. They share an entrance, so I don't see how they could separate them, but Lincoln needs to buy up their store and use it for used cars as they become available or something like that, because it's confusing having it right there.

Oh, and I found the few Christmas decorations pretty tacky, but every store here does it, even the fancy ones, so I don't think most Chinese customers will bat an eyelash...
 

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Thanks, Paul! You did a wonderful job of showing us the "Lincoln experience" in China.

The vintage Lincoln right there in the showroom is a nice touch!
 

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Heritage. Mark coupe's pictures on the wall.

Is Lincoln omiting something in the process of rebirth?

I miss a personal luxury coupe from Lincoln...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
btw, do you happen to have a humongous version of the great-swatch-wall?

that kind of thing is irresistible to me
No, sorry, when I got home and saw my pics on the computer I was very disappointed; they're almost all washed out. I WILL go back with a better camera, I promise, and now that I have experienced the dealership I will be less distracted and take some more useful and clear photos. I'll check the address for the other Shanghai dealership that just opened and try to check it out. Should have time this weekend!
 

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^ hehehe

No, sorry, when I got home and saw my pics on the computer I was very disappointed; they're almost all washed out. I WILL go back with a better camera, I promise, and now that I have experienced the dealership I will be less distracted and take some more useful and clear photos. I'll check the address for the other Shanghai dealership that just opened and try to check it out. Should have time this weekend!
s'ok
and no apologies for your pix - - have you tried processing them with some software? imho they're fine

re: 'nother visit or dealer**
no rush imho but maybe ask them when they expect the Presidential trim ( [BL] ) models



** think I'm developing a 'complex' over Shanghai having 2 (TWO!)
and all of Nevada (other than greater Vegas) having NØNE
 

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Excelent photos and review. That picture of the MK Z rear end , with those whites rear lamps are interesting. The car looks futuristic and very different from all on the road
 

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This showroom is amazing. Wondering if this type of showroom will every make here in the states?? It elevates the perception of Lincoln.

Love that Mark IV picture on the heritage wall. Also, having a "classic" big (V-12 engine most likely) Lincoln from the 1930's on display really gets the message across of what a Lincoln should be.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys! I spend most of my car-time searching for sad old relics, and never pay much attention to new cars. It was therefore interesting for me to see just how far Lincoln dealerships have come! I don't see any reason not to duplicate this in the US, at least in big urban centers to start. Other car companies will be doing this touch-screen display soon, if they aren't already, so Lincoln should do all they can to be at the forefront and be known for it. Aside from the screens, though, it doesn't necessarily have to cost a fortune. It's not like Hummer's quonset huts that required every building be idential; Lincoln's new store interior design theme could be applied to any size and and shape store.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I posted the 1930's(?) Lincoln photo to The Classic Lincoln and Continental Appreciation Society @ facebook (with a link-back), asking for an ID: model/year
Just remembered that I had another picture, thought it's a bit dark...

(Can't access photbucket right now so I will just add it directly to FIN for now)

View attachment 10817

You're going to kill me, but I'm pretty sure there was an info plaque beside the car (you see the foot of it in the other pic); I was so excited to look at the car and take pics that I forgot to read or photograph the details! I definitely need to get back! And now I'm curious what classic Lincoln there will be in the other store...!!!
 

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Your right, some landscaping will help but that will come in due time. Those dealerships look old especially the Audi one in comparison to Lincoln.
 
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