With the debut of the 2012 Focus Wagon at the Geneva Motor Show, Ford has reached the halfway point in the roll-out of its new C-segment platform. When Ford first announced the new C-Max and Grand C-Max at the Frankfurt Motor Show last fall, it said the C platform would eventually spawn at least 10 different variants. The two MPVs were joined by the four- and five-door Focus at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The new station wagon is number five and we expect it to be joined by a three-door hatch and coupe-convertible in the coming months. Ford also revealed that a small SUV will join the C-segment lineup soon.
While the new wagon will likely be a popular configuration on the continent, there are currently no plans to make the estate available in North America. Frank Davis, executive director of North American product programs at Ford, told Autoblog that when a wagon was last offered as part of the U.S. Focus lineup, the market share never got over 14 percent and only hit four percent in the final year of availability.
Davis wouldn't rule out offering a wagon in the U.S. at some point if it were justified by market demand. Since Ford will be using common manufacturing processes for the new Focus globally and the lines are flexible, it would not be difficult to add production at the Michigan Assembly Plant where the North American Focus will be built. Davis emphasized that over 80 percent of the parts on the new Focus are common globally, considerably more than the 60 percent commonality on the new Fiesta.
Design-wise the new Focus wagon differs little from the sedan and five-door hatch. It is identical back to the B-pillars with only the extended roof-line and cargo area setting it apart. Ford has integrated the cargo rails into the roof in order to maintain the sleek looks of the latest iteration of its Kinetic design.
Inside the wagon gets the same up-scale interior shown in the sedan and hatch including the first European availability of the new MyFord Touch system as part of the latest generation of Sync technology. Unlike here in the U.S. where we will initially get only one 2.0-liter engine, Europeans will get a range of updated gas and diesel engines to choose from. Production of the Focus starts simultaneously late this year in Europe and the U.S.
- Next-generation global Ford Focus 5-door model makes European debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show; Global debut for attractive new wagon derivative
- European-developed Focus spearheads Ford's new generation of global C-cars, and will be sold in more than 120 markets globally
- Focus wagon is the latest of at least ten vehicles from Ford's new global C-car portfolio.
- A global performance version of new Focus using Ford EcoBoost engine technology is promised.
- New wagon derivative will account for more than one third of total Focus sales in Europe. Five-door share expected to reach around 60 per cent
- Stylish next-generation Focus range provides customers with class-leading new technologies and high levels of craftsmanship
- New Focus targets outstanding fuel economy, low CO2 and further advances in acclaimed levels of driving quality
- European and North American production starts simultaneously in late 2010 and go on sale from early 2011. Asia, Africa and South America production to follow
Geneva, March 2, 2010 – The stylish next-generation Ford Focus wagon makes its global debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show alongside the sporty Focus 5-door, appearing for the first time in Europe.
The next-generation Focus wagon is the fifth vehicle to be revealed from Ford Motor Company's new global C-segment platform that will underpin at least ten vehicles around the world and account for two million units of annual production by 2012.
Revealed so far are the new Ford C-MAX and Grand C-MAX models at Frankfurt 2009, the next-generation Focus 4-door and 5-door cars at the 2010 North American International Auto Show, and now the wagon at Geneva.
"Our next generation of C-cars shows how Ford is using its global resources to develop at least ten new models or derivatives from the same platform globally," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of Product development. "The Focus wagon is the next model to be revealed, and is particularly significant for the European market as more than a third of our C-car customers here prefer a wagon bodystyle."
At Geneva, Ford is also confirming that a global performance vehicle will be developed as part of the next-generation Focus range, and that it will be powered by a version of the
4-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine family.
"We want to reassure enthusiasts of Focus performance models that we have a plan for them as well," Kuzak added. "Our commitment is to deliver an exciting performance model of the new Focus on a global basis and using a version of our advanced new Ford EcoBoost petrol direct-injection turbo engine. We're not ready to reveal more details yet, but we recognise how important this model will be in the Focus line-up, particularly for customers in Europe."
Further details of the entire portfolio of new models based on Ford's global C-car platform will be revealed soon, with all of them coming into the company's line-up around the world by the end of 2012.
Focus Wagon Targets Major Customer Base
The attractive next-generation Ford Focus wagon is a crucial model for the European market in particular, as around one third of all Focus customers choose this bodystyle. In some markets, such as Italy and Germany, the wagon derivative represents more than half of all Ford Focus cars sold.
"A key strength of the Ford Focus range in Europe has always been its wagon, and its popularity is second only to the five-door," said John Fleming, Ford of Europe Chairman and CEO. "These customers want the extra space and flexibility a traditional wagon provides, yet they still expect all of the technology, great driving dynamics, and superb styling. We believe the new Focus wagon will more than satisfy their requirements in every way."
With its rakish appearance, the new Focus wagon also makes a design statement and provides the ideal balance of dynamic looks and functional practicality. Full-length integrated roof rails enhance the wagon's attractive kinetic design, while the tailgate has a self-closing function and neatly incorporates a compact roof spoiler.
Overall, the C-car segment in Europe remains relatively stable and accounts for around a third of total car sales with roughly five million C-cars sold annually. Although many premium manufacturers have also moved into the segment in recent years, it is among the volume makers that the competition is most fierce.
The market has seen significant fragmentation in the last decade thanks to the development of new bodystyle derivatives beyond the traditional four-door sedan, five-door hatchback and wagon models.
By 2012, six bodystyles will cover 85 per cent of customer requirements in the segment in Europe - the four-door sedan, the five-door hatch, the wagon, the five-passenger MAV, seven-passenger MAV and the small SUV.
"As the segment develops around the world, we see clear preferences among customers for the six main bodystyles, with variations by region and even within a region," Kuzak said. "For example, the preferred bodystyle in China and Russia is the four-door sedan, while in Britain and Spain the five-door is most popular and we believe there is also a customer trend towards five-door small cars in North America.
"This is driving our global C-segment strategy and we are concentrating our efforts around the world on meeting the expectations of buyers for these six key bodystyles," Kuzak noted.
While the Focus wagon will initially launch only in Europe, it has been designed to share the wide range of technologies, fuel efficient powertrains, great driving quality and high levels of craftsmanship that all of Ford's new global C-cars will deliver.
The Focus wagon debuts in the same vibrant Candy Red body colour which was first shown to great acclaim on the new Focus five-door model unveiled at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit in January.
The five-door Focus model for Geneva is finished in a warm and modern Hot Mustard – a contemporary, dark metallic yellow colour.
"As with all of the models in our new global C-platform portfolio, there is scope to offer this dynamic wagon additionally in other markets around the world, provided the business case and customer demand exist," said John Fleming. "We see this as an integral part of our global next-generation Focus line-up, and we're eager to hear the reaction to what we believe is a very stylish and distinctive car."