The pop-up shop that Ford opened last month in Auckland’s Sylvia Park shopping mall gets up to 500 people a day popping into it.
Ford has been keeping track of the comings and goings. Some of the 200 or so shops in the mall that aren’t pop-ups don’t get that many coming into their joints.
A woman on the phone from the Sunglass Hut reckons around 300 shoppers every day either try or buy sunglasses. Parallel Imported gets around 300 through its doors too. Specsavers said, sorry, they don’t have the numbers. Spark, the old Telecom, said the same thing.
The woman who manages the Nike shop, the athletic shoe people, said foot traffic runs upwards of 1000 people a day at this time of year. Down the mall at Sylvia Park, McDonalds is fixing 1500-1600 meals daily, said the manager.
Ford opened its pop-up on November 21 and plans to close it on January 19. But it might not. “We might extend the lease,” said Ford NZ’s communications man Tom Clancy. “We haven’t decided yet.”
It’s tracking the sales success of the pop-up, which houses a range of vehicles. Said Clancy: “One salesman from John Andrew Ford said he sold four vehicles from referrals from Sylvia Park.
“Putting new vehicles in front of so many new people every day … it’s certainly something to polish the Blue Oval with, that’s for sure.”
The latest to be parked in the pop-up is the Escape SUV. It’s not an altogether new vehicle, rather a mid-life upgrade of what was the Kuga. Ford NZ liked the Escape name better.
The badge is not new to NZ. It was on a rebadged Mazda Tribute for 10 years or so, back when Ford and Mazda were swapping all sorts of stuff.
Escape 2017 gets a sharper exterior design, restyled interior, more technology, and two new front-wheel-drive versions. Standard is Ford’s latest Sync3 infotainment system that includes a full-colour touchscreen, faster performance, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and sat-nav.
Ford says that by pushing a button and saying “I need a coffee”, for example, Sync3 will find nearby cafes. Other simple voice commands can also find petrol stations or car parks, train stations, airports, and hotels.
All models get a six-speed automatic transmission, the choice of petrol or diesel engines and either 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels. Standard equipment improves with the price.
The Escape range begins with the Ambiente badge, powered by a four-cylinder 1.5-litre Ecoboost petrol engine good for 134kW/240Nm. The front-driver (FWD) is $37,990, the all-wheel-drive (AWD) variant $40,990. Braked towing capacity is 2000kg for the FWD and 1850kg for the AWD. Claimed fuel use is 7 litres/100km for the FWD and 7.4 for the AWD.
The mid-range Trend offers three variants – the front-drive 1.5-litre at $41,990, the AWD 2.0-litre Ecoboost at $44,990, and the AWD 2.0-litre TDCi turbo-diesel at $46,490. The 2.0-litre petrol unit delivers 178kW/345Nm; the 2.0-litre oil-burner 132kW/400Nm. Braked towing capacity for both engines is 1500kg. Ford says the petrol unit uses 8.6 litres/100km and the diesel 5.4 litres.
The premium Escape badge is Titanium, with two AWD models and the choice of the same 2.0-litre engines as the Trend line. Both Trend and Titanium get the Active City Stop collision avoidance system that now operates at speeds up to 50km/h – up from 30km/h.
Titanium adds much more, including Adaptive Front Lighting system on variants fitted with bi-Xenon headlights. There’s also keyless entry, a panoramic glass roof, hands-free power tailgate, leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, LED tail-lights …