BRENTWOOD, England - Kuga production at the Ford plant here is to increase by 10% through 2013 to cope with increasing demand across Europe with the target 100 000 units a year.The Kuga has just been launched in South Africa - perhaps faster Kuga kitten production will help local supply?Demand in the UK is helping drive Kuga’s production growth. Since it was launched at the end of 2012 more than 8000 orders have been placed as families switch to an SUV in favour of conventional saloon cars - not a bad idea, given recent European/British winters.'PROMISING START'Roelant de Waard, vice-president for marketing/sales/service at Ford Europe, said: "The new Kuga is a smarter SUV that offers a comprehensive array of technologies, one of them the segment's first foot-operated tail door release, and debuts Ford’s global 'intelligent' all-wheel-drive system."This significant production increase is a very promising start to an SUV roll-out led by the Kuga and leverages Ford’s historic SUV leadership in North America and other regions to bring to Europe the all-new EcoSport (Wheels24 will be viewing the EcoSport in India in early May, the car's due in SA towards the end of 2013) and later the Ford Edge.”Ford expects to sell more than a million SUV's in Europe in the next six years to account for 10% of all Fords sold in the region by 2016. Kuga UK sales and share were both up in March 2013 over 2012.The all-new compact EcoSport will launch at the end of 2013, followed by the next generation Ford Edge - that's a larger and more premium utility vehicle popular in the US and other markets.'CLASS-LEADING' ECONOMYThe latest Kuga made a Euro NCAP overall protection score of 88%, Ford says... the highest yet for a mid-sized SUV, as well as a Euro NCAP Advanced reward for the Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance system, which calls emergency services in the appropriate local language for the region after a crash.It also, Ford claims, delivers class-leading fuel economy through significantly improved fuel efficiency from a powertrain line-up that, for the first time, includes EcoBoost engine technology. Petrol engine fuel consumption, the automaker says, has been reduced by 25% and diesel consumption by 10%.The new Kuga has been acclaimed by UK media, with Autocar magazine rating it ahead of five key competitors.