With the new Focus small car, Ford Motor Co. shows it has learned from its world-car mistakes.
The Contour was Ford's most recent stab at a world car, a car designed for two or more continents. With its cramped back seat and high price, it never found a niche between the Escort and the Taurus in the United States.
Now comes the Focus this fall, also developed in Europe. To make room, Ford will cast the Contour as an up-level sports sedan, and the Escort will become a budget model. The Focus should have room to breathe.
As more companies develop vehicles for different continents, they must realize that the market comes first - not their engineering budgets. They can't cram cars and trucks into markets where they don't fit.