When Ford first introduced the Edge crossover, it was targeted primarily at North America but the dramatic increase in sales of crossovers and SUVs around the globe, particularly in China, has changed the company’s focus with those vehicles. “We no longer look at SUVs as a regional product,” Ford’s chief marketeer Jim Farley told journalists Tuesday at a preview the night before the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Currently SUVs and crossovers are red-hot, and unlike the stereotype of Americans in big SUVs, passenger utility vehicles are particularly popular in China and Russia, which helps with Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s “One Ford” philosophy. The company says that it’s about halfway through with globalizing its utility vehicle offerings. The Edge slots in between the larger Explorer and the smaller Escape/Kuga. The new Edge is expected to be available as a 2015 model.
The Edge concept is filled with features like autonomous driving and parking, allowing drivers to park their vehicles with a remote control without even having to be sitting in the car. The Edge Concept also has a sensor-based obstacle avoidance system that steer a vehicle around potential collisions.
The interior features a 10-inch touch screen, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and hand stitching on the instrument panel. Some features formerly controlled by the MyFordTouch system, which has given some consumers problems, now have mechanical switches.