Ford Motor Co. will produce a three-row version of the Ford Edge for China as the carmaker tries to take advantage of the growing SUV market in the country. This was disclosed by Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service, on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show. He said Ford will assemble the Edge in China with sales set to commence next year.
According to a Ford spokesman, the three-row Edge will be around 16 inches longer than the typical Edge that is being produced from Oakville, Ontario. Ford currently sells only the two-row Edge for the rest of its markets.
The arrival of the China-built Edge next year will mean that Ford will be offering three vehicles with three rows of seats -- Edge, Explorer and Everest. According to Farley, Ford is on pace of achieving over 1 million in sales in China this year, marking a new record for the carmaker.
As for the decision to offer the Edge in Chine, Farley said that the demand for SUVs are “exploding” in China, as evidenced by a 485-percent rise in sales since 2008. Farley expects China to become the largest SUV market in the world by 2018.
2015 Edge, now using the same global foundation as the renowned Fusion that launched in North America in 2012, will provide the self-assured, smooth drive experience expected from Ford.
The new Edge had almost every detail remade, with the customer always in mind. With the most rigid structure ever and a suspension tuned to the utmost in global benchmarks, the 2015 Edge is an advanced utility that offers a special drive experience that customers will sense from the first moment they get behind the wheel.
Vital to the better drive dynamics is a completely new body framework and redesigned front and rear suspension, developed precisely to isolate road imperfections better and absorb noise with no compromises to handling.
The FWD Edge keeps its MacPherson-type front suspension, but it has a completely new, high-level integral-link independent rear suspension with coil springs and a 23-mm anti-roll bar. This advanced new system will deliver a more vibrant, interactive ride that customers will sense instantly.
Partly thanks to the greater high-strength steel use, the solid all-new Edge body structure provides a much better platform for the new suspension. Unlike the 2014 Edge, the new model has a 26% increase in rigidity when responding to bending forces and a 16% increase when responding to twisting ones.
This results in less noise, vibrations, and harsh characteristics, providing Edge customers a more silent, more substantive ride. This means that the Edge is completely appropriate for everyday commuting, but it is ready to open up as the road does.