By on July 13, 2018

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“Progressively over time, four-doors have been withdrawn from the market,” said UK marketing head Lisa Brankin.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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33 Comments on “The Best Ford Focus Sedan Is the One (Almost) No One Wants...”


  • avatar
    dtomov11

    I was younger and with less money. I bought a Focus. I will never buy Ford again.
    Other people bought Civics. They always buy Hondas.

    • 0 avatar
      Carroll Prescott

      I’m convinced Honduh buyers are stupid – they’ll buy ugly and exclaim that they’ve got a high quality product. Back in 1997 I bought a Ford Escort – it has been as reliable as any Honduh, I paid $4k less than a Civic for my Escort and it is still bulletproof after 21 years (made in August of 1996) with 175k miles. All I know about Honduh owners is that they tailgate and are stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      200k-min

      I owned a Honda and replaced it with a Ford. From the 1998 model I owned to the 2014 model I looked at to replace it with Honda has fallen further than any other mfr. Meanwhile Ford, GM, Hyundai – and many others – have thoroughly raised their game. If you don’t cross shop everyone you will be missing out on what truly is current in the industry. Honda currently IS NOT.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    What a shame, that car looks great, wish I could see the interior, but I would not be ashamed to be seen in it. I really don’t get the hatchback mindset in the EU, I’m sure the rear seats fold down, as a stupid shareholder (all my eggs are certainly not the Ford basket), I continue to enjoy the 5.5% dividend, but I have a $10.50 sell order in place.

    This coming from a guy who gave up his Lexus to his kid for college and is currently driving the new Civic – I know everyone hates the way that car looks but it’s a hell of a deal and to my eyes looks great and handles just fine for my age – this car has some of the same lines that usually aren’t seen in a car this size.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    I had one sedan (well, one with a front engine and a rear trunk, anyway) in my whole automotive career, and it’s very likely going to remain the only one. What a dreadfully inconvenient design.

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    Am I nuts, or is that lead image of a non-US-bound Focus hatch with Euro plates show the Golden Gate Bridge in the background?

  • avatar
    ItsBob

    So this is “the” car!!

    The one that Ford was building an entirely new assembly plant in Mexico for production.

    The plant that they “cancelled” because Mr. Trump was on them about not building cars in the US! Yup, that’s why.

    So if you really wanted this car, who do we blame for not getting it?

    I’d say the timing was great for Ford here. :)

    I own a 14 Focus and I really do like the appearance of this new version.

  • avatar
    MoDo

    Looks like a mazda

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Too bad the transmission has suicidal tendencies.

  • avatar
    RS

    Is the trunk lid the size of the glove box door? No thanks. It might look good, but functionally it’s crap.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Well, I guess I can understand not wanting to sell the sedan. I’m sure it would pick up some sales in most markets. But the hatch is infinitely better looking. I’m surprised that Ford passed on selling it in the US. Even if in limited numbers, very nice looking vehicle, better than the Focus Active, though that is nice looking as well.

    Diminutive sedans don’t make a lot of sense from a practical perspective and their short trunklid aesthetics are….”off”…for lack of a better word.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      They could have made it a compact wagon with optional AWD and call it a SUV. Not everyone wants an Escape. Of course, then they couldn’t call it a truck for CAFE purposes.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I remember seeing pictures of this thing when the new Focus was announced. It looks designed for the Chinese market, and I don’t mean that in a good way. I’m more bummed we aren’t getting the hatch, but without a decent engine I wouldn’t look at one anyway.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    These cars really, REALLY only work if you get the hatch model with s stick-shift, same with the Fiesta.

    In the name of rear passenger area the sedans give up on having a usable trunk opening, and the automatics are at best indecisive and clumsy, at worse non functional.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s not rear passenger area, it’s the slanted rear window for aerodynamics. I’ve owned sedans with nearly vertical rear windows – that didn’t get dirty – and the trunk openings were large. As for indecisive automatics, you’ve apparently never driven a RWD big block Chrysler V8 with a torqueflite. Bad things happened when transaxles and sideways engines, good for subcompacts, were applied to larger cars.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    You get a free Members Only jacket, like the one Mr. Skinny Jeans is wearing, when you buy a Focus.

  • avatar
    dwford

    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?

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

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

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