"Euro Focus" To Be Built Stateside For 2011
Ford has announced that the current Euro-spec Focus arrive stateside in 2010 as a 2011 model. What's more, it'll be an American-made product, And for once, we don't mean Mexico. Automotive News [AN, sub] says the current Focus plant in Wayne, MI will likely build the new-to-us small car. If all goes according to plan (i.e. the SUV market never recovers and the United Auto Workers play ball), Ford's Louisville KY factory may also switch over to the new Focus (from Escape/Mariner production). All in, we're looking at an annual production capacity of 280k units. AN's confirmed sedan and five-door versions of the new Focus, with rumors circulating of possible C-Max MPV. With this machine, Ford returns to a "world car" strategy for its C1 platform; the 2010 US-spec model will be the same car sold in Europe, South America and Asia. This global product alignment will bring new features to the stateside Focus, like direct-injection engines and a six-speed gearbox. We'd like to think that a hot ST or RS version might also be sold stateside, but then we also daydream about Paganis.
The answer to number 1 is both. The Mondeo, however, is designed slightly differently and could be carried to the U.S. as is - except it would likely run around $25k for a base model. What Ford is doing is what they failed to do in the 90s. With the Contour (and first Focus), Ford of Europe developed the car and then the U.S. modified it. Now, U.S. engineers put in certain specifications around size, interior room, layout and, frankly, cost that FoE can take and turn into a car that can be produced and sold worldwide not just "worldwide." The benefit is, especially with the Focus, that Ford will get probably 250-300k additional units out of the same development effort. It makes it less costly per vehicle to develop, tool up and supply. That allows better content and opens up to high labor cost bases producing a higher content car at the same price as competitors. This is not like Ford's efforts in the 90s. I think that is the most important thing to realize. This is not the Contour or Focus Mk1 in any respect. That said, we won't be getting the "Mondeo." The Fusion name will live on when the platforms are mated in, most likely, early 2012.
Tiger260 - I have felt the same things since I was stationed in Italy '91-'94. Apparently though the Americans who get it buy imports already and those Ford customers are not going to give much thought to anything not big and bad and fast and loud. At least around here. Small cars remain starter cars for teen girls around here that the "grownups" won't give much consideration to until gas gets really expensive. They aren't manly enough or something. Meanwhile I keep looking across the Atlantic at what I COULD buy if the economy was truly GLOBAL. I'll stick with the imports, Saturn and hope for a return of the 5 door Focus to America. I'm going to need another car in two years and I hope to buy GM or Ford. Won't happen likely though.
I like. A five door, please?
Thanks RobertSD for an informative answer. That all makes sense. I hope Ford can be more successful this time round.