One of two vehicles built at Ford’s Oakville Assembly
Production could move to China or model could be dropped
The future of Lincoln’s midsize Nautilus crossover is in doubt, along with the future of the Canadian auto plant where it’s made, as a new report surfaces saying that production of that crossover at that plant is set to end in July of 2024.
The Lincoln Nautilus, formerly the MKX, is a midsize crossover paired with the Ford Edge, with both models being assembled at Ford’s Oakville, ON, plant. Now Ford Authority says it has learned that production of the Nautilus in Oakville will end in July of 2024. What happens next, the report says, isn’t clear. It suggests that production could move to China, and be imported for sale from there, or that it could cease to be offered in North America completely.
Ford is set to start contract negotiations with Unifor, the union representing most of the plant’s 4,600 employees, as their contract runs out next month. The Edge and the Nautilus/MKX have been built at the plant since 2007. That Oakville plant opened in 1953 and for a few early years built nearly every Ford vehicle sold in Canada.
The platform-sharing Edge is already built at Ford Changan Hangzhou Assembly Plant for sale in China, so it is likely the Lincoln could be built at the same facility.
Ford Authority has also reported a rumour that the next-generation of the Edge has been cancelled, meaning that the future of both vehicles could be in jeopardy. Both vehicles seem to be strong sellers, with the Edge posting around 140,000 sales in the US and 20,000 in Canada for each of the last four years, with the MKX/Nautilus performing similarly at around 30,000 and 3,200 annual sales in the two markets respectively over the same time period.
While this report pertains solely to Nautilus production, it would seem odd to move one and not the other. That could be a massive blow for the plant, which also recently lost production of the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT, as Ford would need to retool for an all-new model. Or, the automaker could be freeing up some space to build something new alongside the Edge.