Two Utilities Below Ford Escape, New Lincoln Aviator In The Works as Blue Oval Crams Its Lineup
By the year 2020, you’ll probably forget all about words like “Focus” and “Fusion.”
That’s because Ford, to capitalize on the relentless juggernaut that is the utility vehicle market, plans to add five crossovers or SUVs on the market in three years. Lincoln will see another non-car join its ranks, too.
That’ll bring the Ford brand’s utility lineup up to 12 vehicles, and Lincoln’s to four. The identity of four of the vehicles is well known, but we now have a better grasp of what to expect from the remainder.
Yesterday, Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said in a statement the short-term plan is all about giving buyers what they clearly want.
“SUVs are the top-selling segment in the U.S.,” he said.
They certainly are. In January, traditional passenger cars made up 36.2 percent of the U.S. new vehicle market. SUVs and crossovers seized 42.7 percent of the sales pie.
While four of the future Ford-branded utilities are already known — the 2018 Expedition revealed today, an imported EcoSport mini crossover, a 300-mile electric compact in 2019 and a reborn Bronco due out in 2020 — the automaker has yet to reveal the remaining two models.
According to supplier sources who spoke to Reuters, the two mystery Fords are likely near the bottom of the size ladder. One will definitely be based on the next-generation Focus, the sources said, while the other will likely borrow its underpinnings from a next-generation Fiesta. That could give the Ford brand three models slotted below the compact Escape.
The same sources said to expect a new Lincoln entry. That model, internally nicknamed Aviator and MKD, is reportedly based on the next-generation Explorer and will fill a current gap between the Edge-based MKX and the top-flight Navigator. A production-ready redesign for the very long-in-the-tooth Navigator is expected to bow at the 2017 New York Auto Show before arriving at dealers this fall. Additionally, Lincoln will revamp its MKC and MKX in 2019 and 2021, respectively.
Utility vehicles made up 33.9 percent of Ford sales in the U.S. last year, a number that trails GM’s share.
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