The Ford Territory, Australia’s first and only locally built SUV, has reached a sales milestone of 150,000 units.
Ford Australia announced the mark today, eight and a half years after the Territory first went on sale in 2004.
The locally built soft-roader hasn’t been able to match the 28,447 sales peak of 2005, its first full year on sale, though the Territory has averaged nearly 1500 units per month since its release and it remains one of the country’s most popular SUVs.
It continues to be one of Ford Australia’s most notable success stories, with the local car maker able to amortise development and production costs by basing the large SUV on its Falcon large car. It was still a $500 million project.
Ford’s biggest mistake with the Territory was delaying the availability of a diesel engine until 2011, years after the fuel had already proven to be popular with SUV/4WD buyers.
Sales of the Territory have returned to an upward curve since the vehicle was fitted with a 2.7-litre V6 turbo diesel in April 2011, a development move partly financed by a $232 million federal and state government investment.
The future of the Territory, as well as the Falcon with which it shares its platform, remains uncertain. Ford Australia has only committed to local manufacturing until 2016, and both locally built models are out of step with Ford’s strategy of selling one type of vehicle globally rather than specific models for specific markets.