Ford plans to introduce four new SUV models in China, since this segment is going up in the world’s largest auto market.
The company aims at China’s growing middle class, trying to make them think of Ford when buying their first utility vehicle. By 2015 Ford wants to introduce 15 vehicles in China, focusing on utility vehicles, since this segment Ford projects will grow by more than 10% annually. The vehicles are perfect for families and for the poor, rugged roads in China’s rural areas. In 2011 Ford sold more than 2 million SUVs in China.
The smallest SUV for the Chinese market will be the compact Ford EcoSport, powered by a 1-liter EcoBoost engine, the smallest of the company’s turbocharged engine family. It will be manufactured in Chongqing, where Ford has concentrated most of its manufacturing and targeted most of its total $4.9-billion investment in the country.
At the Beijing Auto Show, Ford revealed three other vehicles: the Ford Explorer and the Kuga, which are sold as the Escape in the U.S. and the Focus ST performance compact car. The fourth SUV model for China is the Edge, already on sale since last year and imported from Oakville, Ontario.