Crossover

Ford Territory SUV Making A Comeback As A Rebadged Chinese-Built SUV

But could the design preview a future Ford mid-size crossover for America?

Ford is reviving the once-popular Territory SUV, but it won’t be coming to America. Instead, the new midsize SUV is being built exclusively for the Chinese market as part of Ford’s joint venture with Jiangling Motors Corporation. Well, we say “new.”

As CarNewsChina points out, the Ford Territory is essentially a rebadged version of the JMC Yusheng S330, a cheap Chinese-built SUV that sells for around $7,300. It will slot in between the subcompact EcoSport and the compact Kuga (otherwise known as the Escape in the US).

According to Chinese media, the Territory will go on sale in China early next year with a choice of either a gasoline engine, a 48-volt mild hybrid system, or a range-topping plug-in hybrid. Considering that crossovers will dominate Ford’s line-up in the next few years, we can imagine future models being offered in the US with similar powertrain options.

Inside, the Territory’s cabin has been updated with a large infotainment screen embedded in the dashboard, as well as a new steering wheel and instrument dials. It’s a refreshingly clean design - we wouldn’t complain if future Ford crossovers in America adopt a similar interior layout.

Originally, the Ford Territory was sold in Australia and was based on the old Ford Falcon. It finished production in 2016 after being on sale for 12 years. According to Automotive News, the new Territory is Ford’s latest attempt to increase its exposure in China, as the automaker is suffering huge losses in the world’s largest vehicle market. "Territory is a key proof point for how we will grow in China," Ford China CEO Peter Fleet said in a statement. "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 Territory’s Australian roots mean it’s unlikely to be sold in the US, but an American mid-size crossover could adopt a similar design future. You know, like the upcoming next-generation Explorer.

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