Ford’s Lincoln brand is considered an iconic marque with 97 years of automotive history. Certainly, it is not a new-timer in the field of luxury auto business. But in China, Lincoln is considered as a startup, albeit a large one. Lincoln recently unveiled a new concept vehicle as well a new retail vision. It will initially open eight stores in seven cities this fall, and plans to expand that network to 20 by the end of 2014.
Two years later, Lincoln plans to operate 60 stores in 50 cities across. The brand said its dealerships will offer a new brand of customer service called “The Lincoln Way” that be built around relationships, not transactions.
Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales, service and Lincoln, in a statement, that Lincoln’s success in China is key to their efforts to build it into a global luxury brand. Matt VanDyke, director for Global Lincoln, remarked that the brand in China has their full attention in product development.
For instance the MKX Concept that was unveiled at the Beijing auto show was developed with extensive input from Chinese consumer clinics. VanDyke said. The MKX Concept previews the next generation MKX mid-sized crossover, which arrival has yet to be announced by Lincoln officials.
Lincoln’s Chinese dealerships will initially offer just two vehicles -- the MKZ sedan and the MKC compact crossover – and will be followed by the Navigator next year. The Navigator will be followed by other vehicles including possibly a large sedan.
Lincoln’s expansion in China will use its retail playbook developed in the US, with a strong focus on customer service techniques derived from boutique luxury hotels.