Ford will almost double the number of SUV and crossover models available to North American buyers by 2020.
The move will see Ford rushing to add extra models that Australia mostly already gets. Of particular relevance in the plans is and all-new version of the Ford Edge due to arrive in 2021, arriving to replace the locally built Territory, which ended its production run with Ford's Australian Production shut down in October 2016.
According to newsagency Reuters, the extra models will equate to production from three assembly plants as Ford moves to boost utilization of its production facilities which are not currently running at capacity.
Three of the future models have been approved for production during the last two years and the move responds to continuing growth of SUV sales in North America where, last year, that segment accounted for almost 40 per-cent of total new car sales (up from 32.6 per-cent in 2014).
“SUVs are the top-selling segment in the U.S.,” revealed Ford’s North American vice president Mark LaNeve. “That is why we are introducing five new SUVs in the U.S. by 2020.”
A sixth new model will be a derivative for Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln.
Ahead of that, this year Ford will tackle the General Motors’ dominance (with the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban) of North America’s large SUV segment with the third quarter launch of both an updated Expedition model and its prestige stablemate the Lincoln Navigator.
The compact made-in-India Ford EcoSport (already sold in Australia) will join the North American lineup early 2018 and the following year Ford will launch both the all-new Bronco mid-size SUV plus an all-new electric compact SUV claimed to offer a range between battery re-charges of 300 miles (485kms).
The all-new Ford Explorer and its sibling, an all-new mid-size Lincoln - called either the Aviator or the MKD – are slated for launch in 2019.
According to Reuters, Ford is also developing new small SUVs based on the Focus and Fiesta platforms.
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