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.
LOS ANGELES — Book by Cadillac, a subscription service that General Motors put on hiatus in late 2018, will return early next year with a new direction, said Deborah Wahl, GM's chief marketing officer.
Speaking Tuesday at the J.D. Power/NADA AutoConference L.A. here, Wahl said the first dealers will begin piloting the revamped program in February. While she did not go into details, she promised greater "convenience, flexibility and value for potential subscribers."
Wahl, who in September was named GM's first global CMO in seven years, said the program would be better integrated with Cadillac's dealer network, and said that Dublin Cadillac in California would be among the first to test the new program.
"We do still see a lot of interest from consumers in finding different ownership models, but the right price, value, how we do that, how we bundle those services is what we're working on," Wahl told Automotive News in an interview earlier this year. She did not discuss pricing on Tuesday.
The first Book by Cadillac program, launched in 2017, allowed customers to pay a $1,800 monthly fee that covered insurance and maintenance costs. Subscribers could swap in and out of Cadillac vehicles with no long-term commitment.
Wahl said the learnings from that program were significant. Roughly 70 percent of users, she said, were conquest customers new to Cadillac.
"There's really no one-size-fits-all solution for personal transportation," she said.
Wahl's presentation Tuesday focused on how she is attempting to help GM stay ahead of consumer preferences. She cited another Cadillac initiative, Super Cruise, as a technology customers may not have asked for, but loved.
The hands-free driver-assist system was launched in 2017 on the CT6. The luxury brand plans to expand it to the CT5 starting in 2020 before ultimately adopting the technology throughout its lineup.
Wahl said 85 percent of Super Cruise users are either interested in trying it again or say they have to have the feature on their next vehicle. To date, customers have driven 4.3 million miles with the feature enabled, she said.
It's one piece of GM's ambitious quest to reach zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.
"Over time," Wahl said. "the status quo solves absolutely nothing."