As well as “Equator”, Ford Australia has most recently sought to trademark “Endura” – a name once given to a family of European diesel engines that powered cars such as the Escort – as it attempts to find a replacement badge.
Ford’s application for Endura was lodged in late April, and is yet to gain acceptance from the Australian Government. Likewise, its January application for Equator is still yet to gain government approval, although documents show it is one step closer to approval than the Endura.
The carmaker recently confirmed to Wheels that it had given up the fight to use the Edge name after its owner, Toyota Australia, declined to cede it to Ford. Toyota used the badge on special editions of the Corolla small car and RAV4 SUV for about a decade in the 2000s.
“There’s no more updates [about securing the Edge name],” Ford Australia president Graeme Whickman said last month. “Our conversations have concluded with Toyota. They will not yield that name.”
Ford was keen to use the Edge name here as part of a global roll-out of SUVs that use model names starting with the second vowel of the alphabet – it already has the dreary EcoSport, the identity-challenged Escape mid-sizer (it is a renamed Kuga) and the large Ranger-based Everest SUV in its showroom.
Whickman said at the time Ford would continue to “work with other vehicle names” ahead of the Edge’s arrival early in 2018. “That’s an innovative process, because we want to make sure we live up to One Ford globally, so it’s a process that takes some time,” he said.
Ford Australia spokesman Martin Gunsberg said the names the carmaker was trying to lock in were not necessarily for the Edge – a large SUV that, like the Territory, could come in both five- and seven-seat configurations.
“We don’t have an update at this point,” he said. “We haven’t finalised the name at this stage, but we can confirm that Edge is no longer in the running.”
Ford stopped building the Territory in October last year as part of a managed wind-down of its local manufacturing business – a move that also resulted in the loss of the Falcon large car and ute range.
However, the car maker has not exactly ruled out using the Territory name for its SUV replacement, other than saying it wanted to align its SUV line-up with its parent company’s global nomenclature.
Ford insiders have suggested to <Wheels> that the names the car maker is attempting to snare in Australia may not even be for the Edge, and instead relate to new classes of SUVs – suggesting it could even split names between five- and seven-seat versions of the SUV.
The Ford Edge is due on sale in Australia early next year. Ford Australia appears to be waiting for an all-new version of the SUV to arrive before filling the gap in its showroom.
Traditional rival Holden plans to introduce a rebadged version of the seven-seat GMC Acadia in 2018, potentially as a replacement for the lacklustre Korean-sourced Captiva. It also sells in five- and six-seat configurations in the US.
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