I was just going to forget about this since I have satisfied myself, but today I saw a silver Escape from a dealer other than mine and they had their advertising "plate" mounted noticeably lower than mine was. That made me wonder what is the intended location by Mother Ford. There is no front licence plate bracket in the online parts listing for the front bumper components. However, there are two "dimples" in the black garnish in the center of the front bumper that appear to mark where the dealer should drill to mount the front license plate if needed. The problem I have with that, is that these dimples are not spaced correctly for U.S. plates. NIce!
The photos are in the following order:
Ford dimples and dealer drilled holes (note that the dimples are farther apart than the holes in a license plate).
Where my plate hangs with the original dealer holes.
Where my plate would hang according to the dimples (before I realized they were too far apart, and where the Escape I saw today had its plate hanging).
Universal license plate bracket from the local auto parts store.
Tapping threads in the garnish to use M6 bolts (sheet metal screws save you the price of a tap, but I already had the tap).
License bracket mounted to garnish with stainless steel bolts.
Plate and clear plate cover attached to bracket with stainless steel, hex-head sheet metal screws (yes I know ANY plate cover is illegal in Minnesota).