Ford Escort, revived in China, could land in U.S., Mulally says

While the new Ford Escort is about the same size as the Focus, it gets a roomier interior with more rear leg space to suit Chinese families.

BEIJING – Ford Motor Co.’s revived Escort compact sedan, developed especially for the China market, has potential to go global and possibly make it stateside someday, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said.

The car, developed by Ford’s Asia-Pacific r&d team for China, is derived from the Focus platform but features more interior space than the Focus and styling that is distinct from the Focus and Fusion.

Ford unveiled the car Sunday at the Beijing auto show. The company did not provide powertrain details.

Mulally said the Escort will likely migrate to other markets. In the United States, where Ford already has a lineup of sedans, ranging from the Fiesta and Focus to the Fusion and Taurus, he said an Escort could someday fill a new price point.

“We have a really solid small and medium-sized product line in the United States right now,” he said. “But I think over time this will be another enhanced version of the C-size.

“It’s just a matter of when,” he said. “We’re going to be able to provide a C-sized vehicle with different price points.”

Mulally added that the Escort’s development shows how Ford’s regional r&d teams can take the lead in churning out vehicles under the company’s One Ford strategy of selling global cars.

“We can tailor it around the world,” he said.

The Escort has been absent from Ford’s lineup since 2000. The revived nameplate sports Ford’s inverted trapezoid grille. While it is about the same size as the Focus, it gets a roomier interior with more rear leg space to suit Chinese families.

You can reach Hans Greimel at hgreimel@crain.com -- Follow Hans on Twitter: @hansgreimel

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