New plant could open by 2020.

Fords wants to expand its presence in China through its Lincoln luxury division, a new report indicates.

“People with knowledge of the matter” told Bloomberg that the Blue oval automaker wants to make China the top market for Lincoln and also build a new export base for all Asian markets that sell the premium brand. Currently, the company is in talks with partner Changan Automobile Group about assembling the brand’s vehicles in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

It's not a big surprise, since in January this year, Matt VanDyke, then-director of Global Lincoln, said the marque could add a production line in China if volumes are large enough. According to the new information, if discussions with Changan go well, the first Lincolns to roll off the new assembly line could arrive in 2020.

Zhu Huarong, president of Chongqing Changan Automobile, briefly commented “there’s no detailed plan at the moment,” as still no agreement between the two companies has been reached on key questions.

Currently, all Lincoln vehicles are exported to China from North America and the new possible plant investment will be part of a major project to turn the country into the brand’s largest market on the globe.

Source: Bloomberg via Automotive News

Be part of something big