Two Utilities Below Ford Escape, New Lincoln Aviator In The Works as Blue Oval Crams Its Lineup

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
two utilities below ford escape new lincoln aviator in the works as blue oval crams

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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  • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Feb 08, 2017

    "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." If the EcoSport is already Fiesta-based, and the Escape is (arguably) Focus-based, where would these two fit in? I wouldn't worry about the "electric compact;" that's a Bolt fighter, but I think this would be the point at which cannibalization starts, like 86er said. The only way out of this that I can see would be this: The next Explorer gets a bit longer to make up for the discontinued Flex (which it might be doing anyway). The next Edge stays midsize gets a third row a la Acadia/Blazer, Pilot, Highlander, Sorento, etc. The next Escape goes into what I call "big compact" territory, like where the 2018 Equinox/Terrain and Cherokee are now. 106"ish WB, but still only two rows. Then maaaaaybe there'd be enough room for a smaller, more budget-minded compact, like the Compass brushing up against the Cherokee, or to go a little older, the Maverick sedan brushing up against the Grenada in size. But that still wouldn't solve the problem of "Fiesta-based subcompact CUV that's not the EcoSport."

  • DanielArrr DanielArrr on Feb 08, 2017

    Could the new crossovers based on the Fiesta and the Focus just turn out to be the Fiesta Active and an eventual Focus Active?

  • Bullnuke It may be awhile before these show up on US shores. The MV Fremantle Highway has just started demo/reconstruction in Rotterdam after the large fire when transporting its last shipment of electric Porsche products.
  • Fie on Fiasler Big, fast and thirsty does not equal good. True luxury is not cobbled together by the UAW.
  • Inside Looking Out I see it as gladiator races - only one survives in virtual world.
  • Crown They need to put the EcoDiesel back in the Grand Cherokee. I have a 2018 and it has been the most reliable vehicle I ever owned. 69,000 miles and only needed tires, and regular oil and fuel filter changes.
  • El scotto Y'all are overthinking this. Find some young hard-charging DA seeking the TV limelight to lock this kid up. Heck, have John Boehner come up from Cincy to help the young DA get his political career going. Better yet, have the young DA spin this as hard as he or she can; I'm the candidate for Law and Order, I defied our go-easy office and leadership to get this identified criminal locked up. Oh this could be spun more than a hyper active kid's top.Now I'd do some consulting work for Little Kings Original Cream Ale and Skyline Chili.