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Ford introduces Territory, new SUV for China

By Clyde Hughes
Ford introduces Territory, new SUV for China
China's national flag flies over a Ford showroom in Beijing on April 8. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The Ford Motor Co. has debuted its Territory, a sport utility vehicle specifically made for the Chinese market.

The midsize SUV is expected to be ready for sale in 2019, targeting those living outside the country's larger cities, the Detroit News reported. The Territory will be sold for less than most of the current Ford and Lincoln vehicles in China.

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The vehicle was created with the company's local Chinese partner, Jiangling Motors.

The Territory is the auto giant's first SUV made exclusively for the Chinese market. Owners will be able to connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi inside the vehicle, which also comes with a touchscreen.

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Cloud-screen voice recognition will allow users to open windows and the sunroof, command the cabin's temperature and control the radio, along with other systems.

"Our onslaught of new vehicles has begun," Peter Fleet, president of Ford's Asia Pacific operations, told CNBC, adding that Ford plans to launch 50 new vehicles by 2025. "We are taking the best of how we've brought Territory to market -- deeply listening to customers in China and delivering what they want in style, comfort, safety and new in-vehicle infotainment options -- and applying it across the business. Territory is just the beginning of more great things to come."

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The launch comes as Ford is trying to re-establish its market in the communist country. China is Ford's second-largest market, but its sales fell 25 percent over the first six months of 2018. It continues to lag General Motors and others in sales growth and market penetration.

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