Ford Motor Company is struggling to make it big in the world’s largest auto market – China, and as part of the company’s always growing turnover strategy the automaker has unveiled the new midsize compact SUV to be in sync with the growing segment. The Ford Territory is the American automaker’s answer to the Hyundai ix25 (Creta for India) and a host of other compact SUVs in the Chinese market. Unlike the company’s ‘One Ford’ strategy of developing global products to make them universal, the Ford Territory is a China-only model and has been developed in collaboration with all its local partners Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC).
In fact, the Ford Territory is positioned as a budget model that offers more value and space for Tier II and III markets in China. This may seem unlike other offerings though, the Territory is actually a Yusheng S330 SUV underneath and will be manufactured at a plant located in Xiao Lan. This is the first such product to be launched under the new joint venture.
The Ford Territory is positioned above the EcoSport in the present automaker’s line-up. The company is yet to reveal official specifications on the new model, but the compact SUV is likely to use the same 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol type engine with 162 bhp from the S330. The SUV will most likely be offered in the seven-seater configuration to give a maximised value for customers.
Interestingly, the Territory nameplate isn’t new to the company ‘Ford’. The automaker used the name for a compact SUV in Australian continent between 2004 to 2016, where the car was sold as a budget offering then. The original Ford Territory was the company’s first locally developed compact SUV for the big Australian market.
The Territory is also expected to open up new types of avenues for Ford China, which for the larger part has been catering to the premium customers in the country. The automaker targets to tap into the potential of fast growing cities with the Territory that are currently not served by the automaker. The Ford Territory will go on sale in China by as early as 2019.
China promises to grow as much as twice the size of the US market by 2025, and Ford is looking to bring all of its domestic operations back on track to tap into the potential the market has to offer. Apart from the Territory, Ford also has got plans to introduce up to 50 new vehicles in China by 2025, which includes the new version of the Focus and Escort models.
Meanwhile, Ford India has tied-up with company of India, Mahindra in a MoU to develop a new compact SUV for the market here. The company also has a host of other offerings in the pipeline very soon with the most immediate being the Figo and Aspire facelift, followed by the launch of the Endeavour facelift.
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