Photo: Ford Motor Co.

Photo: Ford Motor Co.

Ford of Europe has announced plans to expand its line-up and increase sales in the SUV segment in Europe.

Starting early next year with the Edge large SUV, which debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show in its European spec, Ford plans to launch five all-new or redesigned vehicles that will compete in the SUV and crossover space in Europe over the next three years, according to the automaker.

“Globally, Ford has been at the forefront of SUVs for decades, and is now delivering a European line-up that offers the stylish design, car like dynamics, and fuel efficiency that are key to why SUVs have become so popular in Europe,” said Jim Farley, chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe. “As demand for SUVs continues to grow, so will the range that Ford offers – from rugged models with true go-anywhere ability to sporty models designed to suit urban lifestyles.”

In addition, Ford later this year will enhance the popular Kuga model – including offering new colors and adding Ford’s SYNC 2 connectivity technology with an 8-inch color touchscreen. Ford is also preparing to launch an enhanced version of the EcoSport compact SUV, which includes offering a version without the spare wheel on the rear tailgate along with improved interior refinement, better performance and sharper driving dynamics. These new versions of Kuga and EcoSport will be on display in Frankfurt, according to the automaker.

Ford said it is also poised for SUV sales growth in Russia, with a full line-up of models that includes Explorer, Kuga and EcoSport.

SUVs accounted for 23 per cent of Ford sales globally in 2013, up from 17 per cent a year earlier, according to the automaker.

By the end of the decade, Ford said it projects SUVs will account for 29 per cent of its global sales spurred by increasing demand in Europe and China. SUV market share in Europe grew from 9 per cent to 19 per cent between 2008 and 2013; and from 7 per cent to 17 per cent during the same period in China.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet