Why the All-New 2015 Ford Edge Is Radically Different

Ford revealed the all-new 2015 Edge SUV this past week. It may look similar to the current model, but much has changed. Source: Ford Motor Co.

Ford  (NYSE: F  ) revealed its all-new 2015 Edge crossover SUV at an event at its Dearborn headquarters this past week. The new Edge will begin arriving at Ford dealers in the U.S. early next year.

The new Edge is a little sleeker and more stylish than the current model, but it's pretty similar. It's completely different under the skin, though: This Edge is built on one of Ford's latest global platforms. Not only does it incorporate Ford's latest technology, it's destined to be sold all over the world. 

The new Edge's interior features a clean design and -- in this top-line Titanium model -- incorporates a full suite of Ford's high-tech features. Source: Ford Motor Co.

As Motley Fool senior auto specialist John Rosevear points out, that makes this new Edge a big deal. Sure, it'll build on its predecessor's success here in the U.S. But as John notes, it's also likely to find a lot of new buyers in places like China and Europe as well.

A transcript of the video is below.

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John Rosevear: Hey Fools, it's John Rosevear, senior auto specialist for Fool.com. Ford on Tuesday unveiled the all-new 2015 Ford Edge at an event at its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. We were not at the event, but I did get all the details from Ford and I can tell you that even though this does look quite a bit like the current Ford Edge, it is an all-new product and it's a significant one for Ford.

Here's the most significant part: The all-new Edge will be fully incorporated into Ford's global product portfolio. The current Edge is based on a platform called CD3 that was shared with the old Ford Fusion, the last generation version, which was only built in the Western Hemisphere. The current Fusion is a world model, it's called the Mondeo in China and Europe, but it's the same car, the same platform, around the world. The all-new Edge is built on that platform.

I should explain, what people in the auto business mean when they say a "platform" is not an actual physical thing, it's a set of measurements for things like the distance between the front wheels and the base of the windshield, a whole lot of measurements governing things like that, the significance is that vehicles built on the same platform can easily be built on the same assembly line and often share a lot of parts under the skin, those shared parts taken together are called an "architecture".

So when we say that the all-new Edge shares a platform and an architecture with the Fusion, that doesn't just mean that the new Edge will have good handling and driving dynamics like the Fusion, it also means that anywhere Ford has a factory building Fusions, that factory can also be set up to build the all-new Edge.

And Ford is clear that the new Edge is a world model, they said it will be sold in over 100 countries. A lot of those Edges will be made here in North America, in a factory near Toronto that Ford just spent $700 million dollars to renovate, and they'll be exported from there.

But now it'll be easier for Ford to make Edges in other factories as well if that makes more sense. So for instance, Ford sells the current Edge in China, but those Edges are imported from North America, there's no factory in China set up to build them. Ford doesn't sell a lot of Edges in China because imported vehicles are taxed, that makes the price higher than Ford would like. With the new Edge, Ford will be able to make it in China, and given that nice crossover SUVs are selling like hotcakes in China right now, there's a good chance that Ford will be selling a lot more Edges in China in a year or two.

There's also a report from autos.ca saying that Ford may do a special version of the Edge for China that has a longer wheelbase and a roomier back seat, back seats are important in Chin and Ford can do variations like that with models that are made locally.

So to sum up, the new Edge has been revealed, it'll go on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of next year, and unlike the current Edge, the all-new one is a global Ford that will be sold all around the world, and likely some will be built overseas as well. Thanks for watching.


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