The Ford Kuga is a European cute ute that will be built in America in 2011, presumably as the replacement for the aging Escape.
Now comes word, though, that US Ford dealers don’t know from this Kuga stuff and would like to keep the Escape name and its decade or so of putative brand value. Dearborn’s One Ford strategy, though, calls for all the Blue Oval’s models to bear the same names no matter where Ford sells them.
To me, though, the decisive factor is whether there will be a Mercury version offered as well. If so, Ford’s choice is easy: keep the Escape name on the Ford, and drop the Mariner name in favor of, um, Mercury Kuga.