Long-term memory has no place in guiding peoples’ car-buying decisions, it seems, as more and more Americans – encouraged by cheap gasoline – seem poised to abandon their coupes and sedans in favor of SUVs.
In fact, SUV sales may account for as much as 40 percent of all new vehicle sales in the US by 2020, according to some analysts.
It’s this impending, rampant growth which guided Ford Motor Company in their redesign of the new 2017 Ford Escape, unveiled recently at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. It also means that a new SUV nameplate is all the more likely from the Blue Oval in the coming years.
Yahoo! spoke to Ford Global Sales Chief Stephen Odell at the show, who said that “as a segment gets that big, it’s probably going to fragment into different requirements.” Granted, great divisions in the SUV market do already exist, such as unibody versus body-on-frame, compact versus full-size, sporting versus pedestrian, etc. Yet, still more variety is a likely result of the market’s future growth.
The Ford EcoSport SUV of Europe and Latin America has been studied for the US market, according to Odell, and could still come here as an even smaller entry-level crossover to slot-in below the new 2017 Ford Escape. Alternatively, much of the automotive community has been excitedly speculating as to whether the historic Bronco nameplate couldn’t be revived for a new, Ranger truck-based SUV.
For the time being, the refreshed 2017 Ford Escape is looking to regain some market share lost to competitors like the Toyota Rav4 and Nissan Rogue. The former has enjoyed a year-to-date sales increase of 15 percent, while the latter has grown by 41 percent. Conversely, the Escape is up a mere 1 percent so far in 2015.
Here’s to hoping a fresh fascia and some updated convenience features are enough.