DETROIT — When Ford Motor Co. introduced its Verve hatchback concept at the Frankfurt auto show in 2007, the sleek subcompact drew rave reviews.
But Ford already had deemed the Verve — the first of three such concepts shown by the automaker in the past five months — to be too European in its looks and package for the United States. So company engineers and designers reworked the subcompact for American tastes.
The Verve sedan unveiled this month at the Detroit auto show is a preview of the subcompact that Ford plans to begin selling in the United States in 2010.
"The design is complete, and the look of the vehicle has been well-received by the U.S. customers," said Martin Smith, executive design director at Ford of Europe.
Smith's team led the design work on Ford's global subcompact, or B-car, project. It is the first family of cars slated for introduction under CEO Alan Mulally's mandate to develop global vehicles with regional variations. The first cars will go on sale in Europe and Asia this year.