Ford's Escape sport-utility will compete with the Honda CR-V, Land Rover Freelander and Toyota RAV-4 in Europe's small sport-utility market.
The Escape will eventually be sold in 150 countries worldwide. The Escape, which was unveiled on January 11 at the show, is the sixth sport-utility in Ford's US portfolio and a new entry in its global lineup.
Ford expects to sell 100,000 Escapes annually in the USA. An estimated 70 percent of Escape buyers will migrate from cars to the new sport-utility, Ford said. It is likely to be the second household vehicle for newlyweds, young families and those 'young at heart,' Ford said.
Mazda will begin selling a companion version of the sport-utility called the Mazda Tribute in July. The Escape will be sold in Europe as a small-volume niche vehicle by early 2001. Worldwide vehicle allocation between Ford and Mazda will depend on sales, Ford said.