Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Trending News

Ford Escape coming back? Ford could pull its Kuga, Puma and Mustang out of the UK as petrol penalties come in and might look to Australia to sell them

Will Ford's UK petrol pull-out see the Escape return?

Ford will cease the sale of most of its models in the United Kingdom rather than pay the penalty for cars that don’t meet the strict Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate rules, the company’s European boss said.

Speaking at last week’s Financial Times Future of the Car conference, Ford’s Model e electric vehicle division General Manager for Europe Martin Sander said that the new ZEV regulations and fines would mean the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars could almost be completely halted in the UK. 

“We are not going to pay penalties,” Sander said.

The ZEV regulations which came into effect in January this year requires that 22 percent of a manufacturer's vehicles sold in the UK must be EVs. This percentage will rise each year until it reaches 100 per cent in 2035. Manufacturers who do not comply with the regulations can face a $28,500 penalty on each vehicle above the stated limits. 

Sander said that this would force Ford to take their ICE business elsewhere rather than sell the cars at higher prices because of the fines.

“The only alternative is to take our shipment of ICE vehicles and sell them somewhere else. I don’t know if consumers in the UK would like seeing prices going up,” he said.

Australia could find itself a winner here, with UK cars also being right-hand drive like ours.

ICE cars sold by Ford UK currently includes the Puma and Kuga SUVs, the Focus hatch, Mustang sports car and Tourneo people mover van.  

If Ford decides to sell these elsewhere that could mean Australia, which could increase supply of the Puma and even the return of nameplates such as the Kuga/Escape that were axed locally in 2023.

The return of the Escape, which was updated at the start of the year in the UK, would allow Ford Australia to compete against the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 once again.

Ford’s EV line-up in the UK isn’t expansive and consists of just the Mustang Mach-E SUV, the E-Transit van and the new electric Explorer SUV.

To make matters more complicated electric vehicles in the UK aren’t being taken up at the rate expected by the government. New car registrations for the first four months of the year show EV sales make up 15.7 per cent. While the demand for EVs is growing, it’s at a slow rate and this is making manufacturers reassess their roll outs of new electric cars.

Ford’s not the only carmaker reconsidering its future car plans with American brand Cadillac recently walking back on its goal of going fully electric by 2030. Mercedes-Benz has also revised its goals following the EV slow-down in Europe. 

In the United States Ford's first quarter results revealed the company's Model e electric division had lost almost A$2 billion in the first three months of 2024. Ford said this is due to it having to slash the prices of its EVs to compete with budget electric rivals. 

Richard Berry
Senior Journalist
Richard had wanted to be an astrophysicist since he was a small child. He was so determined that he made it through two years of a physics degree, despite zero mathematical ability. Unable to build a laser in an exam and failing to solve the theoretical challenge of keeping a satellite in orbit, his professor noted the success Richard was enjoying in the drama and writing courses he had been doing on the side. Even though Richard couldn’t see how a degree in story-telling and pretending would ever get him a job, he completed one anyway. Richard has since been a best-selling author and a journalist for 20 years, writing about science, music, finance, cars, TV, art, film, cars, theatre, architecture, food, and cars. He also really likes cars, and has owned an HQ ute, Citroen 2CV, XW Falcon, CV8 Monaro and currently, a 1951 Ford Tudor. A husband and dad, Richard’s hobbies also include astronomy.
About Author
Trending News