The future of Ford Escape is in doubt

Ford’s CEO has expressed doubts about the future of the mid-size Escape SUV.

“We’re not going to play in the standard double-row SUV market because Ford tried that in the ICE business [and] it didn’t really work out for us,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said on a conference call.

“We want to play our hand, our strength, [in] Commercial vehicles, trucks, larger vehicles on the category page.”

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His remarks suggest the Escape could be on the chopping block along with the larger Ford Edge (formerly sold here as the Endura) and its platform mate, the Lincoln Nautilus.

Current Ford Edge Credit: car expert
Current Lincoln Nautilus Credit: car expert
Ford Bronco Sport Credit: car expert
Upcoming Chinese Ford Edge Credit: car expert

Ford Authority reports that the current Edge and Nautilus will end production after the 2023 model year, although they will receive replacements in the Chinese market.

Production of the Edge and Nautilus will reportedly end at Ford’s Oakville assembly plant in Canada in favor of all-electric versions of the larger Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator.

It’s unclear what Mr Farley’s comments mean for the Bronco Sport, a mid-size SUV related to the Escape, which was developed for the North American market and launched in 2021.

Escape from North America 2023 Credit: car expert

The Escape is currently built in China, the United States and Spain, with subtle differences between the models for the Chinese, North American and European markets. The Escape carries the Kuga nameplate in Europe and models for the Australian market are sourced from the Spanish factory.

A facelift was unveiled for the North American Escape last year, but a corresponding update for the Spanish Kuga/Escape has yet to be unveiled. It is unclear when this will come.

Escape sales in Australia rose 30.2 percent last year, although it was still topped by Renault Koleos (2552 sales) and Volkswagen Tiguan (2658 sales) with 2179 sales.

Ford Escape PHEV Credit: car expert

Ford Australia President Andrew Birkic told CarExpert last year that the Escape was hampered by supply chain issues but these are easing, saying the company is “fairly confident about this vehicle”.

Ford announced last year that it would have four electric SUVs in Europe by 2024: the existing Mustang Mach-E; an electric version of the Puma; and two vehicles based on Volkswagen’s MEB architecture.

Like the Escape, the two MEB-based models are to be understood as medium-sized and are only intended for the European market.

delivered Credit: car expert

The company expects its EV lineup to not be profitable until its second generation, with CFO John Lawler stating, “In the near future, our EVs will not be bottom line EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes). positive”.

Ford Australia has confirmed it will launch five electrified vehicles by 2024, but has only confirmed two of those as electric vehicles: the E-Transit van, here this year, and the E-Transit Custom van, next year is due.

MORE: Everything Ford Escape The future of Ford Escape is in doubt

James Brien

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