By on November 27, 2013

Explorer Sport front quarter, picture courtesy Michael Karesh

Is the future of motoring in the global marketplace in the good hands of the Golf, Forte and Fiesta? Not if you’re Ford’s vice president of Global Marketing, Jim Farley. In his mind, it’ll be a page from the 1991 Explorer’s successful playbook that will help his employer gain market and mind share the world over.

According to Farley, the Blue Oval will experience an overall 23 percent growth in sales between last year and 2017, while utility vehicle sales will boom to 41 percent in the same period (and straight up explode in China with help from smaller crossover utility models such as the oft-beleaguered Escape/Kuga, EcoSport and, of course, Explorer).

As for sales in established markets, though Ford and their competitors have had difficulties overall in the European market, utility sales are expanding like the universe at the start of the Big Bang. The automaker expect their utility sales to grow 65 percent between last year and 2017, while the overall utility market is projected to grow 30 percent.

To capitalize on this potential gold mine, Ford will use their One Ford plan to globalize their lineup of utility vehicles.

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21 Comments on “Ford Expects SUVs, Crossovers to Drive Global Success...”

  • avatar

    Sure hope Ford does a better job than 7 recalls on the current generation Escape. It’s my understanding that after the 4th recall, the name plate is tarnished beyond repair. Maybe Mulally will get past this by renaming it Kuga like the rest of the world. It will be his present on his way to Mister Softee.

    Reminds me of the early Chrysler minivans, where the general public was so eager to own the concept that they were willing to put up with sub-par engines and transmissions.

    • 0 avatar

      Yup. Despite the recalls, a few for fire hazards related to overheating, the Escape is selling well, 250,000 so far this year, second in sales to the Honda CR-V in its class. Most of the problems are with the 1.6 liter engine, so I wonder if that engine was half baked. Unfortunately, it’s the engine in about half the Escape production.

  • avatar

    Damned optimistic numbers. I cannot help but want success for Ford, both because my personal liquidity depends on their solvent status, and for their strategy in 2008-9. They remind me of a tough heavyweight occasionally staggered by a hard shot, only to come back with renewed resolve. Too bad my missing Chrysler money wasn’t overseen with equal aplomb.

  • avatar

    They only have one SUV, and I doubt the expedition would work well overseas… So what SUVs are they talking of?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @What about the Everest? I think it will also give an idea of the next global Ranger. It would make the Chev Colorado look very average. Runs a 3.2 diesel as well, designed in Oz.

      They do have a current Everest.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The Everest competes quite nicely with the BOF TrailBlazer that we also can’t have…

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I think you’ll find that the manufacture and assembly might leave Australia.

        But design and development will stay. Australia is designing some of the best vehicles globally as of late.

        The Ranger, BT50, it now heavily involved in designing the next Hilux/Tacoma. The Ford Escort, look at the Commodore, made in the US as a Camaro.

        You have vehicles that are extensions of existing designs like the Everest. The Hilux equivalent, which I can’t remember it’s name is also designed in Australia.

        My view is we just can’t compete in the assembly/manufacture of a vehicle. Leave that to lower income countries and leave us to design and engineer.

        • 0 avatar

          Hey RobertRyan,

          It’s tough to talk about such large companies as Ford because they present themselves with a plethora of faces all over the world.

          In Brazil for instance, such a specialized division as you propose would be overkill. Here, and I would tentatively extend my assertion to all of South America, Ford has off road credibility. They bought the Willys factory in Brazil for instance and produced the Jeep that eventually became the Jeep company and became synonimus with off roading. It even spawned a new word in Portuguese, jipe, that many use to identify all off road vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Yes. As far as GM goes, Germany, South Korea and Australia have all been indispensable in terms of engineering and development. I doubt that this will change anytime soon. I’m sure that engineering will be unaffected if Opel and Holden cease producing in their home markets.

        • 0 avatar


          As we have read on TTAC, it seems One Ford is not so One. There seem to be at least 2 or 3 Fords. We dont get Kuga/Escape for example, but get EcoSport and Ka. We don’t get F Series…

          What we have gotten from Ford over the years is 4×4 pus. They have made such vehicles since the 50s. I think they’re pretty well established as an off road brand here. It’s not their focus mind you, but it shouldn’t be.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well, there’s the Kuga/Escape, but also the fact that the next Edge is going overseas, at least to China and Europe. And the C-Max is already in Europe. And there’s the global EcoSport crossover.

      I think that Ford is making the right moves….

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Go check VFACTS. It’s already happening in your own backyard. SUV/CUV growth down here is hovering 20%+

    The guy is right on the money.

    A Kuga would be more like a “big” SUV in Europe. And a “luxury” one in Asia.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I think you’re right…which means that an XC90, Grand Cherokee or Range Rover there would be very large, while an imported H2 would border on elephantine…

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      “but people buying a jacked up Fiesta from Ford..No.”

      They’re already buying ASX and Trax. They’ll buy EcoSport too.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        I repeat myself:

        Go check VFACTS.

        It’s all there, it’s happening as we talk.

        Ford is positioning itself to take advantage of where the market is going. Ford doesn’t need a “Jeep” brand to do that, or 4×4 street cred, just a solid offer available to the customer.

        They can’t sell a product they don’t have. Now they have it… I saw the first EcoSport in the street 2 days ago.

        This is a good business decision on Ford’s side.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        My point is (and has always been in this thread) that Ford is pointing their effort to where the market is going. That’s good business.

        The market is moving toward SUV/CUVs, small, medium and large. And utes, but I don’t want to go down that global diesel midsizer chicken taxed road today.

        VFACTS data will show you that. No need to have the paid stuff.

        I don’t care if Ford is tanking or not (I wish them the best BTW). Also, the line between SUV and CUV is so blurry nowadays that I can’t be bothered either.

        The customer is speaking, and loudly: I want my SUV/CUVs/SW on steroids. Ford wants to fulfill that demand.

        Is there anything wrong with that?

  • avatar

    Ford needs to discover rear seat leg room if they want more sales of everything.

    And they all need to stop squeezing a worthless 3rd row in the small SUV’s. It compromises the 2nd row. Minivans are for 3rd row seats, not small/midsize SUV’s.

  • avatar

    …unless of course that pesky Toyota Camry keeps messing up our plans, right guys?

  • avatar

    Dumb, dumb, dumb. Ford needs to dump Big Al asap. He is the reason Ford is recalling their low quality appliances left and right and now his employees are making incredibly dumb statements like this. Nobody wants recall heavy Ford SUVs. They want economical cars. And Ford doesn’t know how to make those.

  • avatar
    Mr Mk3

    Throwing everything into trendy “utility vehicles” worked out so well for Big 3 the last time. The market is fickle and unpredictable, over specialize as a volume player and you breed in weakness. The long development cycles exacerbate the problem. What the hell do you do when the bubble bursts and the bulk of upcoming products belong to a collapsing segment? I remember, your company goes f***king bankrupt.

  • avatar

    Where do you think the Kuga came from?

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