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Lincoln Looks at Options for Chinese Production

Ford luxury brand initially will face steep import duties.

by on Aug.22, 2013

Ford EVP Joe Hinrichs at a factory opening during his time as Asia/Pacific chief.

Lincoln will rely on imports when it launches sales in China next year but it is also considering the option of producing vehicles in the booming market, according to a senior Ford Motor Co. executive.

The maker also will offer products tailored specifically to China – which means at least some models will get larger back seats than are currently offered on U.S. Lincoln products.

Relying on American-made products has a number of advantages, at least initially, Ford Executive Vice President Joe Hinrichs told, including the ability to “establish the brand at an appropriate pace without the pressure of manufacturing which would force us to (try to) sell a lot.”

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But the downside is that Lincoln will initially face “pretty substantial duties,” which can run as high as 140% on some models. The hope is that increasingly affluent Chinese luxury car buyers will be willing to absorb the extra cost. There is a “strong desire” to purchase international brands even if they cost more, asserted Hinrichs, who until recently served as Ford’s top executive for the Asia/Pacific region.


Desperate for Turnaround, Daimler Names New China Chief

Mercedes slipping behind rivals in booming Asian market.

by on Dec.14, 2012

Daimler's new China chief, Hubertus Troska.

Daimler AG, in a move underscoring the growing importance of China to the company’ future, has named a new chief executive in charge of its operations in China and appointed him to the company’s Board of Management.

Hubertus Troska, 52, will become chief executive officer and Chairman of Daimler Northeast Asia responsible for all of Daimler’s strategic and operating activities in China.

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The timing is particularly significant considering the company has slipped in sales behind arch rivals Audi and BMW. Mercedes has had to resort to sometimes massive incentives to prop up its products this year.