Ford hopes all-new Escape will top its segment image

The new Escape is the latest Ford vehicle part of the “One Ford” strategy. On sale early next year in the U.S., the Escape will be later sold all around the world (in Europe it will replace the Kuga).

Designed in Europe, the new SUV replaces the previous generation launched 11 years ago. Ford hopes that the redesign will boost sales just as it happened after the Explorer was revamped last year. Explorer sales were up 134 percent through October and the SUV is by far the best seller in the market for midsize SUVs, besting the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Escape will face tough competition from the Honda CR-V, which was recently redesigned as well and, like the Escape, is premiered at this week’s Los Angeles auto show. The old CR-V surpassed constantly the Escape in U.S. sales until this year, when the tsunami in Japan affected deliveries and the Escape became number 1.

Other competitors include the Toyota RAV4 and the Chevrolet Equinox. The latter, revamped in 2009, recorded a 45 percent increase in sales in the first ten months of 2011, with 162,000 units sold. The Chevy is 40,000 units behind the old Escape but the redesigned model is likely to widen the gap. Other models that recorded sales of more than 100,000 are Nissan Rogue and Kia Sorento.