Photo of 2017 Explorer courtesy of Ford.

Photo of 2017 Explorer courtesy of Ford.

Ford will introduce four utility vehicles in the next four years in categories where the company doesn't compete, Ford announced at the Chicago Auto Show.

The new utility vehicles will join Ford's global lineup, as Ford is predicting the surge in SUV sales to continue. In January, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it would focus on trucks and SUVs over passenger cars with CEO Sergio Marchionne citing a "permanent shift in demand."

Retiring baby boomers and millennials are driving demand for SUVs, according to Ford.

One of the four new SUVs could be a revival of the Ford Bronco to allow Ford to compete with Toyota's 4Runner with an off-road SUV. Also, Ford doesn't currently produce a subcompact SUV to compete with the Jeep Renegade and Buick Encore.

While low gas prices have contributed to the growth in SUVs in recent years, much improved fuel efficiency in the latest generation of utility vehicles leads Ford to believe a potential rise in gas prices wouldn’t push consumers back to passenger cars, according to Ford.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet