Lincoln, Ford's luxury brand, has opened three dealerships in China as the brand works to grow by one new vehicle a year.
Marking Lincoln's first official presence in China, the dealerships opened today in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The stores will start out by selling the MKZ mid-size sedan and new MKC compact crossover, while the new MKX mid-size crossover and updated Navigator full-size SUV as well as a new full-size sedan will be available in China dealerships by 2016.
Ford spent three years developing a new dealership model for the stores to make luxury buyers feel at home. Known as "the Lincoln Way," the model implements such indulgences as a tea room and a spot where customers can watch their vehicles being fixed.
"The launch of The Lincoln Way and our first Lincoln stores in China marks an important milestone for Lincoln's reinvention as a global luxury automotive brand," Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln, said in a statement.
Lincoln plans to open five more stores in the world's biggest auto market by the end of 2014; the brand expects to have 60 stores in 50 cities altogether in less than two years. All of the new dealerships will use the Lincoln Way as their business model.
"Our extensive study of the new luxury customer in China revealed a unique opportunity for Lincoln in the luxury auto market," said Robert Parker, president of Lincoln China, as quoted by the Free Press. "As a new brand entering the market in China, Lincoln has a great opportunity to differentiate itself by combining great products with a new way of purchasing and owning a luxury vehicle."