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‘Magic’ Boot that Opens with a Wave of the Foot Proves a Hit; Half of Ford Kuga Customers Choose Hands-Free Tailgate

  • Hands-Free Tailgate that enables drivers to open the boot with a gentle kicking motion – and keep their hands free for shopping or luggage is  popular with customers
  • Half of customers chose Hands-Free Tailgate last year after the new Kuga became the first mid-sized SUV in Europe to offer the technology
  • Dutch drivers are the biggest fans – more than 90 per cent chose Hands-Free Tailgate

COLOGNE, Germany, Feb. 10, 2014 – Balancing bulky shopping bags while fumbling for keys to open the boot is a scenario familiar to most people – and one that is fast becoming just a memory for new Ford Kuga customers.

The new Kuga last year became the first medium-sized SUV in Europe to offer Hands-Free Tailgate that enables drivers to open the boot without using their hands, but instead using a gentle kicking motion under the rear bumper.

More than 35,700 Ford Kuga customers – 48 per cent of customers – ordered the system in 2013, with 94 per cent of Dutch customers leading the way. Among Ford’s six biggest European markets the system is most popular in Italy, where it has been ordered by 60 per cent of customers, followed by Germany at 57 per cent.

“Everyone has found themselves standing next to their car with their hands full and wishing there was some magical way of opening the boot,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president Marketing Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. “The Hands-Free Tailgate offers technology our customers really embrace, an ingenious solution to make their everyday lives a little bit easier.”
The system employs two sensors in the rear bumper that register the driver’s leg and respond to the kicking motion. This ensures Hands-Free Tailgate cannot be accidentally activated, for example by an animal running under the car. Ford used volunteers to test prototype systems to perfect the kicking motion required.
The new Ford Kuga also features Active Park Assist, Active City Stop, and All-Wheel Drive that pre-emptively reassesses conditions 20 times faster than it takes to blink an eye, readjusting the power split to give the driver the best blend of handling and traction.

The new Kuga spearheads Ford’s extending Smart Utility Vehicle range in Europe that also includes the small EcoSport SUV, on sale now, and later will include the upscale Edge – a larger SUV that is already a success in North America and other markets.

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Countries where more than 50% of Kuga SUVs are ordered with Hands-Free Tailgate %
Netherlands 94
Portugal 83
Ireland 77
Norway 70
Romania 67
Denmark 63
Finland 63
Austria 62
Italy 60
Czech Republic 57
Germany 57
Poland 53
Belgium 52


About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 181,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information about Ford and its products worldwide please visit


Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 69,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (15 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and nine unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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