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Ford unveils Everest SUV concept at China motor show

Mon, 28 Apr 2014

While the Ford Motor Co. has no shortage of SUVs large and small in the U.S. market, here's a nameplate that you're probably unfamiliar with: Everest. Ford has used this name, along with Endeavour, on SUVs produced in Asia for the local markets. The Everest and Endeavour are five-door SUVs based on the Mazda B-series trucks, and have been on sale in Asia since 2003 with vaguely Explorer-like exterior styling.

Ford unveiled a concept version of a new Everest SUV at the China motor show in Beijing last week, alongside the 2015 Ford Mustang and 2015 Ford Escort meant for the Chinese market. The seven-seater, designed by Ford's Australian studio, is rumored to be based on the Ford Ranger pickup, which is available in Australia, as well as a number of other markets.

Ford is staying mum on whether this truck will see production, though the concept shown in Beijing appeared largely production-ready, down to the smallest details like an antenna. The company has no plans to introduce this SUV in the U.S. market, though the Everest would potentially be built in China for the Chinese market by Ford's joint venture partner, JMC.

"A vehicle like the Ford Everest Concept would be a great addition to our growing stable of SUVs, helping us to further strengthen our position in the rapidly growing utility segment," said John Lawler, chairman and CEO of Ford China.

Ford already offers the Explorer, alongside the Kuga, Ecosport, and Edge crossovers and utilities in China, though when it comes to the Chinese market there is perhaps no such thing as too few vehicles in a lineup. Now that the Explorer is arguably a soft-roader, the Everest would fulfill the role of a rugged SUV ready for off-road use, with pickup DNA and engines underneath.

By Jay Ramey