BEIJING, China – Ford is giving consumers in China a glimpse of the future with the unveiling of the Ford Everest Concept at Auto China 2014. The concept for a medium, seven-seat off-road SUV highlights Ford’s vision for a compelling addition to its unsurpassed offering of SUVs in China. The production version will be produced for the Chinese market by Ford’s JMC joint venture and distributed through JMC’s Ford-brand network of dealers.
“Around the world, Ford continues to develop and launch global SUVs of all sizes, to meet the growing and dynamic demands of our customers. They play an important role in driving Ford’s growth globally and in China,” said John Lawler, chairman and CEO, Ford China. “The Ford Everest Concept shows how we envision cementing our leadership in the SUV segment with a rugged and versatile vehicle that combines stunning design with the promise of incredible off-road capability. We see a strong market in China for a vehicle like the Ford Everest Concept, which would expand and complement our existing world-class family of SUVs.”
A strong SUV lineup helped Ford’s global utility sales grow 37 percent in 2013 to 1.2 million units, compared with 13 percent growth for the segment overall. In China, Ford’s share of the utility market shot up from 0.3 percent in 2012 to 4.5 percent in 2013, with record sales of more than 150,000 vehicles.
The Ford Everest Concept previews a vehicle that Ford anticipates would help to extend its SUV leadership and reach a wider range of customers, with unrivalled off-road capability, premium refinement, advanced technologies and Ford’s fun-to-drive DNA.
“The SUV market in China grew 49 percent last year, and we see tremendous opportunity in this segment over the coming five years,” said Lawler. “With a vehicle like the Ford Everest Concept, we would be furthering our commitment to serving our customers in China.”
Created by Ford’s Asia Pacific design team in Australia, the Ford Everest Concept features key Ford design cues, starting from a prominent inverted trapezoid grille. Headlamps wrapping around the grille give the Ford Everest Concept a technical, robust look, an appearance that calls to mind interlocking gear cogs. The connected headlamps also communicate functionality while emphasizing the grille, and give the front end a strong and powerful presence that is unmistakably a Ford.
“We drew a lot of inspiration from our Ford design heritage,” said David Dewitt, exterior design manager, Ford Asia Pacific. “When we designed the Ford Everest Concept, we looked at how to communicate a sense of sleekness and refinement, and you can see that in the silhouette. The sleekness and sophistication are then punctuated in the details, which are very technical.”
Moving back from the upright grille, the headlamps are swept back for a modern and aerodynamic look. The vehicle’s profile is sculpted, helping the Ford Everest Concept to stand out from the crowd.
“As tough and capable as we wanted it to be, we also wanted the Ford Everest Concept to be modern and sophisticated,” said Dewitt. “So even though it’s tough, chunky and robust-looking, it’s also sleek, tailored, and much more sculptural than a typical boxy SUV design.”
At the back of the vehicle, designers placed prominent, chiseled tail lamps over a negative scallop, making for a sculptural and robust rear that contrasts with the square, flat liftgates on traditional SUVs. Combined with high ground clearance that indicates the vehicle’s off-road potential, the distinctive design of the Ford Everest Concept looks bold and purposeful, yet modern and nimble.
Amplifying and reflecting the vehicle’s tough physique and impressive capabilities, the Ford Everest Concept is painted in a show-stopping red with a flash of orange, called “Sunset Flare”. Bold and powerful, it has a warmth that expresses the vehicle’s premium qualities.