Ford is set to continue the global trend for SUV production with the launch of not one, but three new 'soft-roaders' over the coming years.
At a massive European launch event dubbed Go Further, Ford unveiled the EcoSport, updated Kuga and the upcoming Edge vehicle in a show of support for the jacked-up ride height and beefed up exterior of the SUV segment.
Jim Farley, executive Vice President of Global Marketing and sales at Ford, said: "The SUV segment is the fastest growing in Europe and customers of these vehicles want a premium product, allowing us to offer more upmarket choices in the future."
"We know that 20% of Current Kuga customers have moved from premium brands and that the most popular trim line on these vehicles is the top-spec Titanium level but we want to offer more," he added.
First to be revealed was the smaller EcoSport model - a sort of beefed-up Fiesta with increased ground clearance and a spare wheel attached to the rear door that hints at off-road intentions. According to Ford, there is ample room for five adults inside, yet the car will deliver firsts in the segment, such as a class-leading wading depth and an ultra-efficient engine line-up.
Next in line was the updated Kuga, in which Ford hopes to shift 100,000 models in Europe alone next year, thanks to the stylish exterior and unexpectedly premium feel interior. New technology, such as intelligent all-wheel drive will also mean this model is more than just a tool take the kids to school.
Lastly, the Edge Concept broke free from the clouds of dry ice - a model that will offer "unparalleled levels of luxury" for a car in its price bracket when it comes to market in 2015. The vehicle, that was previewed at the LA Auto Show, will sit at the very top of the Ford SUV range and feature new technology such as autonomous parking and obstacle avoidance that automatically steers the car out of impending danger.
Jim Farley added, "Ford expects to welcome 1 million new customers to the Ford family over the coming years and we feel, especially in Europe, that an attractive range of SUVs is the way forward."