If you live in the U.S. and you’ve never heard of the Ford EcoSport, you’re not alone. The compact SUV was launched back in 2003 as a 2004 model for the Brazilian market, and was redesigned last year. The second generation EcoSport was launched last year, and plays nicely with Ford’s global product development plan. Ford has already said it plans on selling the EcoSport in 62 countries by 2017, but the U.S. didn’t make the initial cut. That may change though, as Jim Farley, executive vice president of global marketing for the Blue Oval, said that Ford is looking “very closely” at bringing the compact SUV stateside. Farley, when speaking with The Detroit News, said that the North American market doesn’t call for selling the EcoSport though as it currently stands.
It won’t stay that way though if demand for a compact SUV is high in the United States, Ford would consider building or importing the EcoSport. The EcoSport is based off the subcompact Fiesta, which is sold here in the states, but Ford is going to focus its attention on India and Brazil for the time being. Sales of Ford’s subcompact SUVs have soared globally and sales are only expected to get bigger over the next five years. Ford’s global utility vehicle (EcoSport, Escape/Kuga, Edge, and Explorer) sales are up 35 percent from 2007 to 2012 with more than 13 million units sold annually, or 18 percent of the global market. Nissan and Buick have stepped into the compact SUV market with the Juke and Encore, respectively, but have been met with a lukewarm reception.
“Nothing has been more prolific than the global rise of the small utility,” said Farley in a statement released by Ford. “Once a trend in Western markets, we now see a rapid convergence toward the segment globally as customers become enamored by vehicles offering the size and functionality of a utility coupled with car-like dynamics and fuel economy.”
Will this growth lead to a new addition to Ford North America’s portfolio in the next five years? Only time will tell.
What do you think? Should Ford bring the EcoSport to the North American market? Tell us what you think in the comment section.
Source: The Detroit News, Ford