By on April 21, 2014

escort

While Ford’s new compact Escort sedan was developed by Ford’s Aisa-Pacific R&D team specifically for China, Ford CEO Alan Mulally indicates that the company has more global plans for the car, including the possibility of selling it in the United States. Mulally told Automotive News that the Escort will likely go on sale in other markets besides China. He said that while the company already has the Focus in the stateside C segment, the Escort could allow the company to attract consumers at a new price point in that segment.

Ford revealed the revived Escort on Sunday at the Beijing auto show. The nameplate has been dormant at the automaker since 2000. While it’s based on a Focus platform, it has more leg room in back, something Chinese consumers appreciate. Mulally told AN that it’s only a matter of time before American consumers will also get a chance to stretch their legs in the back of an Escort.

“We have a really solid small and medium-sized product line in the United States right now…“But I think over time this will be another enhanced version of the C-size. It’s just a matter of when. We’re going to be able to provide a C-sized vehicle with different price points.”

Mulally said that how the new Escort will spread to other countries demonstrates how the company’s One Ford strategy can take a vehicle developed by one of their regional R&D teams and customize it for specific markets while still saving money by making a global product.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

48 Comments on “Mulally: New Chinese Escort Could Come to America...”


  • avatar
    Brian E

    Slightly off topic, but whatever happened to the C-segment car that was rumored for Lincoln? Did that get ditched in favor of the MKC?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It could happen in the future but the MKC was more important to the profitability of Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      Last I heard (and I’m not an insider) they had dropped the idea for now. I think they’re comfortable with the MKZ and MKC begin the entry level vehicles for now as they focus on upgrading the larger vehicles to higher standards.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The design for a Lincoln C-segment sedan was never firmed up, and mules people thought were running around was the 2015 Focus. They may eventually do one if the Chinese market demands it.

    • 0 avatar
      GranMarkeez

      You know, if Ford does bring this car in from China, it will be big coup for the Chinese auto industry. A Chinese-made car cannibalizing sales of the Focus in the USA…who’d have thought of it?

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    Am I reading this correctly? The Escort is based on the Focus, will be priced below the Focus but will have more rear legroom? I suppose the Escort will have less features, but how is this having one Ford?

    Also, is there some definition around C-segment?

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      I sort of doubt they would bring the Escort here with the same feature set. Surely the vehicle would receive suitable upgrades for whatever price point Ford wanted to target with it. Maybe they could even position it between the Focus and Fusion, or market the Escort as a family car the the Focus as a personal/lifestyle vehicle. Lot’s of possibilities.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Translated into English, I believe that “we’re going to be able to provide a C-sized vehicle with different price points” means “we can pass on the lower cost of Chinese labor to our customers.”

        • 0 avatar
          threeer

          Great…so now even Ford is considering bringing a “Made in China” cheap car into the US. Not that I’d be in the market for one, but put another nail in the coffin of American manufacturing, I suppose. I thought that incomes were on the rise in China, leading some companies to re-engage on the thought of bringing more manufacturing to the US. I guess not…

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I don’t think that it’s so black and white.

            Auto markets are such that some regional production differences are inevitable. It makes some sense to build at least some production locally in the larger markets, which means that the US and China will both have local production oriented toward them for quite some time.

            At the same time, it doesn’t make sense to build world cars locally that have low US sales volume. If the Escort is expected to be a relatively low-volume seller in the US, then it makes sense to import it from somewhere else where there is more demand for it.

            I doubt that Ford is particularly serious about selling the Escort in the US, anyway. Ford’s statement may be a trial balloon that is meant to gauge reaction to the idea.

    • 0 avatar

      It would ostensibly be a less sophisticated car w/ cost cutting much like the former Escort to the Focus.

      Just because it’s the “same platform” doesn’t mean much these days other than saving on design costs. The car might also be manufactured in china, which would perhaps provide some marginal savings.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I don’t know if Ford would cross the Chinese production barrier for a car sold in the US. The Fiesta is leaving Mexico soon, so I could see it being made there. Wards has reported in the past that a global C-segemnt vehicle was going to be made there instead of the Fiesta.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      No, you aren’t reading correctly :-)

      No where in the story does it say the Escort would be priced below the Focus. The only references to price were “new price points” and “different price points.”

      For all we know, the Escort could be more expensive than the Focus, sold as something in between the Focus and Fusion. I don’t think that is a horrible idea – the backseats in the Focus are pretty tight, and I don’t think everyone is willing to get something as large as a Fusion just to consistently put adults in the back.

      As far as defining segments, EPA does it by combined passenger and cargo volume – http ://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/info.shtml
      Expand the link for “How are vehicle size classes defined?” I’m not sure where the lettering system for segments came from. It could be shorthand for EPA classifications, or something else entirely.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The EPA can classify a well-packaged subcompact as a compact, but the public doesn’t necessarily follow. The automakers will follow public perception over EPA classifications. The price points could be as simple as different trims, but it leaves open the possibility of Focus going larger and more upscale in its next generation. Mulally is smart enough to think like a chess player – several moves ahead, while revealing only one move at a time.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      I don’t think there’s a formal definition for the segments, but the lettered segments are European designations and are becoming more common globally as automakers unify their lineups. Chevrolet is actually a good example brand as they cover all the common segments: Spark (A-segment), Sonic (B-segment), Cruze (C-segment), Malibu (D-segment), SS (E-segment). The Impala would probably be considered a D-segment or E-segment car.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @gmichaelj
      According to this article the Escort will sit between the Mondeo and Focus. I also read for the Chinese market it will come with a 1.5 litre naturally aspirated engine. I will endeavour to find the article.

      “The Escort will enter below the midsized Mondeo, where it will offer a more premium cabin than the slightly smaller Focus – Ford’s most popular model in China.”

      “Designed for the sedan-hungry Chinese market, where rear comfort is a major priority, the Escort is expected to measure around around 150 to 200mm longer than the Focus sedan.”

      http://www.themotorreport.com.au/58637/new-ford-escort-to-make-production-debut-in-beijing

  • avatar
    otter

    This sounds like it could easily end up cannibalizing sales of the Fiesta, Focus sedan, or both. Americans shopping for cars of that size are still pretty price-conscious, and if given a choice between a Focus sedan and an Escort that is both cheaper and has more room in the back, I can see most people choosing the Escort. I suppose this would be OK from a product-planning perspective if the Focus hatches are left alone at a higher price point. But what, then, of the Fiesta sedan? If they can sell this Escort for a price very close to that car’s, perhaps better to just drop the Fiesta sedan.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Joy!!! (best Stimpy voice)

    Can I shift it myself through six forward gears? ??

    What’s the details on the engine?

    I prefer the sweet burnt-orange/brownish color from the article the other day.

  • avatar
    jaydez

    Can we just get a focus with more rear leg room? I love my 2012 hatch but why son’s rear facing child seat doesn’t fit in the back with my wife up front so we are forced to use her Elantra (which handles like crap comparatively)

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Maybe if the dashboard didn’t try to eat passengers you’d be okay. I liked both of my Foci (Titanium and ST), but I always had issues sitting in the passenger seat. The space in my C-Max is so much better.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    If Focus sales are hurting because the backseat area is too small, why not just redesign the next model to be roomier, like – this? Does the Escort name have some special cachet with Chinese buyers? Then just rebadge the Focus.

    And I will not buy a car made in China. Ever.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Well then, while you’re at it, don’t sit in that chair over there.

      You’d better throw that juice away that’s in your fridge, too.

      Oh yeah, and your shoes. Give those a toss. You don’t need those. Along with your wardrobe.

      Along with your television, DVD player, mobile phone. Et cetera.

      Look away from the computer. Look away!!!

      • 0 avatar
        TEXN3

        I think you’d be surprised what you can buy that is produced in the US. Very few items save little dustables that my wife buys and kids toys are made in China around our house. Some stuff from Japan, Euroland, Korea, and Mexico (usually purchased there). I’d rather save more money to get a quality purchase! My iphone is made in China but neither iMac I have are made there.

        With that said, I’m sure the Escort for the Americas would be produced in South America or Mexico and would most likely replace the Fiesta sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        All of the products you name are less expensive not to mention less safety-critical than an automobile. Do you own $20,000 shoes? A $30,000 laptop? A $40,000 TV? None of these devices have a realistic potential of killing me when they malfunction. Most are expected to have defects and a relatively short life expectancy. None are commonly purchased on a payment plan. My experience with the indifferent quality standards associated with everything on your list only serves to confirm my position. Name me one Chinese-made item that people prefer over a comparable item from another location because of its “superior Chinese quality”.

        • 0 avatar
          TEXN3

          Fine China tableware?

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          Art? Lol

          With all respect, jpolicke, what’s the difference between a Korean built Daewoo (*cough Chevy cough cough*) and a Chinese built Escort?

          And if you think dog$hit Daewoo is quality, would you kindly share what it is you’re smoking with the rest of us?

          • 0 avatar
            jpolicke

            LOL. Not remotely. All I can say is ‘Woo is the exception that proves the rule.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Lol!

            An Escort should be a safe enough, cheap commuter to run the piss out of, just like the good ‘ole days.

            Except now they look much nicer.

          • 0 avatar
            azmtbkr81

            The Daewoo is built in a country that doesn’t have thousands of nukes pointed at our population centers and hundreds of thousands of state sponsored hackers stealing our intellectual property. Those are the big ones for me, not that I’d want to drive a Daewoo (or a Hyundai) if I didn’t have to!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The Chinese nuclear arsenal is kept secret but it amounts to somewhere between 180 and 3,000 warheads. It is estimated 55% of China’s missiles are in the medium range category, targeted at regional theater targets and the country only had between fifty and seventy five ICBMs. Even if they had three thousand wareheads, and those ICBMs had MIRV capability, they still do not have thousands of warheads capable of hitting North America.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    A Ford built where workers get low wages to be sold in the US, Henry Ford must be turning in his grave, after all he paid his people a nice wage back when he started.

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      I don’t know anything about Ford’s foreign manufacturing, but wages are relative to where you live. Heavy manufacturing jobs are relatively very good jobs that pay a solid wage for most Chinese citizens. That it costs less to live in China has nothing to do with Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Volt 230
      We in Australia can say the same about the US, how can you guys live on such paltry incomes.

      I do think the cost of living in China is much cheaper than the US.

  • avatar
    bikephil

    That thing is as ugly as the last-gen Escort was!

    • 0 avatar
      mikefitzvw

      I actually really like how it looks! It has more traditional proportions with a level beltline and none of the lines seem overly bent, curved, zigzagged, or angular. It’s a refreshingly pedestrian and plain design. I’d be super excited if this came here – a car with actual rear visibility might persuade me to finally leave my ’97 Sentra.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This guy might have different ideas than Mulally when he takes over the helm.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/21/us-ford-motor-ceo-idUSBREA3K10M20140421

  • avatar
    kojoteblau

    I’d never consider an Escort, simply because of the name. It brings up smoking sputtering cars with that horrible belt squeal they always seemed to have.
    I actually saw one on the road the other day, it kinda startled me.

  • avatar

    It doesnt say it will be cheaper than Focus or built in China for US market yet many are reading it that way.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    I have to wonder whether the next Focus might drop the sedan variant — it’s not offered in Europe anyway. For the US, offering a more conservative Escort sedan and a more sporty/Euro Focus hatch might increase sales of both.

    • 0 avatar

      US Focus buyers aren’t generally ready for hatchbacks. I sell far more sedans and its not about price point. Many find the hatch ugly. Of course they are wrong but I gotta make a buck so I keep my mouth shut.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        I’m going to hazard a guess that this varies regionally — apparently, the national split is about 60% sedan, 40% hatch, but here in New England I almost never see the sedans. What metro are you in?

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I see more Focus hatches than sedans around SF too. Maybe I just notice them more.

        If ever there was a car that definitely looked better as a hatch, it’s the current Focus.

  • avatar
    RHD

    So Mulally says Ford might send new Chinese Escorts to the US.
    There are already thousand of Chinese Escorts here… they are actually slaves, working at “massage” businesses in small strip malls all over the country. (Don’t believe me? Look it up! Human trafficking is a thriving industry.)

  • avatar
    jhefner

    Someone found the patent drawings to the 2015 Escort and posted them online. I imported them into my drawing program for the purpose of building a paper model of it for my display.

    When I scaled the width (excluding mirrors) and height to match the current Ford Focus, then measured the wheelbase and length; it would appear with the added rear legroom that this car is Ford Fusion size; and not a compact car in size. Near as I can tell, these are the dimensions:

    Wheelbase: 115 inches
    Length: 192 inches
    Width: 71.8 inches
    Height: 58.4 inches.

    Of course I could be wrong; but that is what the drawings imply.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States