Germany: Ford of Europe started production of the all-new Ford Kuga, the company's first entry into the growing crossover segment on 26 Feb 2008 at the Ford plant in Saarlouis, Germany. The two variants Zetec and the Titanium will go on sale in June 2008 with the entry level pricing for the Zetec starting from £20,495 and £22,495 for the Titanium.
The company plans to build around 45,000 vehicles of the new model in Saarlouis in 2008, which will account for nearly 10 per cent of the plant's annual production volume. The company will built the Kuga exclusively in Saarlouis of which around 84 per cent of the production will be exported to 32 different countries, including Germany, Italy, Great Britain, France and Spain, the five largest sales markets.
Ford invested a very significant amount in new manufacturing technology to support Kuga production at Saarlouis. Sales of the Kuga will progressively begin across all European markets a little later this year.
The new Kuga is based on Ford's acclaimed C-Car architecture used in the Ford Focus and the Ford C-MAX. With a distinctive 'kinetic design' exterior design, intelligent all wheel drive (AWD) system, and impressive on and off-road ability make the Kuga an attractive proposition in the highly competitive crossover market segment.
The Kuga is powered by the 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi 136PS diesel engine with standard particulate filter and six-speed manual transmission. The vehicle is equipped with full-time Haldex intelligent AWD system. With combined fuel consumption of 44.1mpg it also achieves class-leading levels of CO2 - 169 g/km.
The two specifications Zetec and Titanium come in a choice of nine body colours including two brand new metallic colours. Standard features will include keyless start, 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Ford Easy fuel, Thatcham category 1 alarm and MP3 connector.
The Kuga will be the fourth model to be launched at Saarlouis in the past 12 months. It follows the new Ford C-MAX in March 2007, the new Ford Focus in December 2007 and the new Ford Focus ST.
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