DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 7, 2015 – When the all-new Ford Escape debuted at the 2000 North American International Auto Show, the small SUV segment in North America was still quite small, with only a few competitors. But Ford felt it had something unique – the perfect go-anywhere offering for an emerging segment. Ford was right.
Escape was touted for its four-wheel-drive capability, refined ride and handling, and outstanding fuel economy – all of which combined to make it an instant contender in the new small SUV segment. Sales of the new Escape began in August 2000, with advertising and the official marketing and sales launch Oct. 8.
Fifteen years later, Escape remains a top-selling vehicle in its segment, as well as a top-selling vehicle in the Ford lineup. In 2014, Ford sold more than 300,000 Escapes in the United States.
Escape also helped propel the small SUV segment into one of the largest in the industry. In 2000, when Escape debuted in the United States, small SUVs accounted for 5 percent of total industry sales. By the end of 2014, the segment had grown to 15.7 percent.