Flybrian

Ford compacts & small crossovers to be European

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Ford Imports Some Flair
Small cars, crossovers will be based on European versions
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By AMY WILSON | Link to Original Article @ AutoWeek | Published 07/23/07, 11:20 am et
At the urging of CEO Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co. is preparing to commonize the small cars and crossovers that it sells in Europe and America.


Ford plans to use the next-generation C1 platform to build replacements for the Focus and Escape, say suppliers and industry sources. The vehicles would be engineered largely in Europe, but U.S. versions would be manufactured in North America.

The bottom line: Ford's U.S. lineup of small cars and crossovers will be more European.

For example, the Escape replacement and a new Lincoln are expected to be second-generation versions of the Kuga, a crossover that goes on sale in Europe next year. And the U.S. market will get a version of the European C-Max crossover.

The vehicles have yet to get final approval. Ford spokeswoman Sara Tatchio declined to comment.

In the United States, Ford is expected to launch the Focus and C-Max no later than 2011; the Escape replacement and the Lincoln crossover are expected no later than 2012.

Mulally has been eager to transplant the company's successful lineup of European cars to the United States. If he carries out his plans, Ford's U.S. and European operations will derive their small cars from the same platform.

That would mean an upgrade for Ford's American lineup. The U.S. Focus is based on an older version no longer sold in Europe. Likewise, the current Escape - an aging vehicle first introduced in 2000 - is built on a larger platform loosely derived from the now-discontinued Mazda 626.

The new American vehicles probably will be produced in two assembly plants. Candidates include the Wayne, Mich., plant where the current Focus is made; a plant near Kansas City, where the current Escape is made; and a plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico.

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Why are people so 'excitied' about the C-Max? Its so stupidly bland that the mere posting of the following picture makes me drowsy. They should call it the Ford Ambien.
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The C-MAX came out in 2003, so 2011 makes it an eight year old?

Here's the refreshed '07 C-MAX, which gets styling cues from the new S-MAX.

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The C-MAX came out in 2003, so 2011 makes it an eight year old?

Here's the refreshed '07 C-MAX, which gets styling cues from the new S-MAX.

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That looks much better than the previous version.
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With al due respect, Fly, you've gone on the record as not liking much of anything, so I expect you to have that response.

I think the C-MAX could go over with a lot of families, even young folks who want an alternative canvas, if you will....

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you know, I used to espouse the Cmax, but after the Mazda5 came here, I came to the conclusion that these vehicles are still too small. reason? They really don't get sufficiently better mpg than a larger crossover and they simply don't have the space and safety that family buyers look for.

the current escape is about as small as most family type buyers are willing to live with. the niche for vehicles smaller than that is pretty small.

so in reality, the escape becomes more like a personal crossover like a vibe or sportage or something.

i hope ford doesn't botch the formula, because vehicles in this class now are big sellers.

the one box styling of the rondo, cmax and mazda5, no one seems to want nowadays either.

Edited by regfootball
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Considering what Ford NA managed lately (the ugly Focus), they are better off importing them from Europe. I don't know how they'll get around the current exchange rate, unless they assemble them in NA.

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you know, I used to espouse the Cmax, but after the Mazda5 came here, I came to the conclusion that these vehicles are still too small. reason? They really don't get sufficiently better mpg than a larger crossover and they simply don't have the space and safety that family buyers look for.

the current escape is about as small as most family type buyers are willing to live with. the niche for vehicles smaller than that is pretty small.

so in reality, the escape becomes more like a personal crossover like a vibe or sportage or something.

i hope ford doesn't botch the formula, because vehicles in this class now are big sellers.

the one box styling of the rondo, cmax and mazda5, no one seems to want nowadays either.

You may be right about the 1-box format...but, Kia shifted over 4k Rondos last month & while the 5 is a bit on the small side, I think that original Caravan/Voyager sized vehicles might have a shot at pulling people out of SUVs, especially if they look like the S-Max, rather than the Rondo.

I'd rather see Ford rushing the S-MAX and Galaxy here than the C-Max in '11, but I guess the 5/7 passenger people mover market is well covered by what they have and what's coming soon (FLEX)

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i do know this. EVERY DAY i see a buttload of 08 escapes and mariners on the road.

i don't think ford should abandon the trucklet styling. add another model, yes, but do not screw with the escape.

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Man, nothing at all mentioned about Mercury. I wonder if the rumors really are true.

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