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Ford readies Lincoln launch in China by 2014 (2)

(China Daily)

08:13, August 29, 2012

To succeed in China, Ford said it will slowly court dealers who can help burnish Lincoln's image. Ford is also in the early stages of reviving the brand's stale image in the United States, where sales peaked two decades ago.

Ford will launch a refashioned MKZ sedan in the United States this year in a bid to attract younger, more affluent buyers. Much of the design, including push-button transmission, was influenced by Chinese consumer tastes.

"We're trying to revitalize the Lincoln brand image and the sales and satisfaction image in the US," said Dave Schoch, Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China. "Here we have a clean sheet of paper. We don't have the legacy issues."

Despite slowing growth in new vehicle sales, China has already overshot the United States as the world's largest auto market. By 2020, analysts expect luxury sales in the country will surpass those in the United States.

By 2015, Ford aims to double its production capacity and dealers in China. Executives, including Chief Executive Alan Mulally, flew to Ford's manufacturing hub in Chongqing earlier this week to mark the groundbreaking of a third assembly plant.


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