But the segment won't be completely abandoned.
There's been talk of this happening for about a year and now it can be confirmed. The Ford Edge and its more luxurious twin, the Lincoln Nautilus, will be discontinued after the 2023 model year, according to Automotive News. Both midsize crossovers are in their second generation, a design that dates back to the 2015 model year. A facelift happened for 2019. There have been recent indicators that the Edge's time is limited.
Earlier this month we reported the front-wheel-drive Edge is being dropped for the upcoming 2022 model year; all examples will be all-wheel-drive only. The Nautilus, however, will continue to have a FWD option. But why is Ford dropping both models instead of launching completely redesigned third generations?
Because the Oakville Assembly Complex in Canada where they're built will soon be converted into an electric vehicle-only factory. Which EVs will call it home? That remains unknown but a pretty good guess is that it'll be another crossover or two. The Mustang Mach-E is officially classified as a crossover, but it offers just two rows of seats and its sportier and performance attitude isn't for everyone. Ford probably intends to offer existing Edge owners a pure battery-electric alternative.
The Edge and Nautilus successors (it's unlikely the names will be retained) won't be the only EV crossovers/SUVs in Ford's future product portfolio. The Blue Oval has already confirmed an all-electric Explorer is in the works and its Aviator cousin will doubtless be included.
Lincoln is further prepping a small EV crossover for a 2025 launch but we don't know just yet whether it'll immediately replace the Corsair, which happens to be the brand's best-selling model right now. Like every major automaker, Ford's EV transition won't happen overnight and must be done methodically. Consumers are more open than ever to buying EVs but issues such as range anxiety, potential battery fires, and a fear of new technology, in general, need to be resolved.
By the time the Edge/Nautilus EV successors arrive, Ford's newest EVs - the Mach-E and F-150 Lightning - will be a few years old and the general public will hopefully have a greater sense of confidence to ditch combustion engines.