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Ford edges towards Territory replacement

Closer: Ford’s Edge is already going into production in right-hand drive and diesel for the United Kingdom, making it easier for Australian market introduction as a replacement for Territory.

Canadian-built Edge firms as Territory replacement, but not until 2017

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Ford logo9 Dec 2015

FORD Australia is getting closer to naming its replacement for the locally developed Ford Territory that gets the chop, along with all Australian Ford vehicle production, in October next year.

The company’s president and CEO Graeme Whickman today hinted that the decision would be made public soon, “when we can get maximum cut-through”.

However, whatever the source of the new-generation vehicle, it is unlikely to be launched in Australia until 2017, with Ford Australia conceding it has no all-new model launches planned for 2016.

Although Mr Whickman is not handing out too many hints about plans for the new large all-wheel-drive wagon, he told journalists at Ford’s You Yangs proving ground that the vehicle would be a global model under Ford’s One Ford strategy.

The Canadian-built Edge is presumed to be the front runner, although probably retaining the Territory name.

So far, Ford has not registered the Edge name as a trademark in Australia where rival Toyota has a prior claim to the moniker for its RAV4 Edge.

The North American Edge has only five seats – a negative in the family vehicle market in Australia – but there is a possibility that it might gain a third row between now and 2017.

A seven-seat version is already made in China, but Ford Australia executives are adamant that no Chinese-built vehicles are headed to Australia any time soon.

Presuming it comes to Australia, the Edge is likely to be armed with a choice of petrol and diesel engines.

Diesel powerplants, in 132kW and 154kW flavours, are already earmarked for Europe and the UK where the five-seat Edge is in launch phase.

Three petrol engines are available in North America. These range from a 180kW 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder to a 230kW 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6.

Production of right-hand drive for the UK opens the door for Australian deliveries of the Edge, which is built on the same CD4 platform as the Mondeo and entered the North American market as a 2015 model.

Although Mr Whickman promised earlier this year to announce the Territory replacement by the end of 2015, he says he will “steal a few more days”.

This could be interpreted as a January announcement. In that month, Ford is planning the first local media drive day for the new Mustang GT.

Also, in January, the annual Detroit motor show will be held, with Mr Whickman in attendance.

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