Many buyers may wonder where the upcoming Ford Territory fits into Ford’s global line-up, and where it comes from. We did the research so you don’t have to.

Seeing as the next-generation, European-built Ford Kuga would have been prohibitively expensive in the South African market, Ford SA looked to the Far East to find a suitable contender for the hotly-contested mid-sized SUV market segment. While its Ford DNA isn’t immediately apparent, the newcomer did have considerable Ford influence in its development.The next-generation Ford Kuga is a great SUV, but would have been too expensive for the South African market.

The next-generation Kuga is a real looker and should be great to drive, but it is too expensive to suit South African needs.

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Where does the new Territory come from?

The Territory is based on a platform developed by JMC (Jiangling Motors Corporation), with which Ford has a joint venture that started in 1996. This platform first appeared with the 2015 “X7”, which was sold by JMC’s sub-brand Landwind, before being restyled and rebranded by another JMC sub-brand named Yusheng as the “S330”.

The new Ford Territory looks unlike other modern Fords, but it does accurately reflect its origin story.The S330 has since been restyled twice, both times under the guidance of Ford Australia, before being released as the new Territory in the UAE, Latin America, and the Philippines. Both the new Territory and its predecessor have proven to be very popular in the Philippines, and although sales in the UAE are a bit slow, it receives good reviews wherever it is sold.

Related: Find out more details about the new Ford Territory’s lineage in this article on ALL THINGS MOTORING.

The new Ford Territory's mechanical make-up

The Yusheng S330 featured a new-generation direct-injection turbo petrol engine, jointly developed by JMC and the Austrian engineering consultancy firm ATL with inputs from Ford, which carries over to the new Territory as sole power unit. This engine family produces a class-competitive 138 kW and 318 Nm in 1.8-litre form as used in the Territory, but is completely unrelated to any other Ford engine despite the EcoBoost badge on its cover. Paired with a Getrag-sourced 7-speed wet-dual-clutch gearbox, the JMC-ATL-Ford engine should nonetheless provide satisfactory performance.

It says EcoBoost on the cover, but this engine is completely unrelated to any other Ford engine.

How deep does the Ford influence in the new Territory go?

Probably as deep as the Ford influence at Mazda went, back in the previous century’s last two decades, because Ford’s current share in JMC is similar to the share they had in Mazda back then. The JMC-Ford joint venture has been assembling the Transit van for Chinese consumption from the outset, and also produces the T6 Ranger and Everest for the Chinese market alongside a brace of Ranger-derived but JMC-badged pickups and SUVs.

Related: Here are the local specifications and indicative pricing of the upcoming Ford Territory.

Then, as now, Ford sourced well-priced and competitive models from their trusted partners’ catalogs, for sale in markets where their mainstream global models wouldn’t be competitive due to pricing or supply issues. Is the Territory a red-blooded Ford? Not really, but this adopted family member may yet win many hearts simply by being the right product for Ford SA at the right time.

Martin Pretorius



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