Ford Endura axed in Australia

Large SUV killed off after two years of poor sales, with expanded Escape and Everest ranges to take its place.

The end of the road has arrived for the Ford Endura in Australia, with the brand confirming the SUV will be phased out locally by the end of 2020.

Ford Australia Communications Director, Matt Moran, told CarAdvice today: “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”.

Launched in Australia in late 2018 – but first introduced in the US as the Edge – the Endura indirectly filled the gap left by the large Australian-made Territory SUV following the end of local manufacturing in 2016, slotting in between the mid-size Escape and large, Range ute-based Everest SUVs.

Above: entry-level Ford Endura Trend

However, with five seats compared to the Territory and Everest’s seven, and the lack of a petrol engine to rival sales leaders including the Kia Sorento and Toyota Kluger, the Endura struggled on the sales charts, despite participating in one of the most popular new-car market segments in Australia.

In its first full year on sale (2019), 1893 Enduras reached customers’ driveways – accounting for just 1.8 per cent of the sub-$70,000 large SUV segment. For comparison, the Endura’s sales count represents around one-tenth of the sales recorded by the segment leader, the Toyota Prado, and around a third of the sales of the Endura’s body-on-frame Everest range-mate.

Only 1015 examples of the Endura have been shifted year-to-date – a 39.8 per cent decline over the same period in 2019, in an overall market down 18.8 per cent.

Above and top: mid-spec Ford Endura ST-Line

Ford believes the Endura’s place in the local range will be appropriately filled by the new-generation Escape – which landed in showrooms this month, measuring up to 102mm longer than its predecessor – and the Everest seven-seater.

The Everest gained Sport RWD and BaseCamp variants earlier this month to bolster its already-growing large SUV market share, from 5.1 per cent in 2019 to 6.6 per cent year-to-date in 2020.

Rumours surfaced earlier this year of a seven-seat Escape in development, which would fill the gap left by the Endura and would serve as formidable competition for the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace in Australia – however, the arrival of such a model has yet to be confirmed.

Ford’s US arm continues to sell the Endura (or Edge, as it is known in the States and in most global markets), offering a petrol-only range consisting of turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 engines, developing up to 250kW in performance-oriented ST trim (pictured bottom of story) not available in Australia.

Above: Ford Everest, in Sport 4WD form.

Also off-limits to Australian buyers is a seemingly-ideal replacement for the Endura and, more directly, the older Territory: the US-market Ford Explorer. Being 223mm longer than the Endura, the full-size Explorer offers seven seats, Ford’s latest connectivity features and a wide array of engines, and a 300kW ST performance flagship and a 336kW plug-in hybrid – but remains left-hand-drive only.

The Ford Endura will be discontinued in Australia by the end of 2020, as a model-year-2020 vehicle.

Posted by WordPress Guru