Ford will be ending production of the current generation Escape crossover by the end of 2011 and move production of its replacement from Kansas City, Missouri to Lousiville, Kentucky. The Kansas City plant has built the Escape and its Mercury Mariner twin since they launched in 2000.
Production of the Mariner will end in the next few months as Ford winds down the Mercury brand and the new Escape will be built on the global C-segment platform. The new Escape is expected to be share a platform with Europe's next generation Kuga crossover. Space in Louisville was freed up by moving the new uni-body Explorer to the Chicago assembly plant alongside the Taurus and Lincoln MKS. Louisville may add additional C-segment products such as the C-Max MPV.
Officials in Missouri are considering new tax breaks to help convince Ford to put a new product in the Kansas City factory alongside the F-150 which will continue to be built there.