The pure, unadulterated loathing of the redesigned Focus has apparently been heard by FoMoCo execs, and according to Automotive News, a move began in late August that attempted to smooth out the 2008 model's rough edges. The styling revisions include the replacement of the show car's square fog lights with round units; black door handles instead of chrome; aluminum trim on the instrument panel in lieu of shiny inserts; a mesh cover that cured the gaping opening in the grille; white-on-black seats that allow for more contrast and carry over styling cues from the Fusion and Mustang; plus more chrome on the vents and gearshift knob.
This is a highly unusual move by an automaker to garner favor with the public, but considering the outcry heard from both consumers and media alike, it's not much of a surprise. Although we can commend Ford for its efforts (and expenditure), we doubt that these kind of subtle tweaks are going to change public perception about a model in need of much more than a nose job and some botox.
[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]