Ford Territory. Ford  led the design, but JMC instrumental in ensuring low-cost positioning and correct spec for consumers in rising Chinese cities

Ford Territory. Ford led the design, but JMC instrumental in ensuring low-cost positioning and correct spec for consumers in rising Chinese cities

Ford is working with Chinese partner Jiangling (JMC) to bring a new Ford-branded midsize SUV to the Chinese market in 2019.

Ford says the new Ford Territory midsize SUV, developed with JMC, offers an 'attractive price, great looks and a host of intuitive technologies'. It is aimed at China's fastest-growing segment – SUV buyers in emerging, fast-growing cities.

Territory will be available with a gasoline engine, 48V mild hybrid, or plug-in hybrid, and infotainment system with Mandarin voice-command function, Co-Pilot360TM suite of driver assistance technologies and FordPass Connect with embedded modem.

The Ford Territory will go on sale in China in early 2019.

Ford says the co-development of the Territory melded JMC's 'deep insights into new Chinese customers' tastes' with Ford's global expertise in vehicle design, engineering, testing and manufacturing.

"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," said Peter Fleet, president, Asia Pacific and chairman & CEO, Ford China. "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."

The new SUV will be manufactured at JMC's Xiao Lan plant.

Targeting smaller Chinese 'emerging' cities

While China remains the world's largest automotive market, Ford says 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.

Ford says the number of registered passenger vehicles in Chinese cities with no license plate restrictions is expected to soar to about 23.7m in 2020, up from 10.8m in 2010. In contrast, vehicle registrations in restricted cities are expected to fall to 1.6m in 2019, from a peak of 2.2m in 2010.

For these buyers, the midsize SUVs such as Ford Territory are a highly popular choice, Ford maintains. Indigenous Chinese automakers in particular have capitalised on this trend.

For the first time, Ford says, Chinese customers will be able to purchase 'a very competitive Ford in the entry-level, mid-size SUV segment at an affordable price'.

"The new Ford Territory shows what can be achieved when two global companies collaborate closely, bringing their respective strengths to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of Chinese consumers," said Qiu Tiangao, chairman of JMC.

Ford says its engineering DNA is evident in a Ford-tuned suspension, which is 'set for exceptional ride comfort and refinement'. It also says the Territory has been rigorously tested in its ride, handling and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels at Ford's testing centres in Nanjing, China and Melbourne, Australia, to ensure it meets Ford's stringent engineering and quality standards.

The new Ford Territory is part of Ford's China 2025 plan to launch more than 50 new vehicles in the country by 2025.

Key product highlights:

  • Powertrain variants: gasoline, 48V mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid electric
  • 'Ford-led design' with signature Ford grille and LED lamps
  • 'Ford engineering DNA' with Ford-tuned suspension
  • Co-Pilot360TM suite of Driver Assistance Technologies (DATs), incorporating features such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-Collision Assist
  • Infotainment system with intuitive voice-command function
  • FordPass Connect embedded modem

The nameplate is not new for Ford - but the new Territory is smaller than the old-shape model which was built solely in Australia between 2004 and 2016.

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