Ford Territory2004 - 2016
Category: USA / Australia
The Ford Territory is a crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) built by Ford Australia that was introduced in April 2004. It is based on the EA169 platform introduced by the 2002 BA series Falcon, and its internal project codename was E265. Winner of various automotive awards since its introduction, the Territory was the first SUV to win the coveted Australian title of Wheels Car of the Year in 2004, courtesy of car-like handling and great practicality.
Ford Australia reportedly spent A$500 million on developing this vehicle over a four-year period. Apart from being the first and only Australian-made SUV, it was also the first local vehicle to feature an electronic stability control.
Both rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations are available for the Australian market. AWD models have an optional Hill Descent Control system, using the anti-lock braking system to control the car's motion downhill.
Reflecting its SUV design, seating capacity in the Territory is for either five (two rows) or seven (three rows) passengers. All seating rows are arranged in a "theatre style", whereby the first row is the lowest and the last row is the highest. The middle and back rows fold flat into the floor to maximise cargo volume.
Ford introduced the Territory alongside the existing Falcon wagon, which was built on the same Broadmeadows Assembly production line. Ford Australia senior executives expected the Falcon wagon to be discontinued soon after the introduction of the Territory, surmising that Falcon wagon sales would substantially decline as fleet buyers migrated to the Territory. However, the two models co-existed for a while because the Falcon wagon retained much of its fleet sales base and the Territory appealed mainly to private buyers. In any event, the production of the Falcon station wagon was terminated in September 2010.
The Territory is sold in New Zealand, with exports to South Africa beginning in 2005 and those to Thailand in 2006 (although the Thai range was restricted to only the top-of-the range AWD Ghia and, later, the Titanium specification when re-released in 2012). In Australia, the vehicle is employed by various emergency services, including the Police Force nationwide.
By October 2016, all Ford Australia production will cease, including the Territory.
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