Ford Edge, Lincoln Nautilus in Danger?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford edge lincoln nautilus in danger

Ford’s utility vehicle lineup may grow too crowded to sustain the midsize Edge and its Lincoln Nautilus sibling for much longer. That’s the opinion of AutoForecast Solutions’ Sam Fiorani, who claims the Blue Oval has cancelled next-generation versions of both models.

Introduced for the 2015 model year and facelifted for 2019, the two-row Edge and Nautilus (formerly, the MKX) slot between the compact Escape and three-row Explorer, but the appearance of new models in the coming years might trample these models into the dust. If so, it could spell the end of Ford’s vehicle manufacturing presence north of the border.

The current generation of Edge and Nautilus is expected to run its course by early 2023, and a direct replacement doesn’t seem likely, Fiorani said, as reported by Automotive News Canada.

After last year’s cancellation of the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT, the Edge and Nautilus are the only models rolling out of Ford’s Oakville, Ontario assembly plant. “Unless Ford decides on a different program to replace the Edge, there’s no future for Oakville,” Fiorani said.

That would leave Ford with just two propulsion plants north of the border. Eager for profits, slimmed-down costs, and a boosted stock price, Ford might see Canada as too expensive a locale for production. The current labor contract with the automaker’s Canadian workforce expires this fall, and you can be sure the continued operation of its sole car plant will be top of mind.

Why would the Edge and Nautilus vanish in the first place, you ask? New additions to the Ford lineup. Among them, the upcoming Bronco and smaller Bronco Sport, as well as the addition of new midsize electric SUVs slated to appear around the same time as the Edge and Nautilus’ supposed departure. In such a scenario, the middle of the market would simply be too crowded.

While the Edge boasts steady sales in both the U.S. and Canada, European sales haven’t proven healthy, and a considerable measure of the model’s volume can be attributed to less-lucrative fleet sales, Fiorani said. As well, the midsize Nautilus now has a footprint twin in the new, rear-drive Aviator, which better projects the image Lincoln wants buyers to see.

For its part, Ford is staying tight-lipped about the possibility of culling these models, and of vacating Canadian car manufacturing. The first Ford to roll off a Canuck assembly plant emerged from a Windsor, Ontario factory in 1904.

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

Join the conversation
2 of 20 comments
  • Brn Brn on Jun 15, 2020

    Didn't the last Escape get larger? Maybe the next Escape will be even larger yet. For has plenty of platforms to fill the gap that'd create below the Escape. I doubt we'll see a drop in the number of offerings.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Jun 16, 2020

    Well, just how many different Ford SUV models does the market support? This all SUVs, all the time game plan is destined for rationalization. Small, medium and large. One model of each should be plenty. Add trim and power-train options as needed to hit a broad market.

  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.
  • Master Baiter "I like the Earth."The idea that modern combustion engines are incompatible with the ongoing survival of the Earth, or of humanity, is breathtakingly stupid. Climate alarmism is akin to a religion--one to which I do not subscribe.
  • Skippity Key takeaways.Toyota is run by competent businessmen.Art doesn’t like Toyota.