The Detroit Free Press (5/30, Priddle) reports, “A decade ago an SUV meant a big, body-on-frame vehicle that could tow a trailer over a dirt road. Today, automakers think of utilities as small, sometimes-luxury vehicles that replace large or midsize cars.” The Press reports, “Global sales of utility vehicles now account for 13 million sales a year, or 18% of the worldwide market. That is 35% more than in 2005.” To meet “growing global demand, Ford is stepping up exports and building more of its utilities in emerging markets such as China and Russia. Today, Ford exports one of every four Explorers it makes and plans to offer it in 27 countries by 2017,” Erich Merkle, Ford’s sales analyst said.
The Louisville (KY) Business First (5/29, Subscription Publication) reports, “The subcompact EcoSport and the larger compact Escape — or Kuga as it is known in international markets — represents Ford’s small utility vehicle offerings. Earlier this month, Ford reported that the Escape set a record for April sales, selling more than 25,000 vehicles, a 52 percent increase from April 2012.”