Given the recent introduction of a new Expedition, EcoSport, refreshed Edge, and reborn Ranger, it’s easy to forget Ford Motor Company still sells small cars. While the current-generation Fiesta subcompact took a pass on the American market, the Focus remains, and there’s a new generation waiting in the wings.
Would-be buyers can gaze beyond the camouflage at the next-gen Focus in April, according to Automotive News Europe, with the model forgoing an expected reveal at the March Geneva Motor Show. What can we expect out of the new Focus? Going by recent reports, a slightly larger vehicle, along with a lot less choice for consumers.
The American model, to be built in China following Ford’s about-face on Mexican assembly, won’t be as varied as it was before. In its short-term cost-cutting product plan, Ford wants only 10 to 20 orderable configurations of the Focus, Fusion, and EcoSport, down from the hundreds seen in recent years. As the Focus isn’t a high-margin vehicle, there’s no need for Ford to give consumers everything they want.
As for variants, there’s little known about that. European customers can expect a high-zoot Vignale version, along with an ST performance line, a wagon, and an upcoming Active soft-roader. American Focus lovers aren’t so lucky. A basic sedan and hatch seems the likely offerings, though with the ST badge coming to both the Edge and Explorer lines, a hotter Focus is surely in the cards. No word on an RS, sorry.
Last year, Ford’s head of global markets, Jim Farley, said the next model won’t have the same volume as it once did. Not surprising, given the Focus’ falling fortunes. Sales of the Focus in the United States reached a high point of 245,992 vehicles in 2012, falling to 158,395 in 2017.
Chinese production should be up and running by the middle of next year, meaning a mid-to-late 2019 arrival on North American shores. Europeans will see the model first, likely by the end of this year.
[Image: Ford Motor Company]