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Losing Focus: Ford Scraps Plans to Offer Next Focus in U.S.

Losing Focus: Ford Scraps Plans to Offer Next Focus in U.S.

Ford Motor Company has modified its future product plans yet again. The company has scrapped plans to import the next-generation Ford Focus Active from China following new tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration on vehicles imported from China.

Several months ago Ford announced drastic plans to scrap nearly every car from its U.S. lineup with the exception of the imported Focus Active and Mustang. Now that the Focus Active has been scrapped, Ford will be left with only one car in its showrooms by the end of 2019: the Mustang.

“Given the negative financial impact of the new tariffs, we’ve decided not to import this vehicle from China,” Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of North America, confirming the change in plans.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett aspires to have the company return to 10-percent profit margins in North America. This directive is allegedly acting as a guiding compass for the company’s decision-making these days. The proposed tariffs on the Focus Active were going to lower already thin profit margins on the car, making it a rather poor financial decision for the company.

The current Focus is slated to be phased out by the end of 2019. The Fusion and Taurus models are also expected to end production sometime next year. Ford showrooms will become very SUV and truck-centric, with dealerships anticipating the launch of the 2019 Ranger and 2020 Bronco as viable sales opportunities to replace all the nameplates getting axed.





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. Andrew_L
    Tone
    I suspect that Ford is betting that the historical segments (sub-compact, compact, medium-sized and large car segments) are permanently shifting to sub-compact, compact, mid-sized and large CUVs (not SUVs). So, they have/had the EcoSport (Fiesta), Escape (Focus), Explorer (Fusion) and Flex (Taurus). The large side of both sedans and non-luxury CUVs seems to be pretty small, so I wouldn't be surprised to see both the Taurus and Flex go away.


    EcoSport - Fiesta

    Escape - Focus

    Fusion - Edge

    Taurus - Explorer and Flex but Flex is probably going away
    Tone
    I suspect that Ford is betting that the historical segments (sub-compact, compact, medium-sized and large car segments) are permanently shifting to sub-compact, compact, mid-sized and large CUVs (not SUVs). So, they have/had the EcoSport (Fiesta), Escape (Focus), Explorer (Fusion) and Flex (Taurus). The large side of both sedans and non-luxury CUVs seems to be pretty small, so I wouldn't be surprised to see both the Taurus and Flex go away.

    Really, the EcoSport, Escape and Explorer aren't SUVs in the traditional sense of being focused on off-road prowess. They are simply lifted cars with AWD available. So, it's not really a giant shift from one type of vehicle to another; it's more an evolution of cars into something focused a bit more on usable capability (the ability to flexibly carry people and stuff and all-weather, all-road capability).

    As this continues to evolve, people who prioritize performance and driving fun are going to get targeted with CUVs that are lowered and have performance suspension/brakes -- bringing them back towards traditional performance wagons (See: Alfa Stevio). We'll see with the Edge ST if Ford knows how to create these kinds of high-margin niche vehicles, but the capabilities of the Ford Lightning makes me hopeful.

    And, yes -- I'd rather have a performance wagon myself (ideally with a manual) but people like me are few and far between!
    Andrew_L
    Maybe they will rethink this strategy... at least I hope they do.
    carnut
    I'm wondering if this will come to bite them in the butt. Wasn't the Focus we were going to get, the Focus Active, just a jacked up more rugged looking Focus but with out AWD anyway? If so it is no real loss but it would have been nice for them to at leas kept a smaller car like it around.
    tripowergto
    So now Ford will effectively only offer one car, the Mustang. Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good approach. As a small time stock holder I am concerned. Good thing gas will never get expensive again.
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