Escape Sales Surged Over the Million Mark

By: Chuck Smith

Recently, Ford Motor Co. proudly announced that Escape has surpassed the million mark. The automaker reported that it has sold more than 1 million of Escape models since November 2000. To put on record, Ford Escape is the best-selling SUV in the market today. In addition, it is also the best-selling crossover of any size for six years now.

"From day one, the Escape has offered a combination of traditional SUV traits and crossover construction," said Cisco Codina, group vice president, North America Marketing, Sales and Service. "Escape offers refined ride and go-anywhere capability; impressive fuel economy and up to 3,500 pounds of towing; and a comfortable interior in a compact, agile package. And Escape keeps getting better, as we will show at the LA auto show."

Ford Escape is the automaker's first crossover SUV. It can be recalled that the 2001 version of the vehicle is a bit unrefined and crude. "It was clear that there was an unmet opportunity in the market place," said Barry Redler, Ford SUV Group marketing manager. "The other entries were one-dimensional, either focused only on off-road, SUV attributes at the expense of refinement, or focused on car-like ride and handling at the expense of off-road adventure. Escape was an instant success because it offered customers something no one else did: The best of both worlds."

The redesigned 2008 version uses Escape's original success formula. It has passed Ford Tough Truck standards and was subjected to durability testing in the heat of the Australian outback and the sub-zero cold of Manitoba, Canada. The vehicle was also used in pulling a 3,500-pound trailer up the severe grades of the Davis Dam in Nevada to prove its towing capabilities as well as performance.

The 2008 version of Escape is scheduled to be introduced at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 29. Said model combines superb off-road performance and the fun of on-road driving. will accumulate several styling cues from Edge, Explorer and Expedition. Modifications include new grille with bigger headlamps in the fascia, rounder wheel arches, redesigned sides, and cleaner lines. In addition, the interior of Escape is also redesigned for a more functional and stylish appeal.

"As the utility market is changing, we are seeing an increasing number of people who find the small SUV best fits their needs and lifestyles," said Redler. "In 2001, 25 percent of small SUV owners left the segment for larger SUVs. Today we're seeing increasing number of large SUV buyers moving into small SUVs like Escape. We're also seeing an increasing number of small SUV owners who replace their vehicle with another small SUV. "

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