Ford wants Kuga to boost static segment

The Kuga will go on sale in June across Europe
CADIZ, Spain -- Ford is launching its Kuga medium SUV to make the most of the fragmenting lower-medium segment.

“There is no growth in the C-car sector,” said Gunnar Herrmann, Ford of Europe’s vehicle line director for C-cars. “If you do a great job with a car, then you only keep your share. Over the past few years there has been a 5 percent increase in medium SUV sales, and the increase in this segment is getting higher and higher.”

Ford’s C-car segment includes the lower-medium Focus, C-Max medium minivan and Kuga. The Kuga and C-Max share their platform with the Focus.

Herrmann said that in key European markets such as Spain, where Ford held its press introduction for the Kuga, medium SUV sales have increased 7 percent in the past few years.

“When you look at the trends in our industry, that seems an attractive niche,” Herrmann told Automotive News Europe. “Maybe in two or three years, it is not a niche any more.”

Spain, Switzerland, the UK and Germany are expected to be the main markets for the Kuga, Herrmann said.

About 45,000 Kugas will be built this year in Saarlouis, Germany. Production is due to rise to 65,000 in 2009, Ford of Europe said.

The Kuga will go on sale in June across Europe, with prices starting at 26,500 euros in Germany.

You may e-mail John Revill at jrevill@craincom.de

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