Ford Motor Co. is canceling plans to build the next-generation Edge, a move that bodes ill for the automaker’s Oakville, Ontario, assembly plant, a key source for Ford and Lincoln crossover output, according to AutoForecast Solutions, a U.S.-based global forecasting and consulting firm.
“Unless Ford decides on a different program to replace the Edge, there’s no future for Oakville,” which employs 4,200 hourly workers, said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions.
Ford Motor Co. declined to comment.
Last year, Ford ended production of the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT crossovers at the Oakville plant, and, according to Fiorani, the automaker plans to shift output of the Lincoln Nautilus to China in 2023.
As Ford’s final Canadian-built vehicle, the Edge’s cancellation puts the Oakville plant at risk of closing, Fiorani said. Ford’s Unifor labor contract covering the Oakville plant, as well as two engine plants in Windsor, Ontario, expires in September.
After negotiating the closure of a Romeo, Mich., engine plant, the two Canadian engine plants were to be the only sources of the automaker's 5-liter and PV-8 family of V-8 engines, Fiorani said in a video report posted Sunday.
The next-generation Edge was supposed to have been launched in June 2023 on a new platform, said Fiorani. But tepid retail sales as well as an increasingly crowded midsize crossover segment, with new or planned entries from Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota, contributed to Ford’s decision to cancel the new program, he said.