LOS ANGELES -- Ford Motor Co. will make a version of the Ford Edge with three rows of seats for the Chinese market, Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service, told journalists Tuesday on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The vehicle will arrive next year and will be assembled in China.
“We’re going to build a very specific three-row Edge for China,” Farley said. “It’s a really bright spot for our company.”
A Ford spokesman said the China-built Edge will be about 16 inches longer than the current Edge, which is built in Oakville, Ontario.
The spokesman could not say where Ford planned to build the model in China. For the rest of the world, the Edge is offered only with two rows of seats.
When the new Edge arrives, Ford will have three vehicles with three rows of seats: Edge, Explorer and Everest, a vehicle introduced in April at the Beijing auto show and based on the global Ranger truck platform.
Farley said Ford is on target to sell 1 million units in China this year, “a record for us.”
“Utilities are just exploding” in the Chinese market, having grown 485 percent since 2008, Farley said.
He projects China will become the world’s largest SUV market by 2018.
The redesigned 2015 Edge is scheduled to arrive in U.S. dealerships in the second quarter next year.