Ford waits for an Edge
FORD will not have a direct replacement for the locally made Falcon sedan and Territory SUV when production at Broadmeadows ends in October, leaving a large gap in its showrooms.
The homegrown Territory SUV has been a family favourite over the past 12 years, while the Falcon sedan will be replaced by the smaller Mondeo, a Toyota Camry competitor.
Ford’s next-generation SUV, the Edge, won’t arrive in Australian showrooms until 2018. Even then it won’t be available as a family sevenseater, the variant that has accounted for the majority of Territory sales. The Explorer seven-seater, one of Ford’s topsellers in the US, has not been designed for right-hand drive.
Ford fans who want a sevenseat SUV will be obliged to step up to the heavy-duty Everest, which is based on a rugged ute rather than a car-like platform.
The move is at odds with the rest of the automotive world. Over the past decade buyers have shunned heavy-duty 4WDs, shifting to SUVs that look like an off-roader but are in fact based on a car design.
But Ford will not have a car-derived, full-size SUV for at least a year after the last Territory is sold.
“For us that was the best time, the most opportune time to procure the vehicle and launch (Edge) into the market,” says Ford Australia boss Graeme Whickman.
“We are a part of a big global entity and therefore there are a lot of challenges in terms of where we source vehicles from. With all that considered, this was the best time for us to launch the product, about a year or so (after Territory is sold out),” he says.
The delay may frustrate intending family buyers. The Edge is already made in righthand drive in Canada and sold in Britain.
Carsguide understands Ford Australia is waiting for the updated Edge due in 2018 but it still will not have a seven-seat option.
Despite the countdown to their final days, the Falcon and Territory still account for 15 per cent of Ford Australia sales so far this year. Without immediate replacements for the mainstay models, buyers wanting to update to the same type and size of car will need to look elsewhere.