Ford Snatches Away the Focus Active, Leaving Future Low-end Buyers With the EcoSport and What Else?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford snatches away the focus active leaving future low end buyers with the ecosport

U.S. Ford Focus production ended in May, but the automaker planned to import the next-generation Focus Active, a slightly lifted, mildly cladded five-door, in order to have something to sell to entry-level buyers. With the subcompact Fiesta ceasing production early next spring and the Fusion following it a couple of years later, that left very little low-end product for new or returning customers.

Well, scratch a crossoverized Focus off your shopping list. The automaker now says the Focus Active will not arrive on these shores in the latter part of 2019, or any date after that.

After learning this, how many of you are now pricing a three-cylinder, FWD EcoSport? Anyone? Hello?

Ford made the admission during a Friday media conference call. At the heart of the matter is something that was already on the radar when the Blue Oval decided to cull all but one of its passenger car models: tariffs, specifically those placed on Chinese-built vehicles.

According to Automotive News, Ford’s North American president, Kumar Galhotra, doesn’t think it’s a big deal.

“The impact to our future sales is expected to be marginal,” Galhotra said. “Our viewpoint is that, given the tariffs, our costs would be substantially higher. Our resources could be better deployed at this stage.”

Galhotra said the company didn’t expect to sell more than 50,000 Focus Actives annually. To put that figure into perspective, Ford unloaded nearly 30,000 Fiestas in the U.S. through the end of July. Focus volume, so far this year, totals over 84,000. Still, the Active would have been an affordable product Ford could have dangled in front of buyers not interested in warmed-over Indian models with questionable styling and quality. Investors and analysts may have been heartened to see it arrive, too

Recall that CEO Jim Hackett said no customer would be left behind after the car cull. What do existing Fiesta or Focus buyers buy next?

Regardless, money talks, and it seems the 25 percent import tariff imposed on Chinese products this year would have erased much of the model’s profitability. Even if tariffs disappear around the globe, Galhotra claims Ford has no plans to pull a U-turn and bring the Active here.

As for Canadians, they weren’t getting the Active anyway, so expect to hear a bit of chuckling from north of the border today.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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  • Fusion2010 Fusion2010 on Sep 04, 2018

    No customers left behind... right... Well as the owner of my 3rd Fusion and 2 bought brand new, I will not be buying an Ecosport thing, or an escape or any other of their SUV's. I like my sedan especially with AWD and will NOT buy an Ford SUV just to stay in the Ford family. So count me as a left behind customer and a lost sale for them because of the lack of choice of any non SUV products.

  • Akear Akear on Sep 10, 2018

    America can survive without another Ford POS.

  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.