Mil­len­ni­als, global de­mand drive Ford’s SUV lineup growth

Ford sold more than 1.5 mil­lion SUVs last year around the globe

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Ford has a long his­tory of SUV lead­er­ship, with all-time favourite name­plates such as Es­cape, Edge, Ex­plorer and Ex­pe­di­tion set­ting the bench­marks for their seg­ments since their de­but. Hav­ing sold more than 1.5 mil­lion SUVs glob­ally last year and plans to in­tro­duce four all­new SUV’s in the next five years, Ford is sure to re­in­force that lead­er­ship.

“Cur­rently in the Mid­dle East and Africa, SUVs ac­count for 16 per cent of the in­dus­try share and fore­casts sug­gest a rise to 31 per cent by 2025,” said Kalyana Si­vagnanam, VP for Mar­ket­ing, Sales and Ser­vice, Ford Mid­dle East and Africa. “And with a con­tin­u­ous flow of class-lead­ing prod­ucts such as the re­cently launched all-new Ford Edge in the Mid­dle East re­gion, the up­com­ing in­tro­duc­tion of the all-new Ford Ever­est out of South Africa, and more on the way over the next five years, Ford is on track to grow its prod­uct of­fer­ings with an ex­ten­sive lineup of SUVs in the MEA re­gion.”

Ford helped cre­ate the SUV seg­ment with the Ex­plorer more than 25 years ago. Since then it has sold more than eight mil­lion glob­ally, or one ev­ery two min­utes. In the next five years, Ford’s SUV lineup will be com­pletely new or re­freshed, de­liv­er­ing smart tech­nolo­gies, en­hanced safety fea­tures, and su­pe­rior com­fort and ca­pa­bil­ity that em­power Ford SUV own­ers to go any­where, any­time.

Re­cent Ford re­search has shown that once mil­len­ni­als - an age group en­ter­ing their prime child-rear­ing years - be­gin think­ing about start­ing a fam­ily, their in­ter­est in shop­ping for SUVs is piqued sig­nif­i­cantly.

From the leg­endary full-size Ex­pe­di­tion to the mid-size Ex­plorer and Ever­est SUVs; the seven-pas­sen­ger util­ity Flex, to the small, chic Es­cape SUV, and the com­pact ur­ban EcoSport CUV, Ford is show­ing the strength of its global util­ity port­fo­lio. This packed sta­ble - lead by re­fined, boldlystyled new flag­ship CUV, the Ford Edge gives not only mil­len­ni­als, but also baby boomers, a full range of ex­cep­tional util­ity ve­hi­cles to choose from.

When launched a decade ago, Edge helped de­fine the cross­over sport util­ity ve­hi­cle seg­ment. With a car-based de­sign, Edge de­liv­ered bet­ter on-road com­fort, fuel ef­fi­ciency and over­all driv­ing dy­nam­ics than any truck-based SUV. It was proof a util­ity ve­hi­cle could meet the de­mand­ing needs of an ev­ery­day com­muter, and it soon be­came its seg­ment leader in the Mid­dle East.

The all-new Ford Edge has been re­made in al­most ev­ery sin­gle de­tail, al­ways keep­ing in mind the cus­tomer, who ex­pects some­thing pre­mium, pow­er­ful and spe­cial. With a struc­ture more rigid than ever and a sus­pen­sion tuned to the high­est global stan­dards, the Edge is a high-tech util­ity that de­liv­ers a spe­cial driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence cus­tomers will feel from their first mo­ments be­hind the wheel, and is primed to re­set the stan­dard in the two-row util­ity ve­hi­cle mar­ket.

Join­ing Edge is Ford’s sig­na­ture full-size SUV, Ex­plorer, a cen­tre­piece of Ford’s global util­ity ve­hi­cle lineup be­cause it de­liv­ers an ideal com­bi­na­tion of form and func­tion. In­tro­duced in 1990 as a 1991 model, Ex­plorer fea­tured gen­er­ous in­te­rior space cus­tomers were look­ing for, and was en­gi­neered specif­i­cally for peo­ple seek­ing ad­ven­ture for their fam­i­lies and a way to ex­press their in­di­vid­u­al­ity. And that’s still true to­day, with its pop­u­lar­ity un­wa­ver­ing as Amer­ica’s best-sell­ing three-row SUV.

Ford’s big­gest SUV, the Ford Ex­pe­di­tion, en­joys an ex­is­tence as a se­ri­ous con­tender in the Mid­dle East’s full-size SUV seg­ment and one of the most ca­pa­ble and safest SUV in its cat­e­gory. The lat­est model is the most pow­er­ful, fuel-ef­fi­cient Ex­pe­di­tion to date, with a 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 en­gine de­liv­er­ing 370PS and best-in-class torque. Cus­tomers ap­pre­ci­ate the space, per­for­mance, com­fort and ca­pa­bil­ity the Ex­pe­di­tion de­liv­ers for up to eight pas­sen­gers.

Es­cape is the sec­ond best-sell­ing ve­hi­cle in the Ford lineup glob­ally, only be­hind the Ford F-150. Ford Es­cape’s pop­u­lar­ity is born of its rep­u­ta­tion for great fuel econ­omy, ver­sa­til­ity and tech­nol­ogy aimed at help­ing cus­tomers - all in a sleek de­sign. This is a com­pet­i­tive seg­ment, and Es­cape of­fers fea­tures and ameni­ties that make it ir­re­sistible to cus­tomers. Es­cape’s sig­na­ture tech­nol­ogy is its avail­able hands-free lift­gate that al­lows fast and easy ac­cess to the cargo area with a gen­tle kick­ing mo­tion. Along with ver­sa­til­ity, great fuel econ­omy is another rea­son Es­cape is pop­u­lar with cus­tomers.

Ford Flex is a seven-pas­sen­ger util­ity ve­hi­cle that of­fers power, ef­fi­ciency, tech­nol­ogy and driver-as­sist fea­tures in one stylish pack­age. It comes stan­dard with a 3.5-litre V6 en­gine fea­tur­ing twin in­de­pen­dent vari­able camshaft tim­ing to con­trol when the valves open and close for im­proved per­for­mance. This ad­vanced V6 de­liv­ers 291 PS and 344 Nm of torque, and is mated to an equally ad­vanced six-speed Selec­tShift au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. Also avail­able on Flex is the 3.5-litre twin-tur­bocharged EcoBoost V6 en­gine pro­duc­ing 370 PS and 475 NM of torque from 1,500 rpm to 5,250 rpm.

Round­ing out Ford’s cur­rent SUV lineup is the com­pact EcoSport, fea­tur­ing bold lines, con­tem­po­rary shape and a so­phis­ti­cated in­te­rior, all re­flect­ing its cre­den­tials as a ca­pa­ble, flex­i­ble and prac­ti­cal ur­ban SUV.

The EcoSport pro­vides roomy space for five, a high driv­ing po­si­tion with out­stand­ing vis­i­bil­ity, a re­fined cabin en­vi­ron­ment en­gi­neered for quiet op­er­a­tion, care­fully se­lected and matched ma­te­ri­als, and a mod­ern de­sign ethos. It all adds up to make the Ford EcoSport a com­pelling al­ter­na­tive to the run-of-the-mill com­pact car, and ideal those just start­ing fam­i­lies.

“Util­ity ve­hi­cles are more than a ne­ces­sity in the Mid­dle East, they’re also a lifestyle choice,” added Si­vagnanam. “Ford SUVs have proven their cre­den­tials time and again, and con­tinue to be set bench­marks for in­no­va­tion and qual­ity. As the sales grow both glob­ally and re­gion­ally, so too will the Ford SUV lineup, ev­i­dent by the four new name­plates planned within the next five years. We are in the busi­ness of cre­at­ing not just high-qual­ity ve­hi­cles that cus­tomers want, but also giv­ing the cus­tomer a holis­tic pre­mium ex­pe­ri­ence and tech­nolo­gies, and that is what gives Ford the edge.”

To ex­plore the Ford SUV lineup, please visit the Al­ghanim Auto New Ve­hi­cle Show­room in the Shuwaikh In­dus­trial Area, op­po­site from the Clas­si­cal Car Mu­seum and Sirbb Cir­cuit. The show­room work­ing hours are Satur­day through Thurs­day from 9AM to 8PM. For more in­for­ma­tion, cus­tomers can call the cus­tomer care cen­ter at 1898900; visit www.fordal­ or di­rectly on so­cial me­dia chan­nels at the han­dle @FordAl­ghanim.

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