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Ford Motor pushes into China with luxury sedan

Ford Motor in China, Chinese market

Last April, Ford Motor announced with fanfare that it would reintroduce its storied Lincoln Continental luxury sedan, with an eye on sales in the expanding Chinese market. But now, as Ford prepares to put the Continental on the market, it faces a far different economic landscape.

去年4月,福特汽车公司高调宣布,将重新推出林肯大陆豪华轿车,瞄准不断扩张的中国市场。但现在,就在福特准备将大陆轿车投放市场之际,它面对的是一个完全不同的经济格局。

While the car is expected to bolster Ford's efforts to reinvigorate the Lincoln brand in the United States, its prospects in China are clouded by an upheaval in the stock market there and a general slowdown in auto sales.

虽然这款轿车将推动福特在美国重振林肯品牌,但它在中国的销售前景因为该国股市的动荡及汽车销售的总体放缓而变得暗淡。

At the unveiling of the production version of the Continental on Tuesday at the North American International Auto Show, Ford executives said they were undaunted by the economic troubles in China and were pressing ahead with their plans.

周二,在北美国际车展公布林肯大陆的量产车型时,福特高管们表示,他们,他们不畏惧中国的经济问题,依然在推进相关计划。

"We are in China for the long term," said Kumar Galhotra, the Ford executive in charge of the Lincoln division. "It's a very vibrant economy that's going to have short-term ups and downs."

"我们是要长期在中国发展的,"负责林肯品牌的高管库马尔·格赫特拉说。"这是一个充满活力的经济体,会出现短期起伏。"

He said Lincoln sales in China had grown steadily since the brand entered the market in November 2014. Last year, sales topped 11,000 vehicles, but Lincoln had limited recognition among most Chinese consumers.

他表示,自林肯品牌于2014年11年进入中国市场以来,其销售量稳步增长。去年的销售量超过了1.1万辆,但林肯品牌在大多数中国消费者中的认知度有限。

And despite the fluctuations in the Chinese stock market over the last six months and the ripple effect on wealthy car buyers, Mr. Galhotra said he had not seen any effect on the pace of sales.

尽管中国股市在过去六个月出现波动,在富有的购车者中激起了连锁反应,格赫特拉表示,他没有看到这对销售步伐造成什么影响。

"We are ahead both in our volume targets and our dealership targets," he said.

他说,"在自己的销售目标和经销商目标上,我们已经超出预期。"

In the United States, where it will also go on sale this year, the sedan has a long history, having epitomized elegance in the 1960s before it faded into obscurity and went out of production in 2002.

在美国,大陆轿车有着悠久的历史,在20世纪60年代曾是优雅典范,后来渐渐变得默默无闻,最终在2002年停产。福特今年将在美国继续出售这款轿车。

Ford sold 101,000 Lincolns in the United States last year, an increase of 7 percent from 2014.

去年,福特林肯汽车在美国的销售量达到10.1万辆,同比增长7%。

The model will be a notable addition to the brand's American lineup, but it is meant to be a linchpin in Ford's broader ambitions for the Lincoln in China.

这款汽车将会大大加强该品牌在美国的产品阵容,而它也注定成为福特实现在中国扩大林肯市场的雄心的关键。

So far, the company has 33 Lincoln dealers in China, with a goal of 60 by the end of the year. With the addition of the Continental, Lincoln will have five models available in China, which Ford's chief executive, Mark Fields, called "meaningful progress" for a fledgling brand.

到目前为止,该公司在中国有33家林肯经销商,福特计划在今年年底前扩展至60家。加上大陆轿车,福特在中国销售的林肯汽车将达到五款。福特首席执行官马克·菲尔茨称这对于一个新品牌来说是"颇有意义的进展"。

Because Ford dropped Continental from the Lincoln portfolio more than a decade ago, the company's designers had unusual freedom to update the vehicle's styling and image.

由于福特在10多年前将大陆轿车从林肯系列中去除,该公司的设计师拥有非同寻常的自由,可以修改这款轿车的款式和外观。

To that end, Ford chose to create a car designed as a quiet sanctuary from the outside world. Its designers went to great lengths to include creature comforts that distinguish the Continental from others in the crowded luxury sedan market, like seats that have individual leg adjustments and can provide a massage with the touch of a button.

为了实现目标,福特选择打造一款能够隔离外部世界以享受安宁的轿车。其设计师不遗余力地突显物质享受,使其有别于丰富多样的豪车市场中的其他轿车,比如大陆轿车的座位设有腿部调节器,按下按钮就可以享受按摩。

Mr. Fields said the car would find its own niche among more established models sold by BMW and Volkswagen's Audi brand. "We are not trying to out-German the Germans," he said.

菲尔茨表示,相对于宝马和大众奥迪旗下更受市场认可的车型,这款轿车将会找到自己的细分市场。他说,"我们不会去比德国人做得更德国。

One analyst said Lincoln could benefit from carving out a new identity in the luxury market.

一名分析人士表示,林肯品牌可以通过在豪车市场中开创新形象而获益。

"There is absolutely a place in the market for a vehicle that promises quiet luxury," said the analyst, Eric Lyman of the research firm TrueCar. "The challenge for Continental will be awareness and perception of the Lincoln brand."

"能够让人安享奢华的汽车在市场中绝对会占有一席之地,"研究公司TrueCar的分析人员埃里克·莱曼说。"对于大陆轿车来说,挑战在于人们对林肯品牌的了解和认知。"

2016-06-22

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