Ford pulled a shrewd move back in September when it exercised an option to purchase the rights to the Rover brand name from BMW, which meant that Chinese automaker SAIC couldn't use the brand name to sell the ex-Rover cars it had just won the rights to build. Hence, the Roewe brand was born and the 750E was unveiled soon after.

AutoExpress is now reporting that SAIC is readying a salve right back at Ford in the form of a Focus fighter for the European market. The small family hatch will come in both three- and five-door models, and it's being developed locally in the U.K. by Ricardo 2010, an engineering firm bought by SAIC that just happens to employ a number of ex-Rover employees. 2010 was also responsible for reengineering the Roewe 750, which will go on sale in Europe later this year. The small car is being developed using the RDX60 chassis, a still-born platform that didn't get the chance to see the light of day before Rover went bankrupt.

We find it amusing SAIC is developing a car to take on the Focus considering Ford threw a major wrench in their works by buying the rights to the Rover name at the last minute. The Rover name will likely never be commercially used by Ford, which wasn't keen on the idea of Chinese-built passenger vehicles being confused with its high-end, off-road Land Rovers.

[Source: AutoExpress]

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