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“Progressively over time, four-doors have been withdrawn from the market,” said UK marketing head Lisa Brankin.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).

  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.
  • Lorenzo They may as well put a conventional key ignition in a steel box with a padlock. Anything electronic is more likely to lock out the owner than someone trying to steal the car.
  • Lorenzo Another misleading article. If they're giving away Chargers, people can drive that when they need longer range, and leave the EV for grocery runs and zipping around town. But they're not giving away Chargers, thy're giving away chargers. What a letdown. What good are chargers in California or Nashville when the power goes out?
  • Luke42 I'm only buying EVs from here on out (when I have the option), so whoever backs off on their EV plans loses a shot at my business.