Ford Australia has announced that its updated Kuga mid-sized SUV will arrive in local showrooms next year.
While this isn’t a new generation Kuga and essentially a continuation of the same vehicle launched in 2013, it is a heavily revised version which broke cover at the Los Angeles motor show in 2015.
Speaking this week at a media event this week, Ford Australia boss Graeme Whickman confirmed the facelifted Kuga arrival.
“The vehicle will be arriving on our shores in early 2017, with some rather significant upgrades,” he said.
I think our biggest challenge is frankly getting awareness of the product. It’s probably a vehicle we haven’t put enough energy behind.
As to what those upgrades will be, Whickman said he’d reveal more closer to the launch, but buyers can expect new technology such as the latest version of Ford’s Sync3 multimedia system and advanced safety equipment like a lane-keeping system and self-parking function.
The most obvious change is to the exterior styling with the facelifted car adopting the new Ford family chrome-look grille with restyled bumper and headlights, plus a new treatment to the vehicle’s tailgate and taillights.
While year-to-date sales of the Kuga in Australia are slightly up, mid-size SUV segment leaders the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 are achieving at least five times the sales as the Ford. Whickman believes it may be Ford’s fault for not marketing the Kuga better.
“I think our biggest challenge is frankly getting awareness of the product. It’s probably a vehicle we haven’t put enough energy behind,” he said.
“Given that we’re sitting on 12 or 13 nameplates it’s sometimes hard to make some decisions around investment …”
Ford used the SUV strategy event to make several announcements – the biggest being the arrival of an SUV based on the Edge in 2018 which will partially fill the gap left by the soon-to-be-discontinued Australian-built Territory.
Also announced was a two-wheel drive five-seat version of the Everest large SUV coming in early 2017 and a Shadow special edition of the EcoSport small SUV which is now in showrooms.
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