Ford Motor Co. will launch its Edge SUV in China in October this year, the first time in seven years since its entry to tap the country’s lucrative SUV market. China’s SUV market has been performing remarkably, with sales surging 120% year on year to 814,100 units in the first eight months, First Financial Daily reported Thursday.
Ford has always shown a lack of SUV models in the Chinese market, importing the Edge into China will be of vital importance to the company, He Junjie, vice president of Ford China and general manager of Changan Ford Sales Company, said at the Edge exhibition in Chengdu on September 15.
The Edge SUV, derived from Ford’s CD3 platform, measures (LxWxH) 4720mm x 1925mm x 1750mm. Three EcoBoost engines are available for the car, including the 2.0T EcoBoost L4 petrol, 3.5L EcoBoost V4 petrol and 3.7L V6 petrol engine. The Edge, which has got a Chinese name, Rui Jie, comes with two versions: front-engine, front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
The 2011 Ford Edge is sold between $27,220-$38,070 in U.S.. The prices will be 30% higher when being sold in China as an imported model. Guangzhou Toyota’s Highlander, Dongfeng Honda’s CR-V, Dongfeng Nissan’s X-TRAIL and Qashqai, FAW Toyota’s RAV4 and Kia’s imported Sorento are currently dominating the Chinese market.
China’s SUV sales increased from 160,000 units in 2004 to 750,000 units in 2009. Ford’s entry in the segment this time has undoubtedly missed the best period of development, said an executive from an auto company in China.
China’s SUV sales in the first half of this year jumped 133% from a year earlier to 587,000 units. Among the 353,000 imported vehicles registered last year, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) accounted for 54.8%, also having the largest sales in the segment, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).