Ford is reportedly in talks to begin manufacturing its luxury Lincoln brand in China, according to unnamed sources.
Bloomberg reports sources “with knowledge of the matter” saying that talks were in progress regarding using Chongqing as a manufacturing base to sell to the Chinese market. Michigan-headquartered Ford already makes cars there with partner Changan Automobile Group.
The company has only recently begun selling Lincoln in the Chinese market, where it has proved popular so far and sold 11,000 vehicles in its first year.
Production in Chongqing would serve the domestic market, avoiding a 25 per cent import tax, and use the same platforms as Ford vehicles already manufactured there.
“China’s high import tariffs act as powerful incentives, mandates really, to produce inside China,” Michael Dunne of consultancy Dunne Automotive told Detroit Free Press.
“It would be inconceivable for Ford not be in talks with Changan to build Lincolns in the People’s Republic. If the goal is to increase Lincoln sales, there’s no other option.”