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Despite not being official, we've known for some time that Ford CEO Alan Mulally wants to increase the number of platforms shared by its U.S. and European divisions. It's something Ford fanboys have been demanding for some time, and yesterday Mulally officially confirmed that the next-gen Focus and Fusion would be global vehicles, sharing platforms with their counterparts across the pond. This will be in addition to the B-class car that's coming in the form of the new European Fiesta small car that will slot below the Focus in Ford's U.S. lineup.

The amount of overlap between Ford in the U.S. and Ford of Europe was one of the first things that surprised Mulally when he arrived at Ford exactly one year ago. He's quickly set about fixing the redundancy, but we won't likely see the fruits of his labor until 2010 or 2011 when the next Focus is expected to debut for both markets.

Ford execs have said that these cars will wear different styling and be tuned differently, but we've heard from inside the Blue Oval that a conflict between U.S. and Euro designers is growing, with the former group upset that its delicate balance of three-bar grilles will be upset by the Fiesta, and possibly other models, arriving with FoE's "Kinetic Design" theme.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      leave the US designers on the trucks and European designers on the cars.

      there, problem solved. everyone still has a territory.
      Alan, my consulting bill is on its way.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Exactly. They want to design cars that look like trucks so let 'em have a ball with updating the Escape and Exploder with sillier and sillier styling and leave the cars to the Euro division.

        I think people now who buy a cheap car (like me) want a bit of style, sophistication, and spizzarkle. Not some faux-macho Caliber, etc.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I prefer a small car with some pep to it. yeah, its environmentally friendlier than a Navigator but I can scoot through traffic in one, and its usually just for commuting, occasionally the family to go somewhere and I just cant justify spending a wad on something bigger.

        I've got a 2005 Jetta GLI I'm about to trade in and there is nothing in the US to replace it with that I'm excited about. The Scions are about the best thing going in the sub-20K econobox market right now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why not sell both styles, maybe a euro option pacakge. IF there are going to be 1000's of my car on the road, the ability to have it be semi-unique seems like a plus in my book. Seems like an obvious solution, let the buying public decide.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Bring the Mondeo to the US before 2010!
      • 7 Years Ago
      "the Tempo and Fusion have so much in common that it's scary)."

      I don`t see it. The Fusion is totally different from the Tempo.
      This is the exact reason the domestic car companies should stick to their names for vehicles. The Fusion would then be a vastly improved Tempo.

      Can`t call a new Accord too much like an Accord.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think some designers in Detroit need a pink slip.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford US styling is so lame, they truly suffer the curse of J Mays. Mays does retro well, if not great, the Audi TT, the New Beatle and the Mustang; we'll ignore the T-Bird, Fords current cars in the US make Chrysler's hideous Sebring look interesting.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Can't wait to start getting true Euro Fords here.
      For the record the original Escort was billed as a "World Car" when Ford started selling it here. Where as the body was mostly the same all the goodness was removed from the engine and suspension choices.
      The Fusion is pretty cool but the Mondeo is cooler. The Mazda 5 is also pretty cool but the S-Max is cooler.
      The next few years might finally change peoples opinions about domestic cars. Even if it takes all the domestic out of them.
      P.S. no I'm not a domestic hater, I've only ever had domestics. Still really want a Saab but rockin the Alero out for now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      First, I have to give kudos’ to Mullaly for beginning the process that will eventually turn the Titanic around. I would love to see something a little more provocative in my rear-view-mirror than that heinous mouth-full-of-metal currently adorning the front of the fusion and Taurus (I must note I do like the ‘3-bar grill’ on the Edge, Excursion, and F-series trucks). Ford helped define the last century and this culture of product/innovation/technology sharing will help give it a chance to do the same in this one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is the "three-bar grille" really a comprehensive design theme? It simply seems tacked on to the new Taurus, and the Fusion is pretty bland without all that chrome up front. The bars integrate well into the Edge, but its body shape is not that memorable either. The "kinetic" theme of EuroFord definitely has more shape in the body and hindquarters. Couldn't AmeroFord designers just tack the tree bars onto the kinetic designs from Europe? Hey, it worked for the Taurus . . .
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dump the 3 bar grill ,and the every name starts with an F. Take notes from the European and Austrialan desingers. Both Fords are better looking than the American ones
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford: please ditch the 3-bar grill and bring over the Euro Fords AS IS! The Euro designs are far better than anything out of Dearborn. Don't dumb them down with overly soft suspensions and wide flat seats.

      Of course, given Ford's track record with Contour and Merkur, I trust they'll mess the cars up horribly by them time they reach the US market.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Domestic hater? Nope. Not at all. I wish Ford (along with GM and Chrysler) well. I truly do.

        The fact is, however, that Ford and GM have a bad track record of 1) either not importing good cars from overseas or 2) messing them up horribly when they do. Examples from recent history include 1) the Ford Contour, Merkur xr4ti, and Cadillac Catera that were messed up when they were brought over and 2) generation 2 and 3 Focus that Ford never brought over.

        I do hope that Ford does the right thing. But the current argument in Dearborn about sticking an ugly 3-bar grill on the lovely Euro designs shows that Dearborn's urge to mess up Euro products is still there. So I'll believe it when I see it.

        If Ford does the right, I'll stand up and applaud (just like I did for the Saturn Aura and Astra).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Different time...different people, pal. Once again, a domestic hater that is stuck in the past. Soft suspension and wide flat seats? The only vehicle that has that combo is the Crown Vic.

        Anyways, Ford's US designers are good (ever see Ford's concepts)? It's the bean counters and management that have ruined everything (08 Focus, anyone?).

        Oh and Doug...I believe the whole idea and development for the US Fiesta was started before Mullaly came into office.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why do we have 2 distinct styles: European, desired styles; and the American, ho-hum styles?
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