Lincoln Motor Company President: 'We are very committed to US manufacturing'

The 2017 Lincoln Continental, which is hitting showrooms now, represents the best that Lincoln has to offer, according to Lincoln President Kumar Galhotra.

Lincoln parent company Ford (F)—which has whittled down from from being a house of brands to focusing on its core models in the Ford and Lincoln families.

And Lincoln’s advertising campaign—including its commercials featuring Matthew Mcconaughey—has become very popular. The company just launched a new campaign with famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

“At Lincoln, we’re all about providing very warm, human experiences for our customers,” he said. “Annie’s not only takes great pictures but she creates this great narrative.”

“The car wakes up very gently. It’s kind of like a warm embrace from the car,” Galhotra said. “It puts down a welcome mat for you where you’re standing. The handles light up. As you touch the door handle, it opens just with a gentle touch. You don’t have to slam the door. It cinches quietly closed behind you. And then you get in the seat and the seat is phenomenal. We call it a perfect position seat. It actually reduces fatigue rather than cause it.”

And Galhotra added the recent headlight recall isn’t something that should concern consumers or investors.

“We’re in a very complex business. Occasionally there are issues like that,” he said. “Whenever something like this happens, we move very quickly to replace it and fix the cars for our customers as quickly as possible.”

China opportunity and US manufacturing

Galhotra explained that there is considerable upside for the company and the model in China.

“China has been doing fantastic for us. We launched there toward the end of 2014,” he said. “This year we’ve already sold more than 20,000.”

While General Motors’ (GM) Cadillac manufactures the majority of its vehicles sold to China in the region, Galhotra said Lincoln does not yet have plans to do so.

“We are very committed to US manufacturing,” he said. “Just in the past five years we’ve invested more than $12 billion here in the US, we’ve created more than 28,000 jobs. We are the automaker with the most number of employees in the US. We export more cars from the US to outside the US than anybody else. So all of those facts speak for themselves. We are very committed to US manufacturing.”

Ford CEO Mark Fields has defended his company against Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s criticisms against Ford for moving manufacturing plants outside the US.

“And as we grow the business in China, maybe at some point, it would be appropriate for us to build in China, but we are extremely committed to US manufacturing,” Galhotra said.

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