• Aug 9th 2006 at 4:57PM
  • 16
Back in January at the L.A. Auto Show Mark Fields promised the audience at his keynote speech that Ford would soon be unveiling a new product to compete in the fast-growing subcompact (or B-segment) market in the U.S. Well, here we are in August and Ford is still without the promised small car to compete with the Chevy Aveo, Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit. What happened?

Well, it turns out that Ford was rushing to market a version of the Fiesta-based EcoSport small SUV (pictured) that its subsidiaries sell in Mexico and Brazil. According to The Detroit News, the already fairly basic EcoSport would have been stripped down even further as Ford tried to come up with a price leader for the market. Fields (wisely, in our opinion) canned the project, saying this week that he'd rather wait for Ford to "come in with a product that's distinctly Ford" and not "just another econo-box."

[Source: Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      A B segment SUV? (slaps forehead)
      • 9 Years Ago
      Why not be unique and bring in a sub-B class car...the replacement for the Ka they are developing with Fiat is supposed to come to market in 2007/8. Could be a more practical answer to the Smart.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just came back from Mexico City. I saw these all over. They are available with deluxe audio and part-time AWD. Not a bad little SUV for $20 grand. But obviously it would interfere with the Escape, which is one of Ford's best sellers now (especially the hybrid). Ford really needs something to compete against the Fit, and the Fiesta is it. I saw a lot of these in Mexico City as well. Slightly smaller and a lot better looking than the current Focus.

      I also saw a BMW 1-series, and a lot of Opels. Damn, I think Mexico has a better selection of fuel-efficient (small) cars.
      • 9 Years Ago
      ...more like canned the project after they realized it wouldn't be competitive and was too expensive. And Ford only wasted a year and millions of dollars figuring that out.

      So, if Ford is starting an entirely new project, that means we should see a B-segment car by like 2010 then? That means Ford will once again be one generation behind its competitors who will be replacing their current B-segment products at that time.

      Ford is going to pay dearly for the mistakes they have made in the past 4-6 years. It's hard to play catch up when you have development times as long as Ford's.
      • 9 Years Ago

      Just build this, in one form, or another.

      Economy? No problem. build this say Yaris sedan sized(alittle over 14 feet total length) and say around 2,500-2,600 lbs, and "detune" the Foucs engine to 120-125HP(like Nissan Versa's and Suzuki Reno HP range).

      If Focus gets 35MPG(I read) now... with what, 140HP(?), knock off a few hundred lbs, 10HP less, or 20...
      and i bet ya could get a few mor eMPG, and even at 120HP, and 2,500lbs, it should hit 60 in waht, 9 seconds, if the gearing is done right.

      Want a hybrid? fine... that could be a 20-23K model.

      Want sporty? Use that 160HP engine in the Mazda3, and sitll get what, probably mid-30's mpg?

      I am sure they could go to the parts bins ,and build something, w/o breaking the bank, or it being "junk".
      • 9 Years Ago
      Ford North America is now a part of the FoMoCo blobal team that is developing a brand new B1 platform. This platform will be ready about early next year, and then it will take about 18 motnhs for products to start appearing. Because Ford NA got to the game a little late, it might take a little longer for US bound vehicles to show up.

      The EcoSport and other US bound B'cars were to be built on the OLD Ford B'car platform (current Fiesta) - when the new ones debut, they will be state of the art, as the platform will be developed for EU, Latin America and other markets, where this segment is crucial for Ford and Mazda

      The B's that are coing will be far from aged/generation behind - they will be as up-to-date as the Yaris is.. and the upcoming next generation Fit will be.

      • 9 Years Ago
      And just what exactly is "distinctively Ford"?

      I can't think of a positive thing other than what the Model T stood for.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I don't know about the decontenting, but I saw one of these in San Diego recently. I actually commented to my friend, "They should sell that here -- I bet it would do well."
      • 9 Years Ago
      Let me get this straight... Ford needs a "B" segment vehicle, so they wanted to bring over... a small SUV???? Doesn't Ford already have a small SUV named the Escape? Last I checked they did. What they need is a Yaris/Fit/Versa fighter, not another small SUV. I'm glad they killed the idea. Whoever thought of it in the first place needs to pass over whatever they've been smoking, because it must be some serious stuff... oh and they should be fired as well. Idiots.
      • 9 Years Ago
      well get to it then, were waiting
      • 9 Years Ago
      Ford of North America is still SUV obsessed.

      If they just bring the Fiesta as is they can sell it sub $10k.

      As a bonus this releives the pressure on the Focus if it doesn't have to be "entry level" anymore so they can riase prices and add back a bit of content and still sell it profitably starting at ~$14k

      They could also sell the SportKa in mercury dealerships in small but respectable numbers.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Honey I shrunk the Escape
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