Ford says Escape and EcoSport were main global growth drivers

Article by Anita Panait, on February 19, 2014

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.

At present, Ford has a number of manufacturing facilities around the world that includes South American, Thailand, and India. The brand revealed that it will also be putting up a facility in China which will manufacture the production version of the new EcoSport. This fuel-efficient and compact urban SUV is set to make its worldwide debut during the 2012 Auto China held in Beijing. With this, customers in China will now be able to see that instead of limiting themselves to small cars, sports utility vehicles are in fact a good alternative.

EcoSport has excellent fuel efficiency as part of having a compact footprint as well as showing maneuverability and agility. In addition, the new EcoSport also brings with it a more robust character, a confident stance, and a high driving position. Without a doubt, this model is the best choice when it comes to the city, whether driving for play or driving for work.

This latest offering from Ford will come with a wide range of powertrain solutions. One of these will be the cutting-edge EcoBoost 1.0-liter engine that was developed to serve as the new standard in fuel efficiency. The Ford SYNC driver connect system is offered as well and this time, it will have voice control. Aside from the various innovative features, the interior offers comfort and the right amount of space. Present as well are the new levels when it comes to craftsmanship with refinement and quietness guaranteed to be remarkable. On the exterior, the design is made more modern and aerodynamic as the goal was to enhance fuel economy. Overall, the EcoSport has craftsmanship, features, and smart customers that customers would not expect to come from this class.

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