What does this mean for its Ford Edge cousin?
The future of the Ford Edge isn't looking good and neither, it seems, is its platform-mate the Lincoln Nautilus. Earlier this summer, we reported Ford might discontinue the Edge sometime in 2023 when the current generation's lifecycle is up so it would make sense the Nautilus would suffer the same fate. But why would the Blue Oval drop one of its most well-known two-row crossovers? Because it's not really needed anymore. The slightly smaller Escape and slightly bigger Explorer are luring in more than their fair share of buyers. Also, the arrival of the Bronco and Bronco Sport could put a further dent into Edge sales.
Unfortunately for the Nautilus, it can't survive without the Edge, and according to information obtained by Ford Authority, Nautilus production is also now scheduled to end in July 2024 at the Oakville Assembly Plant in Canada, which also builds the Edge.
There is one way that Ford can keep both the Edge and Nautilus in North America, assuming it determines there will be sufficient market demand: import them from China. The Edge is already expected to survive in that market because of strong sales. At present, the Edge is produced at Ford's Changan Hangzhou production facility. Adding the Nautilus to that assembly line would not be a challenge.
Unfortunately, the Oakville facility currently only builds the Edge and Nautilus and, therefore, its future status beyond 2023-2024 remains uncertain. Ford has not decided whether to assign the factory a new vehicle(s) or shutter it entirely. But there could be another reason why Ford has determined neither the Edge nor the Nautilus is necessary for the years ahead: electrification.
Not long ago, Ford canceled plans for Lincoln to launch an all-electric SUV co-developed with Rivian. The unnamed model would have utilized Rivian's "skateboard" platform, but the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic repercussions forced Ford's hand. However, Lincoln still plans to offer a pure-electric vehicle eventually, and it'll probably be around the same size as the Nautilus. It wouldn't make sense to sell both.
Neither Ford nor Lincoln has commented on the future status of their respective mid-size crossovers, but it appears they are now on life support.