Lincoln phenomenon study: what worries behind this glory
With the trend of consumption escalation continues to deepen, the premium car market has seen a spectacular rise in recent years, and has gradually become an important growth engine in the domestic car market. A group of "second-line brands" are unwilling fall behind, chasing the "big three"——Mercedes, BMW and Audi——in the premium car market。
In the “second line” group, Lincoln, which entered the Chinese market for the second time in 2014, have completed its 100,000th sale of vehicles in November 2017, and expected to sell nearly 60,000 units whole year.Lincoln have sold more cars than Infiniti, Acura and DS, which have been "localized" in the Chinese market for years.
In early December of 2017, Ford announced the "China 2025 plan" ,whitch is to deepen cooperation with China Changan Group on product introduction and localization. This includes "the implementation of the Lincoln brand to produce in China in 2019". Why did the Lincoln brand achieve sales in a short time，when other brands struggled to achieve? What are the lessons to be learned? Whether this means that the Lincoln plan will be as right as rain?
Recently, reporters of China Economic Net-Automotive Channel wrote a series report on "the Lincoln phenomenon" by visiting the market, interviewing industry experts, organizing and analysising data, aiming to analyze the development prospects of the Lincoln brand in the Chinese market, based on its brand sales, products, channels and other aspects.
The pace of Lincoln's introduction to the new model was tricky, every burst of the brand's sales growth has been influenced by the introduction of new models. Take the cumulative sales figures from January to November of 2017 for example, excluding Lincoln Continental——which was introduced on November 28, 2016——the growth rate of the other four models’ sales volume was 47.91 percent. In this way, the Lincoln brand, which didn’t introduce a new model in 2017, may see its growth rate fall next year.For now, the Lincoln brand has no SUV to introduce, as well the "new car effect" will end, these may be the challenge that the Lincoln brand has to face.
“Because it's not of quality issue, (Lincoln) can't provide me a car for temporary use, and it's a hassle for me”, a Lincoln owner said on BBS. “The carmaker now has more requirements for our performance, the sales target is the first task, and the mobility scooter service must give way to the test drive”a market personnel of Lincoln Shanghai 4S store revealed to the reporter.
To this end, the reporter of China Economic Net called the responsible person of Lincoln's China public relations department, but failed to get through; in the form of text message, he replied: "the problem is received, and we are following up the situation".
“With history as a mirror, you can know the rise and fall”,Lincoln's path to indigenization is more or less likely to find similarities between Cadillac and Infiniti: they both claim to be upmarket American brands, and have the same experience of coming to the Chinese market for the second time; they are similar vehicle type structure and both lack of product power……In a sense, Cadillac and Infiniti can be used as references for Lincoln's indigenization road.