The Aussie SUV’s name could live on after production finishes.
Ford could continue the Territory nameplate on the imported Ford Edge SUV that arrives in 2018 – but only if the company can’t leverage the rights to the Edge name, which are owned by Toyota in Australia.
Ford Australia marketing director Lew Echlin says the Territory name is one under serious consideration for the five-seat SUV set to bolster Ford’s SUV ranks almost a year after the seven-seat Australian-made Territory disappears.
“We wouldn’t put Territory off the table,” Echlin says, adding that it is one of a number of names that would be considered if Edge was unavailable.
“I’m not saying Territory is wrong, but I’m not saying Territory is the first choice after Edge.”
Ford has formally approached Toyota about acquiring Australian rights to the Edge name.
It’s understood the approach came to an overseas division of Toyota through Ford’s US head office.
Toyota Australia has previously pointed out it owns the rights to Edge, hinting it had no plans to give it up.
Toyota Corporate affairs manager Beck Angel said she “wouldn’t rule anything out” regarding the Edge name.
“We’re currently considering our options.”
Despite confirming the Edge – whatever it is called – will arrive in 2018, Ford is refusing to detail the lineup.
However, despite the availability of a seven-seat body style in China, Wheels understands the Edges sold in Australia will only be the five-seat models available in the US.
That means it won’t directly replace the Territory – and it will leave Ford Australia without a car-based, on-road-focused seven-seat SUV; the Everest is based on the Ranger ute and is designed for serious off-roading.
The Ford Territory was first introduced to the Australian market in 2004, and the locally produced SUV will cease production with the closure of Ford’s manufacturing in Australia in October.