Ford Motor Co.’s compact and subcompact crossovers like the Escape/Kuga and EcoSport were the main drivers for the carmaker’s growth in the global market, disclosed Ford marketing chief Jim Farley. Farley said that their global No. 1 vehicle was the Escape/Kuga, followed by the EcoSport. “Together they had about half-million-unit growth for us,” he said.
He disclosed that global sales of the Escape/Kuga compact twins and the EcoSport subcompact both surged by over 200,000 units last year. Farley remarked that the F series was a distant third. According to him, consumer’s shift to crossovers is one of the most significant global trends, and it was attributable to consumers outside North America.
Farley believes Ford is well positioned to take advantage of this shift. “Something is really changing in our industry, and it’s not just one market but everywhere.” He noted that when it comes to body styles, “crossovers and utilities are becoming the dominant silhouette.”
He remarked that other body styles took much longer to gain a foothold while crossovers have grown more rapidly in the past decade and a half. He noted that in 2000, there were only 180 crossover nameplates from all carmakers.
The figure surged to 370 in 2014. Farley expects global industry crossover sales to leap from around 15 million units in 2013 to around 20 million by 2018. He said that over 90 percent of that growth will be contributed by markets outside North America. The shift in consumer preferences has helped Ford post a 37-percent rise in sales of SUVs and crossovers globally to 1.2 million in 2013. [source: automotive news - sub. required]