Ford China appoints a new president of Lincoln China

April 1, Ford China announced that Jia Mingdi will take over as the president of Lincoln China from today, reporting to Mr. Wu Shengbo, the president and CEO of Ford China, and Dianne Craig, the global president of Lincoln. The current president of Lincoln China, Zhu Meijun, will officially retire on May 1. In the next month, Zhu Meijun will report to Wu Shengbo as a senior advisor and assist in the smooth handover of work.

Ford China introduced that Zhu Meijun has been working for Ford Motor for 28 years. Previously, he served as the executive vice president of Lincoln China, the vice president of marketing of the National Sales and Service Organization of Changan Ford, and the sales director, mainly responsible for the sales, after-sales service, and network development of the Lincoln brand in China. In September 2022, Ford China announced that Zhu Meijun would replace Mao Jingbo as the president of Lincoln China, reporting to Chen Anning, the president and CEO of Ford China, and Joy Falotico, the global president of Lincoln. Ford China said, “We thank Zhu Meijun for his outstanding contributions to the business development of Ford Motor in China, the Asia-Pacific region, and the Lincoln brand in China over the past 28 years.”

The successor, Jia Mingdi, is a “native” of SAIC. He has been working in the SAIC system for more than 26 years. It is understood that Jia Mingdi joined SAIC Volkswagen in 1998, and in 2010, he was born as the executive general manager of the marketing and sales department of SAIC Volkswagen and the general manager of SAIC Volkswagen Sales Co., Ltd. During Jia Mingdi’s reign at SAIC Volkswagen, the sales volume of SAIC Volkswagen rose from 1.15 million in 2011 to 2.06 million in 2018, and it won the sales championship of the passenger car market for four consecutive years. However, since 2019, with the outbreak of the Passat China Insurance Research Institute crash test incident, and the upward breakthrough of domestic independent brands, Jia Mingdi’s career at SAIC has also begun to change.

In 2021, SAIC Audi was finally landed, and Jia Mingdi was transferred to the executive vice general manager of the SAIC Audi Sales Business Unit, striving to lead Audi to start again. However, the development of the SAIC Audi brand has not been smooth. After the first model A7L was launched, the sales were cold. In 2022, the annual sales were 3,801 vehicles, and in 2023, the sales were 20,239 vehicles. Since then, the mass-produced Q5 e-tron and Q6 could not live up to the expectations. In March 2023, Yang Siyao, then the secretary of the Party Committee of SAIC Volkswagen Sales Co., Ltd. and the executive director of the SAIC Volkswagen Volkswagen Brand Marketing Business Unit, took over Jia Mingdi’s position in Audi. After that, Jia Mingdi began to “lose his voice” in the market, and there were internal rumors that he was sidelined without real power or looking for a new way out to change jobs.

Returning to Lincoln China, how to lead Lincoln to get on the right track in the Chinese market will be the main task of Jia Mingdi in the future. As the luxury brand of Ford Motor, Lincoln started the process of localization in 2020, and successively localized the Lincoln Adventurer, aviator, and navigator, and launched the first sedan, the Lincoln Z. After localization, Lincoln’s sales soared, and it emerged in the second-tier luxury brands, winning the favor of many consumers with excellent sales performance and brand image. In 2021, the sales of Lincoln in China exceeded 90,000 vehicles, surpassing the United States to become the brand with the largest sales volume. Afterwards, with the change of the market environment and the rise of competitors, the product and brand advantages of Lincoln were continuously weakened. At the same time, due to the relatively lagging layout in the electric vehicle market, the lack of timely response to market changes and effective adjustments, it led to the gradual loss of its advantages in the competition.

In the face of this situation, the future prospects of Lincoln have attracted much attention. How to find its own positioning and advantages in the market competition has become an important issue for the new leader of Lincoln. To re-rise in the Chinese market, Lincoln must comprehensively enhance its product strength, brand strength, and service strength, keep pace with the times, and constantly innovate to win the trust and support of consumers. With the acceleration of the electrification and intelligence process of China’s auto industry, Lincoln will also face more severe challenges in the electric age, and it lacks sufficient competitiveness compared with its competitors. Whether Lincoln can replicate its achievements in the era of fuel vehicles will also be a question for the successor, Jia Mingdi.

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