Ford has revealed the production version of the Edge SUV that will go on sale in Europe in 2015.
The car will sit in the Ford range above the Kuga and Ecosport, and is expected to cost from around £30,000.
According to Ford data, the SUV segment of the total European passenger car market more than doubled to 21% from 10% between 2008 and 2013. In the first four months of 2014, the SUV share has further increased to 22.5%, and Ford expects the segment in Europe to show further significant growth.
“Ford’s global SUVs – small, medium and large – are driving the company’s growth in key markets around the world,” said Barb Samardzich, chief operating officer, Ford of Europe. “We believe it is the right time to introduce a larger, more upscale SUV at the top of the Ford portfolio here in Europe.”
European sales of the new Kuga in Europe increased by 38% year-on-year for the first five months of 2014 to 39,700 units, and the 500,000th European Kuga rolled off the production line at Ford’s manufacturing facility in Valencia, Spain, this month.
Nearly all new Kugas sold during the first five months of 2014 were equipped with Ford SYNC, and SYNC 2 is now being introduced with voice control and AppLink – technology that enables drivers to voice-activate apps including leading music-streaming service Spotify.
Ford’s latest sales data revealed a high take-up of many of the Kuga’s hi-tech features: 60% featured Active Park Assist technology that helps drivers to parallel park, and 55% were equipped with Ford’s all-wheel drive system.
"Customers have embraced the wide array of technology that is already offered by our new Kuga Smart Utility Vehicle," Roelant de Waard, vice president, marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe added. “More than 80% of new Kuga customers are purchasing high specification Titanium models, which indicates significant growth opportunities for an even more upscale SUV."
Ford’s compact Ecosport SUV is in European dealerships now, with more than 16,000 orders so far this year.
Sharing a platform with the next-generation Mondeo, the Edge was developed to meet the worldwide increase in demand for SUVs.
"Over the next five years we plan to outpace the industry growth and more than triple our SUV sales here in Europe," de Waard said. "More customers than ever before are buying Kuga, we have very high expectations for EcoSport, and when Edge joins them in our showrooms we’ll have a full family of utilities, all leaders in design, remarkable technology, smart features and real capability."