Focus will follow Fiesta as a global vehicle

DETROIT — The next-generation Ford Focus will be the second global vehicle Ford Motor Co. sells in the United States.

Mark Fields, Ford president of the Americas, confirmed to Automotive News that the compact Focus will follow the subcompact Ford Fiesta in the automaker's global product rollout.

The Fiesta, shown as the Verve concept at the 2008 Detroit auto show, will go on sale in 2010. Fields would not say how long it will be before the Focus follows. But industry forecasters expect Ford to begin assembling the next-generation Focus in the United States in late 2010 or early 2011.

The next Focus will be among a global family of compact, or C-segment, cars and crossovers Ford is developing in Europe. Fields wouldn't talk about C-segment derivatives planned for North America. But he acknowledged that the U.S. market is in line to get multiple body styles within segments, as has happened in Japan and Europe.

The United States is expected to get versions of two European vehicles, the C-Max and Kuga crossovers, early next decade. Ford now sells the C-Max in Europe and will start selling the Kuga there in June. Both are based on the platform used for the current European Focus. The current U.S. Focus is based on an older platform.

Product introductions and redesigns also will be better matched as Ford continues developing global vehicles, Fields said.

"We really have to have the right cadence (and) marry up the cadence of freshenings between Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America," he said. "Leveraging scale by using common suppliers, you can't have one part of the world freshening a vehicle and assuming a year later another part of the world will do that." 

You can reach Amy Wilson at awilson@crain.com

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