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Ford sticks with Territory name

Over the Edge: Ford’s Edge is the favourite to replace the Australian-made Territory, but the Territory name is set to carry over.

Toyota has Edge over Ford in Australian model name trademark

Ford logo29 May 2015

By RON HAMMERTON

FORD Australia’s apparent intention to continue with the Territory name when it replaces its locally built large SUV with an imported model next year might have averted a spat with arch rival Toyota.

The Japanese company holds a trademark registration in Australia for Edge, the name employed by Ford in North America and elsewhere for its global large SUV that most pundits believe will fill the gap left by Territory when Ford’s Australian production grinds to a halt in the second half of next year.

Ford has not officially confirmed that the Canadian-built Edge SUV will replace the Australian-built Territory, and nor has it publicly announced that the Territory name will be retained.

Indeed, GoAuto has been told by a Ford insider that the Australian branch of the Blue Oval company is still debating matters surrounding its next big SUV, including which model will fill the void.

But Ford executives on several occasions have talked up the chances of the Territory name continuing due to its brand value among Australian car buyers.

Assuming that Ford Australia imports the Edge to replace the SZ Territory, applying the Edge name to the vehicle might have been problematic.

Toyota Australia registered Edge in 1999, using it for RAV4 and Corolla Edge special editions offered in Australia between 2000 and 2009.

That Australian registration is still current, out to 2019 – well beyond the Territory replacement date.

Ford might have legally challenged the registration or negotiated with Toyota for its use, but regardless, no Ford trademark registration application for Edge appears to have been lodged, indicating it has another moniker in mind.

If Ford has an entirely different vehicle from its portfolio in mind to assume the Territory role, it is unclear what it could be, as the larger American-focussed Ford Explorer has been ruled out for right-hand drive markets.

It is possible that Ford has another large SUV under development somewhere, but with Edge, Explorer and the Ranger-based Everest already crowding the top end of the Blue Oval SUV range, it would come as a surprise.

The second-generation Edge that went on sale in North America last year already has been confirmed for right-hand drive production for the United Kingdom.

Slightly smaller than the current Territory and based on the same CD4 platform as the Mondeo/Fusion twins, the Edge will be offered variously with petrol and diesel engines, five and seven seat configurations and front- and all-wheel drive, meaning it would be just a matter of ticking the boxes for Ford’s Australian product planners.

The new imported Territory will sit between the mid-size Kuga and Everest large SUV, with the latter arriving in local showrooms in early August.

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