It seems like America is the only place where American cars aren't popular. Buick has huge numbers in China, and Ford's having a lot of success in Brazil. Sales of the Fusion sedan took off to the point that it now leads the midsize segment there. Riding high on the Fusion's success, Ford's sending the Edge below the equator. The Edge will join a lineup that includes the new Ka compact, the EcoSport small 'Ute, and the Fiesta.
Ford's also pumping $1 billion into it's Brazilian operations to keep the stampede going. Ford do Brasil has had 15 quarters of profit and earnings are up 72-percent over last year. The infusion of cash will go into Ford's local products, which will help the rest of their lineup come closer to the Edge's excellence.
Press release after the jump.
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FORD EDGE CROSSOVER TO GO ON SALE IN BRAZIL THIS YEAR AS GLOBAL PRODUCT PUSH CONTINUES
- Building on Ford South America's business and product success, the Ford Edge midsize crossover will be added to the company's lineup in Brazil later this year.
- Edge quickly has become a hit and helped propel Ford's U.S. crossover sales by 63 percent in 2007, more than triple the industry average in America's fastest-growing vehicle segment.
- Ford of Brazil sales remain very strong – with 20.7 percent growth last year – led by new products.
DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 14 – The highly popular Ford Edge midsized crossover will go on sale in Brazil later this year as Ford Motor Company continues its product offensive in South America and around the world.
The addition of the Edge to Ford of Brazil's vehicle lineup will provide fresh momentum after another year of earnings and sales growth for Ford in South America. Led by the EcoSport, Fiesta and Fusion, Ford sales rose 20.7 percent in Brazil and 18 percent in all of South America in 2007. The Fusion went on sale in Brazil in 2006 and is already the segment leader.
"Ford is on a roll in South America, and our plan is to use our global product strengths to accelerate the introduction of more products that people really want and value around the world," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas.
"Last year saw a new EcoSport compact utility set the pace in South America. With the arrival of the Edge and other products this year such as the new Ka, the Ford showroom in Brazil will offer the widest range of choice for customers in our history," Fields added.
Through the first three quarters of 2007, Ford South American Operations earned $754 million, a 72 percent increase over the same period a year ago. The business unit has posted 15 consecutive profitable quarters.
To keep the momentum going, Ford has announced plans to invest $1 billion in its Brazil operations in the next four years and another $160 million in its Argentina operations.
"The launch of the Edge in Brazil creates a new option for consumers," said Marcos de Oliveira, president of Ford Brazil and Mercosur. "It is a modern product that brings to the country the latest trends in global technology, aligned with the quality and innovation promise of the Ford brand."
Edge: A Hot Seller in the U.S.
The crossover market was the hottest segment in the U.S. in 2007, increasing by 17 percent overall. Ford's crossovers performed three times better – climbing 62 percent for the year.
In its first full year on sale, Ford Edge had U.S. sales of 130,125 – exceeding Ford's original forecasts by 30 percent. Edge finished the year with its best-ever retail sales in November.
The Edge is built at Ford's Oakville Assembly Plant in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. The five-passenger crossover has received a series of awards, including the highest assessments from the main car safety institutes in the United States, including the "Top Safety Pick" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and five-star classification in frontal and side crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Edge also has been recognized with AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Award. The crossover's 3.5-liter Duratec V-6 was recognized as one of Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2007.
Ford Edge includes a series of features that represent state-of-the-art in technology. It has a comprehensive approach to safety, including Ford's electronic traction and stability system, AdvanceTrac® and ABS brakes.
Edge is equipped with two-stage frontal air bags, side chest air bags for front-seat passengers and side inflatable curtains in both rows of seat. Rear door safety locks for children and tire-pressure monitoring are other standard items.
On the interior, Edge offers flexibility and comfort for passengers. The rear seat has a central armrest with two cupholders and can be fully folded for cargo. Well-crafted leather seats contribute to the interior finish and comfort.
Engineering innovations include engine, transmission, suspension and drive systems that provide the vehicle with outstanding performance and high standards for fuel economy and emission control. Edge delivers 265 horsepower with a 6-speed automatic transmission and offers either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
"Ford Edge is a great example of our plan to create more products that customers really are eager to buy," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of Global Product Development. "Demand for Edge is growing at a fast pace in North America – well beyond our expectations – and we are confident it will be successful in South America, as well."