Ford waits for an Edge

Herald Sun - Motoring - - NEWS - Joshua Dowl­ing

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.

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