Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Territory Now Answering Calls for a Diesel Model

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Territory Now Answering Calls for a Diesel Model

Article excerpt

FORD says its long awaited diesel-powered Territory will be up to one-third more fuel efficient than current petrol models, while it has also eked savings of about 12 per cent out of the petrol model.

The diesel Territory will officially drink 8.2 litres per 100km in rear-wheel-drive variants, or 32 per cent more efficient than the existing petrol-only model. That rises to 8.8L/100km for heavier all-wheel-drive models. The diesel engine will be the sole powerplant offered on models fitted with all-wheel-drive.

In AWD trim it's still shy of two of its main diesel competitors a the Holden Captiva returns 8.3L/100km and the Toyota Prado uses 8.5L.

Ford Australia product development director Russell Christophers says diesel engines currently account for around 40 per cent of sales in the medium-sized SUV segment, and he expects that to rise to 50 per cent by the end of this year.

Buyers have deserted the Territory in recent years as petrol prices rose, with sales slumping from a high of 23,454 in 2005 to just 11,558 last year.

Ford expects the updated model a featuring a choice of petrol or diesel engines for the first time, plus improvements to refinement, design and packaging a to apick up the slacka in sliding sales of its large Falcon sedan and compete better with the Toyota Prado, Toyota Kluger and Holden's Captiva 7.

aI'm not sure if we can expect to pick up 50 per cent more sales, but diesel Territory will significantly improve our market share,a Christophers said. aDespite the growth in competition, Territory has been and will continue to be a very important product for Ford. The decline in market share growth was very much pegged to demand for diesel that we were unable to meet.a

He concedes he would have preferred to bring the diesel engine to market far sooner. aWhen the global financial crisis happened a lot of people had to look at their cash flows, we had to thrift our cycle plan and we simply didn't have enough engineering capacity to put it in place,a Christophers says. …

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