Rugged look gains popularity in Europe, Ford says image

With the ongoing SUV fever, Ford of Europe is currently focusing on meeting such a high demand, but apparently there is also another trend gaining popularity in the region.

Lately, Ford have been doing very well in Europe, making money and experiencing strong sales numbers. The driver behind this growth has been Blue Oval’s sport utility vehicle line-up, with the EcoSport compact SUV and Kuga midsize SUV sales increasing by more than one-third in February. But it seems that European customers have a new fascination for rugged look models, a trend started a while back by Audi’s Allroad cars.

“We see a big growth area in vehicles that are a bit rugged. They are not SUVs but they still have a more active look to them,” Barb Samardzich, Ford of Europe’s chief operating officer, told Automotive News Europe. Therefore, it is very likely to see in the near future a “rough” version of the Mondeo, although Samardzich did not want to revel further details over Ford’s mid-sized sedan. However, she confirmed that the rugged approach will be applied to the Edge large SUV and the face-lifted Kuga compact SUV.

But this should not be limited only to large high-riders, as Samardzich said that the smaller segments could also benefit from a more “lively” expression. “Put some black cladding in the right places, a roof-rack and you could get it looking a lot more active,” she added.

As for its SUVs, Ford expects its segment sales to grow by about 30 percent in 2016 compared with 2015, to gain market share, and to break the 200,000-unit barrier for the first time ever in Europe.

Via Automotive News