Ford's troubled path with its Focus lineup has been well documented, from its highly publicized string of recalls early in its career on through the decision to introduce a new model overseas, but merely facelift the North American model. When it first came out, the Focus was a revelation, lauded for its European handling, and crisp, edgy lines. The tarted-up SVT version carried that torch to enthusiasts to good effect, but the decision to pass over the U.S. when it came to handing out the new model has proven a tough pill for consumers and the media alike to swallow.
What's even more troublesome is the word that Ford lost an estimated $4,000 to $5,000 per Focus it has sold in the last year. This, on a vehicle whose average transaction price is in the mid-to-high teens. And now that the small car segment is hot in the U.S. again, Ford is left with but one aging iron in the fire.
According to BusinessWeek, the automaker promises that it will have a solid range of small cars by 2008, with word that "...the lineup will include a five-door sedan and a small SUV the company may call the Bronco." A third subcompact is also a possibility.
[Sources: BusinessWeek; Ford Motor Company]