As demand for SUVs is increasing in the US auto market, Ford is exploring the possibility to expand its sport utility vehicle line-up.
The US auto market is heading for a record year in sales, or at least it will be at the same level seen in 2000, as more analysts predict the trend is going in a positive direction. The main reasons behind US’s automotive market boost are the lower fuel prices, low interest rates and increasing incentives, that drove the consumers towards buying more SUVs. Ford wants to take advantage of this positive trend by exploring the possibility to expand its sport utility vehicle line-up, as this segment is predicted to grow to 40 percent of the US light vehicle market by 2020, compared to approximately 30 percent today, global sales chief Stephen Odell told Reuters. “As a segment gets that big, it’s probably going to fragment into different requirements,” Odell said.
Ford contemplates the idea to bring to the US market its small sport utility EcoSport, a model currently selling in Europe and Latin America. “It could at some point become a substantial part of the industry,” Odell admits. United Auto Workers union officials and analysts have said they expect from Ford to use a factory in Wayne, Michigan, to build a new SUV and a new pickup truck after production of the Ford Focus compact car is moved to Mexico in 2018. The competition is fierce on the SUV segment, this being reflected by Ford’s decision to bring the 2017 Escape, which will go on sale next year. Compared to last year, sales of the current Escape in the US are higher, but its rival models have a higher percentage increase in sales.