As a result, production of Ford’s latest smart utility vehicle is expected to reach 100,000 units annually for the first time.
Demand in the UK is helping drive Kuga’s production growth. Since it was launched at the end of last year, over 8,000 orders have been placed as families switch to SUVs in favour of conventional saloon cars.
Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe, said: “The new Kuga is a smarter SUV that offers a comprehensive array of technologies including the segment-first hands-free tailgate, and debuts Ford’s global intelligent all-wheel-drive system.
“This significant production increase is a very promising start to an SUV rollout that is spearheaded by the new Kuga and leverages Ford’s historic leadership in SUVs in North America and other regions to bring to Europe the all-new EcoSport, and later the Ford Edge.”
Ford has said it expects to sell more than one million SUVs in Europe in the next six years with SUVs accounting for 10 per cent of all Fords sold in the region by 2016. Ford Kuga UK sales and share were both up in March 2013, compared with last year.
The all-new compact EcoSport will launch at the end of 2013, and will later be followed by the next generation Ford Edge, a larger and more premium utility vehicle popular in the U.S. and other markets.
The new Ford Kuga achieved a Euro NCAP overall protection score of 88 per cent, the highest-ever for a mid-sized SUV, as well as a Euro NCAP Advanced reward for the Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance system, which calls emergency services in the appropriate local language for the region following an accident.
New Kuga also delivers class-leading fuel economy through significantly improved fuel efficiency from a powertrain line-up that, for the first time, includes EcoBoost engine technology. Petrol engine fuel consumption has been reduced by 25 per cent and diesel engine fuel consumption by 10 per cent.