Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln luxury brand began taking orders for its first locally produced model, the Corsair crossover, launching a renewed, multi-year plan to boost flagging sales by building more vehicles in China.
The Corsair, produced at Ford’s joint venture with Changan Automobile Co. in the southwest China municipality of Chongqing, is available in front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
The starting price of the front-wheel drive version is 248,000 yuan ($35,632) while that of the four-wheel drive variant is 305,000 yuan, according to Lincoln’s China unit.
It is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The vehicle is 4,615 mm long, 1,887 mm wide and 1,630 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,711 mm.
The locally built Corsair will hit showrooms in March, Lincoln’s China unit said.
Lincoln disclosed plans in 2018 to launch a locally produced model in China in each of the following three years.
Local production allows automakers to avoid paying China’s 15 percent levy on imported cars and light trucks in addition to modifying vehicle exteriors and interiors to suit local tastes.
Lincoln sells six imported models in China – the Navigator SUV, the Aviator, Nautilus and MKC crossovers, and the Continental and MKZ sedans.
In the first three quarters of 2019, Lincoln’s China sales dropped 15 percent to 33,692, well below the market’s top luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Lexus and Cadillac.
Ford Motor, which only discloses quarterly sales, hasn’t released Lincoln’s China sales for the fourth quarter of 2019.