FORD LOOKS TO INCREASE ITS STABLE OF SUVS TO FILL IMMINENT GAP
Ford New Zealand has announced it will be launching the Edge here in 2018, but the final name of the medium-sized SUV is still to be decided.
Managing director Simon Rutherford announced this week that the Edge will join the EcoSport, Kuga and Everest in its new SUV lineup.
Production of the Australia-built Territory medium-sized SUV is soon to cease, so the global brand is looking at replacements.
Launched late last year, the seven-seater Everest is already selling as many units as the Territory, Rutherford told Driven.
SUVs continue to dominate the local market, accounting for about 37 per cent of new vehicle sales, with a prediction that by 2018 this segment will account for more sales than passenger vehicles.
“We are also seeing people moving around in the [SUV] segment … so we’re not going to see one direct replacement for the Territory,” Rutherford said.
Available in North America and Europe, the Edge also looks set to also move into the Territory territory.
But it is not confirmed that the Edge will have its current badge when it goes on sale here.
“Toyota owns the right to the Edge name,” Rutherford said, “so we can’t disclose what it will be at this point. We are exploring all the options, one of which is the Edge, if not a local name.”
Driven asked if that local name could be Territory.
“That is one of the options we need to look it, we have to understand all the options around it. That’s on the table and maybe an option, but to be decided,” he said.
The Falcon will also cease production soon but Ford has no plans to replace the large sedan, with customers moving in SUVs and utes, said Rutherford, and the Mondeo would account for sedan buyers.
Ford NZ has also confirmed updates to the Kuga and EcoSport, plus that the 2017 Ranger XL ute will now have rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, to comply with the new health and safety regulations, said Rutherford.
The facelifted Kuga will be on sale early next year with a front-wheel-drive petrol version available for the first time. The upgraded EcoSport will be launched in late 2017.
Early next year Ford will also be offering automatic transmission Transit Custom, Transit Custom Tourneo and Transit Cargo 350L vans.