• Jul 23rd 2007 at 1:42AM
  • 20
We've known that after Mulally was appointed Grand Poo-bah of FoMoCo, one of the first items on his to-do list was to commonize the automaker's lineup in Europe and America in an effort to cut production costs. The cry from those of us in the States, deriding Ford's execs for depriving us of the automaker's European offerings has been far and wide, and according to Automotive News, the movement is underfoot. Let the breath holding begin.

The auto-industry pub cites suppliers and "industry sources" as saying that Ford will be importing the C1 platform to the U.S. in the form of the new Focus and Escape, along with the C-Max and a Lincoln crossover. Expect the new Focus and C-Max to make it to our shores by 2011, while the Escape replacement and Lincoln's crossover – likely to be inspired by the European Kuga – to come by 2012.

Even better for N.A. autoworkers, Ford plans to build these newest offerings in the Wayne, Michigan and Kansas City plant, with a possibility of also employing the Cuautitlan, Mexico line.

Although we've heard these rumblings before, and have been left with such disappointments as the '08 Focus, we're feeling a bit more confident about this latest report. The timeframe seems entirely plausible, but until it happens we'll be looking cautiously into the future.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      OK... first, we are getting the C2 Focus in 2011. The C1 will be dead by then. The reason we didn't get the C1 in 2008 was because the numbers said it would cost more to bring it here than update the C170 and it would retail for about $2k more (selling for $5k more) than the current Focus. Ford's brand is not strong enough to sell an expensive small car in the U.S. right now. The Focus sells because it has $3,000 on the hood. And Ford needs it to sell for CAFE reasons. Then there are the politics of bringing over the platform, which luckily are quickly being stamped out by Mulally.

      The new 2008 Focus will be pretty close to the C1 in terms of handling, ride, noise and body stiffness. But it will be less expensive to build and was less expensive (and political) to develop than modifying the C1 Focus. The C170 was a good platform and received a major overhaul for '08. It's not as bad as people on this board claim and certainly will be better than most small cars out there (styling is questionable, but I have no doubt it will be one of the best drivers in its class).

      What we will be getting in 2011 and 2012 are the C2 vehicles currently under development and set to debut in Europe in late 2010. The question will be what Ford does to its line-up between now and then. Well, it's all but confirmed that the Escape gets a 6-speed and new four and six-cylinder engines next year and probably a revised hybrid system currently in the works. It will probably also get other upgrades for the 2010 or '11 model year. The Focus? No idea. But probably a new tranny and maybe updated engines (and if they can drop those side vents and add the new 2.5, I just might park one in my driveway when I replace my Civic in 2009).
      • 8 Years Ago
      The St. Louis plant is a UNION plant. Toyota and other imports are ANTI-UNION. That means they don't believe in worker rights! That is why they build their factories in rural areas where there isn't competion for workers. Toyota is able to stay profitable building the Tacoma for this reason alone.

      Ford must pick and choose which models it will invest in because they are spending $20 BILLION a year in legasy and healthcare costs! They place low profitablity models like the Ranger on a low priority basis. This allows Toyota which has billion of dollars on hand to swoop in and steal the segment.
        • 8 Years Ago
        The Tacoma is made by UAW union workers in San Francisco Metropolitan area. In NUMMI plant Fremont California.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The dollar will be worth 0.1 Euro by then so they'll probably want to export from the US to EU as well.

      • 8 Years Ago
      For too many years American manufacturers have been slaves to their workers (UAW). If they can't keep them working they loose billions. They have been hesitant to step out of the volume (cheap) sales strategy. Fearing Americans may not pay a premium for top notch image driven domestic products.

      I hope Ford will step up and offer the best product they can no matter what the cost (within reason). If Americans aren't able to afford a quality Ford product then why are the Europeans buying them?

      I like the looks of the new Mercury Milan and Mariner but why do you need Mercury. All they do is Lessen the Lincoln name and its ability to be a premium dealer. Cancel Mercury and take Lincoln upmarket. Maybe, they should keep Jaguar and share RWD chassis development with Lincoln.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I thought the new 2008 Focus was a major dissappointment when I first saw it. However, upon closer inspection (interior and prices) I have begun to reconsider.

      I'm glad to hear of the new Fords it's just too bad we have to wait until 2011. By 2011 I wonder what state the FoMoCo wil be in.
      • 8 Years Ago
      See, I told you 2013 for the new escape (to be sold in 2012).
      • 8 Years Ago
      "What makes you guys think we will get the great Euro products and not the Europeans getting the crap products from us? Or what makes you think the outcome wont be an amalgamation of Europe and North America?"

      To answer the question, quite simply because if Ford would bring their US product to market in Europe their sales would immediately decline to just about nil.

      About the safety certification issue. Don't understand why this is even an issue these days.

      European cars are generally built to a higher safety standard than US offerings are (not counting cheaper locally produced cheaper "one market" autos in the former eastern block).

      This has certainly been true since the Euro NCAP crash testing system was implemented in all markets within the European Union years ago.

      All Western European manufacturers, VW, Mercedes, BMW, Volvo, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Opel (GM) and, yes indeed, Ford Europe produce their product to these very high set standards and beyond.

      The question of bringing Euro Ford and GM products to the US must simply be a matter of will, money and red tape difficulties.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Personally, I like the 08 Focus. I saw a ton running around Dearborn today. But it needs to be replaced.

      I have a feeling Mulally will find a way to make the world platforms more cost effective for Ford. The C1 would be too damn expensive for an entry level compact (I doubt a C1 Focus would start under $16k). I just never understood why Ford just never re-tooled the Focus plant to build C1s there. Oh yeah, Billy Boy was in charge...that's right.

      Anyways, I see Mulally doing a lot for the whole world platform production. I doubt it will be hard to re-tool Ford's US, Canada and Mexico plants to build the same version of vehicles as Europe gets. Heck, Chrysler and Mitsu use a world platform that underpins the Caliber, Lancer, etc.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Genuine name, in Slovene meaning "plague" :) No sell there, i suppose.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i'm glad to hear we're getting a new focus in 2011 because the 2008 is a huge disappointment. Ford will not be able to compete with the Caliber or the Versa or Yaris with it's underpowered uninspiring Focus.
        • 8 Years Ago
        A skateboard with a washing machine nailed to the top could compete with the Caliber. It's an AWFUL vehicle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Too little, too late. Euro spec Fords should have hit the showrooms by 2004 at the latest. Between exchange rates and upcoming products from Japanese and Korean makers Ford and GM at most can hope to hold market share.
      All in all a shame.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What makes you guys think we will get the great Euro products and not the Europeans getting the crap products from us? Or what makes you think the outcome wont be an amalgamation of Europe and North America?
        • 8 Years Ago
        Amber is right. Considering most of these cars are years away and in design phase currently, the melting pot idea could end up not pleasing anyone. If Mullaly came on board last year and put 100 engineers on Americanizing European cars rightaway and offering them as 2008s then that would be one thing. But a 2011 Focus could very well be similar to the current junk yet sold over in Europe as to get rid of this superiority over there crap here conundrum. I dont know, I have more of a wait and see attitude. Ford is in the gutter so I guess there is no way to go but up.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Im possitive that the "melting pot" of global platforms would be more on the side of the Eurospec and Euroquality than American and here is how I got there: The Europeans have an enormous number of brands and models to choose from and the Europeans are more picky at buying than most Americans. Ford of Europe has been flat or slightly positive and Ford cant mess up Europe and take our cars over there. Therefore I really do think European styling and European engineering would actually come here.

        But I would also take a wait and see attitude.

        In the meantime how about giving us the New Awesome Ford Ranger you just introduced to ALL the World except USA Mr. Ford?
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