Ford Australia has confirmed that it will drop the slow-selling Endura large SUV from the local roster, after just a couple of years on sale.
The news comes as Ford prepares to launch its new mid-sized Escape – a replacement for the Kuga – which will serve as a bridge to the large Everest wagon.
Feted two years ago as a replacement to the locally made Ford Territory, the Endura arrived in Australia with a single engine choice – a 140kW, 400Nm version of the 2.0-litre turbodiesel that’s used in the Ford Ranger Raptor – and an option of all- or front-wheel-drive.
However, a lack of petrol engine options and only five seats meant the Endura struggled to gain traction in a sector dominated by SUVs like the Toyota Prado, Kia Sorento and its own stablemate, the Everest.
While dollar for dollar the Endura was on par with its segment rivals, the lack of a third-row option also pushed buyers towards its rivals, which offered three rows for the same amount or less.
The Everest, too, has outsold the Endura almost five to one thus far in 2020, so the decision has been taken to park the Endura, according to Ford Australia’s communications director, Matt Moran.
“With the expansion of the Ford SUV line-up in 2020 to include the all-new Puma and Escape, as well as our growing Everest offerings, we’ve decided to hone our SUV line-up to these three vehicles, meaning Endura will depart our Australian line-up by the end of 2020,” he confirmed to WhichCar.
He added that the Everest – built on the bones of the Ford Ranger ute – offers more choice than the relatively limited Endura.
“We have expanded our Australian-developed Everest line-up to include both five-seat and seven-seat models, multiple rear-wheel-drive variants, as well as the Everest Sport and Basecamp variants to give Australian customers greater choice,” Moran said, adding the company sees “significant opportunity” with both the Escape and the new Puma small SUV.
“We’re confident that our new Escape line-up – with more variants and greater customer choice – will also prove popular,” he said. “The Escape is also now a larger and more versatile SUV than its predecessor, offering more space for passengers.”
He would not be drawn on whether Ford would consider a seven-seat version of the Escape, saying only that the local arm was happy with the line-up that will be unveiled later this week.