2013 Lincoln MKZ - front three-quarter view

Automotive News reports Lincoln is looking to Chinese luxury shoppers for customer service ideas. Those notions may eventually make their way back to the US in the form of new dealership training. Jim Farley, the executive vice president of global marketing for Ford, tells Automotive News, "In many ways, China will be a listening post for Lincoln in the United States. Soon China will be the largest luxury market in the world." Farley also said that in China, the Lincoln brand is currently where Lexus was when the Japanese brand first landed in the US.

Lincoln is slated to open its first Chinese dealerships in 2014. The brand is largely unknown in Asia, and Lincoln representatives have been visiting other luxury dealers in China for an idea of what buyers there expect. Lincoln has also studied non-automotive luxury shopping, paying special attention to high-end retail branding.

Of course, this whole song and dance feels awfully familiar. Lincoln has focused heavily on remaking the brand and recrafting its marketing here in the States, thus far without sufficient product to back the play. Lincoln is already late to the China game, and without the necessary products to lure buyers away from established bodies like Buick and Cadillac, Lincoln may be doomed to repeat its fate here in the US.