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Kuga excites Ford

All-paws: Focus-based Kuga soft-roader features AWD.

Starting with a small SUV, Ford Australia is seeking a wider range of Euro models

18 Oct 2007

WITH the return of the Mondeo medium-sized car to Australia this month, Ford Australia is now looking at expanding its European vehicle portfolio.

Ford Australia president Tom Gorman told GoAuto at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney that there are a range of models sold in Europe that Ford is undertaking feasibility studies on.

In particular, very strong interest is being directed towards the Kuga compact SUV unveiled at last month’s Frankfurt motor show.

The Kuga is Ford’s answer to the Toyota RAV4, and is based on a development of the front-wheel drive C1 Focus platform, but features a bespoke body as well as all-wheel drive capability.

“We’re looking at a lot of things,” Mr Gorman revealed.

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“And it’s an important segment for us. We play in the compact SUV with Escape today. But we’re clearly looking at Kuga to see if that vehicle fits in our long-term plans.”

But he stopped short of divulging details about any possible Australian future that the Kuga may have.

“I gotta tell you, we’re really excited about it – there’s no question there, so we are definitely looking at it.”

Of the other Focus small-car-based vehicles, Mr Gorman remained enthusiastic but non-committal.

“In addition to other opportunities with C-Max and S-Max – all of those things really play into our longer-term plans.”

On the commercial vehicle front, the Turkish-built, compact Transit Connect is also under scrutiny.

“Nothing specific to announce today, but it’s really important that we keep our mind open.

“Ford Australia and Ford of Europe are really closely linked on the product side.

“All of the product we have in Europe will be available for us to look at in the future.”

Read more:

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