Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln has no plans to enter the Australian market for the foreseeable future as the American company sets its focus on China and the U.S.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the Lincoln stand at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the company’s recently appointed president, Kumar Galhotra, said that while the brand is in 20 markets already it has no plans for right-hand drive production.
“At this moment we don’t have any plans to enter… We are focused on North American markets and the Chinese markets.”
Lincoln has set its sights for even greater expansion in the United States and China. The historic nameplate opened an impressive nine stores in China last year (now up to 11), all of which, Galhotra says, have outperformed their sales targets.
Lincoln sold about 100,000 units in 2014, but it plans to triple that figure to 300,000 units by 2020, focusing solely on North American and Chinese markets.
It’s only once those two markets have been catered to that Lincoln would even consider expanding into Europe and right-hand drive markets.
Lincoln’s plans differ significantly from that of Cadillac, with that brand having set its sights on right-hand drive markets before 2020.
The company launched the Lincoln Continental concept at the New York auto show (pictured), a luxury large sedan that Galhotra says will reinvent the brand and set the design direction going forward.
Lincoln hopes to enter markets such as the Middle East and South Korea going forward, but no cars currently on sale or being engineered for the future are designed for right-hand drive markets.
“None of them are right-hand drive at the moment, but you never say never. But it’s a question of where our priorities lie at the moment.”
The demise of locally-manufactured Fords in Australia has already seen the end of the Fairlane line in 2007, and with Lincoln having no plans for an Australian assault, the local market for luxury American cars (regardless of how niche) remains an open canvas for Cadillac, and to a lesser extent, the already established Chrysler brand.