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Ford NZ embraces electrification

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Words: NZ Autocar
28 Jul 2020

Ford NZ will bolster its electrified offerings this year with the imminent arrival of the Escape PHEV and a new Transit hybrid.

Read more on its new electrified van here. The Escape and its little Puma sidekick arrive later in the year to freshen Ford’s passenger car range, which is languishing in the sales stakes. But the Puma looks fit and ready, starting at $33,990 while the better specified ST Line will be on sale at $37,990. Read more about the Puma here

The Escape will offer four turbopetrol models and two PHEV versions which have a 50km emissions-free electric range. As with all electrics, they aren’t cheap. Whereas the conventional models start at $42,990, the PHEV starts at $60,990 and the ST-Line X is $66,990. All the deets are here

Ford’s NZ boss, Simon Rutherford, says the company is now back to ‘normal’ post-Covid, with all production facilities back online, though not quite to capacity. It recently announced a tie-up with VW on commercial vehicles and EVs, while another has been minted with Mahindra in India. This, he says, is to help cement Ford’s commitment to RHD markets and will bolster the development of ‘value-led’ products. While the division’s primary focus is on the Indian market, Ford would look to develop some models further for export potential. Let’s hope they learned from the EcoSport exercise.

In other Ford news, a new parts distribution centre has been established in Melbourne for the Asia Pacific region, which will benefit Ford NZ in terms of delivery times and costs. On the product front, Rutherford says its post-Covid recovery will be led by commercial vehicle sales, i.e. Ranger, and the parts and service side of the business.

As part of its drive towards an electric future, Ford NZ has partnered with Singer, ABB and Evnex to bring chargers to dealerships. All of Ford’s dealers will have charging infrastructure and EV-appropriate training for staff, with most targeted to do so by September. That coincides with the roll-out of the new PHEV products. Each dealership will have at least two chargers on site, while dealers will work with the customer to determine what charging solution best suits their needs.

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