Ford introducing new midsize SUV in China; Territory will offer 48V mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants
Ford has released the first images of the new Territory, a mid-size SUV targeted at new buyers in emerging cities in China. Ford developed the Territory together with its joint venture partner, Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC).
Territory customers can choose between a fuel-efficient gasoline engine option; 48V mild hybrid with Miller-Cycle technology; and a plug-in hybrid powertrain when it goes on sale in early 2019.
It also will offer Ford’s infotainment system with intuitive Mandarin voice-command function, Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assistance technologies, incorporating features such as Adaptive Cruise Control and FordPass Connect with embedded modem.
The Territory is a breakthrough for Ford in China in terms of our ability to successfully compete with Chinese automakers for millions of customers that we do not currently serve. Territory is a key proof point for how we will grow in China. We brought Territory to market with speed, high quality and cost efficiency. It will be affordable for young families and new buyers across China, not just the coastal mega-cities. And the technology will delight customers.—Peter Fleet, president, Asia Pacific and chairman & CEO, Ford China
JMC provided insights into Chinese customers’ lifestyles and product preferences, while the Ford team leveraged its global expertise to design, engineer, and test Territory at Ford’s testing centers in Nanjing, China and Melbourne, Australia. The all-new SUV will be manufactured at JMC’s Xiao Lan plant, which meets Ford’s global manufacturing standards.
Market background. While China remains the world’s largest automotive market, the greatest growth in demand for automobiles will come not from traditional Tier 1 cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, which have implemented license plate restrictions to manage traffic congestion, but rather from smaller but fast-growing cities in the interior of the country.
The number of registered passenger vehicles in Chinese cities with no license plate restrictions is expected to soar to about 23.7 million in 2020, up from 10.8 million in 2010, according to IHS Markit’s latest China Provincial Forecast1. In contrast, vehicle registrations in restricted cities is expected to fall to 1.6 million in 2019, from a peak of 2.2 million in 2010.
For these buyers, the midsize SUVs such as Ford Territory is a highly popular choice. According to McKinsey’s China auto consumer survey 20172, the midsize SUV segment saw an annual growth rate of 38% in China between 2012 to 2016. Indigenous Chinese automakers in particular have capitalized on this trend.
The Territory further expands the Ford SUV family lineup, which is composed of Ford EcoSport, Ford Kuga, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer and Ford Everest, to further meet the diversified needs of Chinese consumers.
The new Ford Territory is part of Ford’s China 2025 plan to launch more than 50 new vehicles in the country by 2025.