In response to the trend of buyers in Europe gravitating towards road-biased SUVs instead of conventional hatches and estates, Ford is now planning to offer the U.S. market Edge into Europe in 2014. The current Ford Edge, a mid-size SUV, is primarily available in North and South America, where it competes with many models including the Nissan Murano and Dodge Journey.
It is also available in China and Russia. Production of the next-generation model will begin late in 2014 and will be built on the mid-size platform. It’s not certain yet whether this is built on the development of the CD391 platform that underpins the new Ford Mondeo or if it will have an all-new architecture.
With this new platform, Ford will be able to build it for right-hand drive and European-friendly powertrains, which translates to diesels. Its main engines now are V6 petrols and a 2.0-litre EcoBoost. According to Jim Farley, Ford sales and marketing boss, the expanding European SUV market is an exceptional opportunity for Ford. Farley said that when it comes to SUVs, Ford is a stand-out in terms of expertise, global portfolio and credibility.
The current Ford Edge still lords over its segment in the United States in terms of sales. High demand for the vehicle has been recorded in Southern California, where nearly a quarter of five-passenger medium utility vehicles sold this year is a Ford Edge. Its 23-percent market share in Southern California makes the Ford Edge have the top-selling five-passenger utility vehicle in the area, as per Ford analysis of retail registration data from R.L. Polk.
In the national level, Ford has seen its overall utility sales surge 12 percent year-on-year through October. At this pace – considering it won’t change in the last two months of year -- Ford would become the best-selling utility brand in the US for three consecutive years in 2013. Such position is expected to remain unchanged through the end of the year, especially since Ford is outselling its closest rival by around 32 percent through October.
Now, the new Edge Concept is laden with an array of driver-assist technologies and semi-automated features – serving as indication the Ford is planning to offer smarter and more capable vehicles in future. Interestingly, the sensor-based technologies found in the Edge are expected to serve as the basis of the future of automated driving. These new technologies should make Ford’s future vehicles safer and more efficient to drive.
Raj Nair, Ford group vice president of global product development, described the current pace of change in vehicle technologies as unprecedented, with the carmaker’s engineers are now working to further advance the systems that could help driving much safer, more efficient and smarter. Nair said that Ford intends to continue delivering technologies consumers that want and need like its advanced engine, collision avoidance systems and automated driving technology.