With the demise of Mercury and along with it the Mariner SUV, there’s room for another luxury compact truck in the Ford lineup of vehicles. According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, Ford will look to build the successor to the Escape SUV, as well as a Lincoln version of that model, at its Louisville Assembly Plant. The facility is currently undergoing a major overhaul, being transformed from a the facility where the old Explorer was built, to a new flexible plant where Ford will build several vehicles based on its new small car platform that underpins the new Focus.
Along with the Focus and Grand C-Max, Ford will also use this platform to build the successor to the Escape – which is expected to take after the European Kuga model (above). The unnamed Lincoln crossover would then use the same underpinnings but with more dramatic styling and a more luxurious interior in a bid to help Lincoln improve its sales in a growing, yet highly competitive segment.
Ford executives have commented that the new model would compete with the Lexus RX, which is strange considering Lincoln already touts its MKX as an RX rival.
Ford is expected to make an official announcement about new plants for the Louisville Assembly Plant when production of the Explorer ceases on December 13th.