Ford stakes Territory
Head office gives the all-Aussie softroader a future of at least five years, writes PAUL GOVER
THE troubled Ford Territory finally has a firm future. The all-Australian SUV is having a facelift and will eventually be upgraded with two new engines — the petrol V6 that is being installed in the FG Falcon from 2010 and a diesel.
The news comes from the top at the Ford Motor Company: global president Alan Mulally.
‘‘Well, we’re working on a facelift for the Territory as we speak,’’ Mulally says during a Melbourne briefing on everything in the Blue Oval world.
‘‘I think you already know we’re working on diesel engines for the Territory. So we have the Territory in our cycle plan.’’ The facelifted SUV should be in showrooms before the end of next year after the updating of the Falcon into the latest FG.
The changes will be based on the FG work, though Ford is not giving details, and it will include the first big body alterations since the Territory was introduced. The engine work will come later but it will get the Territory on to the same page as the Falcon and should also give it the diesel boost it needs to match other winners in the SUV class.
Territory sales have been affected by the same downturn that has stripped thousands of cars from the Falcon total, leading some people to question the vehicle’s future.
But Mulally says Ford is committed to the Territory — at least for the next five years.
‘‘It’s been a great product for Ford Australia. It shows the ingenuity of the team here and we’re still committed to it,’’ he says.
‘‘We’re committed to the Territory through the business plan period and our business planning arises in about five years. So we’ve committed to Territory through five years.’’
New life: good things are around the corner for the dated Ford Territory.