The Best Ford Focus Sedan Is the One (Almost) No One Wants

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
the best ford focus sedan is the one almost no one wants

Think back to the very early days of the previous decade and memories of awful mainstream rock compete with visions of the first-generation Ford Focus sedan. It was everywhere, and quite a few people has quite a few problems with theirs. By the end of the decade, however, those issues were mainly in the rear-view, as Ford was busy preparing to heap dual-clutch transmission woes onto its customers.

Now, the Focus sedan’s officially dead as the Blue Oval embarks on a nearly car-free voyage to the future. Only the faux crossover “Active” version of the next-gen 2019 Focus stands to see any customers in North America, but it’s a privilege reserved only for citizens of the United States. Canucks need not apply.

Too bad, as the next-gen Focus sedan’s a looker. Its designers aren’t exactly thrilled that so many countries have taken a pass.

According to Automotive News Europe, the newly curvaceous sedan won’t be appearing in many showrooms in the Western world, as trunks are apparently the kiss of sales death. Ford’s U.S. division clearly thinks so, and Canada feels even a butchy hatchback is too un-truck-like, never mind the sedan.

That sentiment carries over on the east side of the Atlantic, where the UK, Ford’s biggest European market, just isn’t having any of this “no liftgate” thing.

“I don’t need volumes of 10,000 to sell it,” said Helmut Reder, the Focus’ car line director, implying that Ford’s Saarlouis, Germany assembly plant’s willing and able to satisfy the world’s Focus sedan needs. But no one’s asking. Reder and Amko Leenart, Ford of Europe design chief, have jokingly pressured journalists to help them convince their home countries to hop on board the sedan train.

Ford execs on both sides of the ocean remain proud of the new model’s exterior styling, which incorporates the curves seen on the hatch without looking unnatural or ungainly. Just don’t expect to see it in the flesh.

“Progressively over time, four-doors have been withdrawn from the market,” said UK marketing head Lisa Brankin. “No one’s adding them.”

So, which remaining buyers does Ford have for the 2019 Focus sedan? Well, there’s Romania, and um, Turkey. Oh, and China, which is a bit behind the times and playing catch-up in terms of consumer preference. Who knows how long hatch-free demand will exist in that market.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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4 of 33 comments
  • Dwford Dwford on Jul 15, 2018

    Is this really how Ford builds cars? They design random body styles and then each market closes what they want to sell like its a buffet?

  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Jul 16, 2018

    Ireland used to be a popular market for small sedans, but the site doesn't show the latest Focus in 4 door guise. Similarly the site no longer offers the Astra sedan (aka Buick Verano).

  • MRF 95 T-Bird The hideaway headlamps on these and other Ford vehicles of the era could have issues mostly vacuum related. Usually the vacuum hoses that ran to the actuators would deteriorate. The “coffee can” reservoir which was mounted in the front header was rarely an issue because it was protected from the elements. The other coffee can reservoir used for the HVAC controls and actuators and mounted under the passenger side wheel well had a tendency to rot away. I once replaced one on my 70 Mustang when I noticed that the vents were acting janky. Later model Fords like Fox bodies used a durable plastic globe shaped one. The radio on these 69-70 full-size Fords mounted on the left side of aircraft style instrument cluster within the drivers touch probably disappointed many young people. “Mom will you change the station?” “Andy Williams is so square”.
  • MichaelBug For me, two issues in particular:1. It can be difficult for me to maintain my lane on a rainy night. Here in southeastern PA, PennDOT's lane markings aren't very reflective. They can be almost impossible to make out when wet.2. Backing out of a parking space in a lot with heavy pedestrian traffic. Oftentimes people will walk right into my blind spot even if I am creeping back with my 4-way flashers blinking. (No backup camera in my '11 Toyota Camry.)Michael B 🙂
  • Tagbert When you publish series like this, could you include links to the previous articles in the series so that we can follow through? Thank you. Edit: now I see a link embedded in the first paragraph that goes to the previous story. It wasn’t clear at first where that link went but now I understand.
  • DungBeetle62 When you're in one of these, you life in a state of constant low-level nervous about 90% of the time. But that other 10% kinda makes up for it.
  • Garrett Instead of foisting this problem on the car companies and the people who buy cars, make those who possess liquor licenses and those who purchase alcohol take on the economic cost of this problem.