(Corrects day of the week in first graf)
BEIJING, April 17 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said on Thursday it plans to launch its premium Lincoln brand in China in October, when it will open eight stores in seven Chinese cities.
John Lawler, head of Ford's China operations, said Lincoln might be late to China's luxury boom but believes the country's upscale car market still has plenty of steam left for growth to make its debut worthwhile.
He said Ford plans to boost the number of Lincoln stores to 60 and push into a total of some 50 cities by 2016.
(Reporting By Norihiko Shirouzu)