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Endura not a Territory replacement: Ford

Taking the Edge off: Toyota denied Ford the chance to use the Edge name for its new five-seat SUV, forcing the Blue Oval to take the Endura nameplate.

Incoming Endura SUV never meant as a Territory replacement, says Ford

23 Nov 2017

FORD Australia has denied that the incoming Endura SUV is a replacement for the locally made Territory, which was axed in October 2016 following the closure of the company’s Victorian manufacturing operations.

As previously reported, the Canadian-built large SUV is due to touch down in late 2018, and will be offered in a single five-seat, diesel-powered specification.

Ford Australia communications and public affairs director Martin Gunsberg denied that the SUV – which will join the EcoSport, Escape and Everest in the Australian market – is a direct replacement for the popular Territory, which sold more than 170,000 units from 2004 to 2016 and was offered with petrol and diesel powertrains and five or seven seats.

“I think it's important to remember this isn't a Territory replacement,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the Focus RS Limited Edition in Sydney. “It is a very different vehicle from the Territory, which is why i’'s not called the ‘Territory,’ as well, because there’s a certain set of expectations that comes with that nameplate.”

Mr Gunsberg pointed to the industry trend of serving niches within niches and the fragmentation of the SUV market locally.

The Endura is a direct reflection of that,” said Mr Gunsberg. “We’ve got Everest, we’ve got Endura, we’ve got Escape. It’s a reflection of the diverse client taste and demands that SUV sales have overtaken that of cars.” The lack of a seven-seat option for the Endura is not a concern to Ford, according to Mr Gunsberg, thanks to the presence of the larger Everest.

“We have a seven-seater, which is available in the Everest,” said Mr Gunsberg.

“The Endura will be a premium offering for Ford, and as such, we think five-seat configuration is right for that vehicle in that segment.”

The Endura, which is built on the same CD4 front-wheel-drive platform as the Mondeo, will be around 110mm shorter and 90mm lower than the Everest, though the two cars will likely share the same wheelbase. The Territory is about 30mm lower and 70mm longer than the Endura.

Mr Gunsberg said that the two SUVs would appeal to different buyers, and the company did not expect the Endura to cannibalise sales from the Ranger-based Everest.

“We haven’t gone into specifics of the product just yet, so I can’t go into that,” he said. “But you might see some come from Everest over to Endura, but we see that customer as being more urban than the customer that’s in the Everest.”

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