Earlier this week, we reported that Ford Philippines could be looking at expanding its lineup with more JMC (aka Jiangling Motors Corporation) models from China. With the Blue Oval having sold over 10,000 units of the Territory in less than two years, Ford's gamble with the Territory paid off.
When we asked Ford Philippines' new managing director Michael Breen if the success of the Territory will pave the way for Ford to source more JMC models, he didn't give away much apart from the fact that they are considering it. After all, “success with any vehicle line perpetuates discussions that should happen for us to consider future products;” his words.
We might not have received a direct answer from Breen, but one of our closest neighbors in ASEAN could have answered that for us. They are getting an all-new Ford thanks to the JMC partnership: the 2023 Ford Territory.
But wait a moment, isn't the vehicle pictured here the 2022 Ford Equator Sport?
Actually, that is indeed the Equator Sport. It was first launched in the People's Republic late last year and serves as the little brother to the three-row Equator which was also launched last 2021. It competes in the compact crossover market and is powered by a 1.5-liter EcoBoost inline-four. It produces 172 PS with 260 Nm of torque and is coupled to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
So why is Ford Cambodia calling the Equator Sport the Territory in its home market? One theory we guessed is that it will serve as the successor to the Yusheng S330 on which the current Territory is based. First released way back in 2016, the Yusheng is already six years old while Ford only adopted it as the Territory in 2018. Given the vehicle's age, we're not exactly surprised the Blue Oval has thought about replacing it with the Equator Sport.
With the all-new Territory set to make its debut in Cambodia, other ASEAN markets could also get the new-generation crossover in the not-so-distant future, including the Philippines. The only question now is, how long will we have to wait? More importantly, will it still be called the Territory or the Equator Sport in the Philippines?