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Visitors to the Toronto Auto Show were able to get a first hand look at the Ford Edge concept vehicle. Much more than simply a concept, it's very close to being a production model, one that will likely find itself in dealerships as a 2015 model. At the show, we also learned that the production of the next generation Edge for the entire global market, it is currently distributed in about 60 countries, will be carried out at the company's Oakville ON assembly plant.
The Oakville plant benefited from a $700 million investment, which was announced last September; to better meet growing global demand and to save 2,800 jobs. The Ford Edge and Flex and the Lincoln MKX and MKT vehicles are assembled there.
The Edge concept features self-driving options that Ford has been working on. First, the fully assisted parking feature allows a driver to let the car park itself, even parallel park! Second, Ford is working on a system to prevent collisions, the car taking over control if a driver is unable to make a turn or brake when approaching an obstruction. Finally, the Ford Edge concept is equipped with a series of adaptive management systems that will result in better driving conditions at both high and low speeds.
Other technologies that are already available in other vehicles will be found on the next generation of Ford Edge, technologies that promote fuel economy. Some of these include active grille shutters, an automatic start-stop system and an innovative inflatable curtain that manages the flow of air around the vehicle's front wheels to enhance the aerodynamics.
The decision to distribute the Ford Edge globally follows the recent increase in demand for this style of commercial vehicles. In 2013, the global utility segment in which the Ford Edge fits has grown by 112 percent, outside of North America. A 30 percent growth is expected in 2014. Overall, 600,000 utility vehicles will be sold this year. The Ford Edge will attempt to find it's rightful place in this market.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca