Ford will move new Focus upmarket

Ford will move the Focus upmarket when it launches the new model in Europe next year, the company’s head of global markets, Jim Farley, told investors this week.
Farley said volumes for the compact model would be “slightly lower” than they are currently.
Farley’s comments followed a speech made by Ford Motor CEO Jim Hackett on Tuesday in which he outlined sweeping changes that include shifting a third of the company’s internal-combustion engine expenditures to vehicle electrification and cutting costs by $14 billion.
The new Focus for Europe will be launched in January or February next year with sales expected in late summer, a company spokesman said, confirming Farley’s comments. “It goes upmarket in exactly the same way as the new Fiesta,” he said.
As with the Fiesta, the new Focus will include a high-spec Vignale model and a crossover-inspired Active version for the first time, the spokesman said. It will continue to be built in Ford’s plant in Saarlouis, Germany. Ford has already announced that the U.S. version of the Focus will be built in China.
European sales of the current Focus fell 1.2 percent in the first half of the year to 119,052, putting it fourth in the segment behind the Volkswagen Golf, Opel/Vauxhall Astra and Skoda Octavia. Overall, the segment fell 1.9 percent as customers continued to switch to SUVs.
Volumes could be slightly lower if Ford decides to drop low-spec variants as it has with the Fiesta to concentrate on more expensive trim levels.
Farley also said that Ford’s European arm will “accelerate urban utility products, an area where our brand is really strong,” without elaborating. Utility is Ford’s shorthand for SUV, which could mean the brand is developing another small SUV to sit alongside EcoSport.

Fuente: Automotive News Europe