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Old 11-11-2006, 02:57 PM   #1
Len
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Default Yet Another face lift for American Focus

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...topanel..1.*#2

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After years of being ignored in the compact segment, the 2008 Ford Focus is hoping to grab some attention with an all-new look. Our latest spy video and photos show various prototypes of the upcoming Ford Focus being tested on the streets of Michigan.

Unlike the European Ford Focus which now rides on an all-new platform, the 2008 Ford Focus in the U.S. will remain on its current chassis. Most of the changes for next year will be cosmetic, with a new three-bar grille up front similar to the larger Ford Fusion midsize sedan. A new character line down each side will give the profile a slightly different look while reshaped taillights spruce up the rear.

If there's any big news with this Focus refresh, it's the introduction of a new coupe body style similar to the old Ford Escort ZX2. Unlike the current Focus ZX3 hatchback, the new coupe has a traditional trunk, that cuts down on overall utility in favor of a sleeker profile. There's no word yet whether the coupe will be positioned as the high-performance model of the lineup, but the prototypes look as though they have higher-spec wheel and tire combinations than the sedans.

No changes under the hood are expected. Base models will most likely continue with the 130-horsepower 2.0-liter Duratec while upgraded models will get the 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 151 hp. These new models might also provide an opportunity for Ford to highlight the PZEV version of the 2.0-liter Duratec, which is one of the cleanest gas engines on the market.

Look for these new Focus models to make their official debut at the Detroit auto show in early January.

Hooray! Finally a real solution for the aging Focus! /sarcasm
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Old 11-11-2006, 03:19 PM   #2
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Of all American car companies in trouble, ford is the one I am most worried about. They have a knack for ruining good brands by not updating them. They ruined the Taurus, Explorer, Ranger, they are totall screwing up the focus now. They should really bring the european version over. They are so stupid it bugs me. Why would they neglect the focus in america? Idiots.
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Old 11-11-2006, 03:19 PM   #3
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Here's an idea Ford, sell the European Focus in the U.S.!
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by F#3 View Post
Of all American car companies in trouble, ford is the one I am most worried about. They have a knack for ruining good brands by not updating them. They ruined the Taurus, Explorer, Ranger, they are totall screwing up the focus now. They should really bring the european version over. They are so stupid it bugs me. Why would they neglect the focus in america? Idiots.
That is EXACTLY what I was gonna post. it is just inconceivable to think that a company can be as mismanaged as FoMoCo is.... they have had the #1 selling cars/trucks in quite a few segments over the years and time after time after time again, they have let their sales plummet because of their unwillingness to update them. Wow.

I used to think that Ford was in decent shape and GM was gonna go under, but just over the last 2 years GM has shown their willingness to change and update their products. Ford... no so much.
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:05 PM   #5
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for some reason european have strict bumper requirement they have more restriction than we have here because they have to be in some shape incase the car hits a human and i think that bumper could be the reason why the car can't be exported to the US also they emission could just be another reason but all we care is the style for now so i dont see why we can't have the european shell and a refined current engine
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:15 PM   #6
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the current focus is a dinosaur....get with the program ford. Bring the euro focus here. At the right price they would sell like hot cakes.
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:32 PM   #7
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It looks more like the Fusion, which is even uglier than the Focus
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hazdaz View Post
That is EXACTLY what I was gonna post. it is just inconceivable to think that a company can be as mismanaged as FoMoCo is.... they have had the #1 selling cars/trucks in quite a few segments over the years and time after time after time again, they have let their sales plummet because of their unwillingness to update them. Wow.

I used to think that Ford was in decent shape and GM was gonna go under, but just over the last 2 years GM has shown their willingness to change and update their products. Ford... no so much.
Is the new Euro Focus really THAT expensive to manufacturer? I mean, FoMoCo execs MUST reallize that Focus is probably the best product they made in last ten years, so there must be a damn good reason why they are abandoning that franchise in the US. If it is so expensive as to be an impossible sell in the US, then they really messed up at the development level.
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Old 11-11-2006, 06:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Len View Post
Is the new Euro Focus really THAT expensive to manufacturer? I mean, FoMoCo execs MUST reallize that Focus is probably the best product they made in last ten years, so there must be a damn good reason why they are abandoning that franchise in the US. If it is so expensive as to be an impossible sell in the US, then they really messed up at the development level.
I don't think it would be that successful of a car in Europe if it was really that expensive to manufacture. American manufacturers traditionally have shown an unwillingness to bring their European branded cars to the US due to the failure of a few good sellers in Europe when they were brought to the US. Personally, I think they have brought the wrong cars over when they have tried to put European cars in the US market. For a company like Ford that is on the verge of death you'd think they would be more willing to update their cars by using ones already in their stable somewhere in the world. For Ford USA, it would be a good idea to update the ancient Focus, which was once touted for its innovation and was a European car brought here, with the current European Focus.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:07 PM   #10
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Is the new Euro Focus really THAT expensive to manufacturer? I mean, FoMoCo execs MUST reallize that Focus is probably the best product they made in last ten years, so there must be a damn good reason why they are abandoning that franchise in the US. If it is so expensive as to be an impossible sell in the US, then they really messed up at the development level.
Dude, I think the saying "penny-wise, pound-foolish" covers most Ford of North America decisions.

It might be more expensive to build the Euro Focus, but Ford isn't looking at the fact that to sell any of their cheaply-made cars now, they have to tack on incentives and rebates and cut financing promotions just to get them out the door.

There is a very good reason that the Civic commands a price premium compared to other cars in the same segment - year after year after year Honda has been spending good money to keep the Civic name tops in it's class by building it with top of the line materials using the latest manufacturing techinques. Ford continues to think SMALL - if they start moving their Focus upmarket (by making a top of the line car), they too might be able to charge more for it - which would more than cover any extra that making the Euro-Focus cost.
Ya gotta spend money to make money.

God it's like FoMoCo is run by people that have never taken a business class... drives me nuts.
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:56 PM   #11
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FoMoCo is just full of people who want short term profits. In the short run, selling older models for which there is no advertising or mechanical updating nets profits. However, in the big picture, the company dies off.
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Old 11-11-2006, 11:04 PM   #12
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Focus really was a good example of well designed European car proving to be a success in the US as well. Of course it wouldn't be Ford if it lets one good product unspoiled, so it went out of its way to make sure that Focus hit the rock bottom of reliability surveys year after year after year, but even then, it still sold. It wasn't a Coroivic type of success, but it was decent.

Now all Ford needs to do is to bring the new focus over here, and build it well enough so that it will be at least mid-pack in reliability. And as Hazdaz said, considering the amount of rebate they have to throw away on the old car, it probably isn't even that much more expensive to market the new one with much less rebate. That would really be a solid way to build a good brand name in the segment where domestics have traditionally done poorly. Instead what, they're gonna make it the next Cavalier?
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by NismoSkylineGTR View Post
for some reason european have strict bumper requirement they have more restriction than we have here because they have to be in some shape incase the car hits a human and i think that bumper could be the reason why the car can't be exported to the US also they emission could just be another reason but all we care is the style for now so i dont see why we can't have the european shell and a refined current engine
I doubt emissions is a problem. Doesn't the ST run a Volvo turbo I5 engine?

I really do not understand the reasons for cars not being allowed here in the US without extensive redesign. It's funny how we can import 15yr old cars (at least that's what I heard) that lack modern safety equipment and emissions standards, yet we cannot bring something here that's up to date.
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by InvertedB View Post
I don't think it would be that successful of a car in Europe if it was really that expensive to manufacture. American manufacturers traditionally have shown an unwillingness to bring their European branded cars to the US due to the failure of a few good sellers in Europe when they were brought to the US. Personally, I think they have brought the wrong cars over when they have tried to put European cars in the US market. For a company like Ford that is on the verge of death you'd think they would be more willing to update their cars by using ones already in their stable somewhere in the world. For Ford USA, it would be a good idea to update the ancient Focus, which was once touted for its innovation and was a European car brought here, with the current European Focus.
Merkur XR4ti FTW!
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:19 AM   #15
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They have also announced that the North American market Focus wagon will not be built anymore.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:15 AM   #16
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I doubt emissions is a problem. Doesn't the ST run a Volvo turbo I5 engine?

I really do not understand the reasons for cars not being allowed here in the US without extensive redesign. It's funny how we can import 15yr old cars (at least that's what I heard) that lack modern safety equipment and emissions standards, yet we cannot bring something here that's up to date.
Yes it does.

The whole point to the euro focus, was to build a standard chasis to help lower costs, now the euro focus mazda3 vovlo s40 use it, along with the mazda and volvo cars in the US. It is a great chasis, my mom has a s40 t5, it is a nice car, fairly quick, handles well, its no enthusist car, but for the average person looking for a sport quick car, it is perfect. But why would ford want to bring over a good thing?
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:04 PM   #17
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Isn't the current Focus two chasis generations behind the European version? I really don't understand fords motivation.
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:56 PM   #18
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"After years of being ignored in the compact segment.....ford decided they were used to it by now so they're just going to stick with it.....
fixed it
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:37 PM   #19
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dumbbbbb

usdm focus still ftl
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:19 PM   #20
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Yea I use to own an 05 focus before selling it and getting an 02 WRX, the focus is changing every 2 years, this time I guess there getting 3 horizontal slots, but this news is old.
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:01 PM   #21
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Load weapon...aim at big toe...FIRE!!!
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:17 PM   #22
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Isn't the current Focus two chasis generations behind the European version? I really don't understand fords motivation.
Just one.

At this point though, it's probably best just to stick with the current gen until the 3rd gen drops in MY08 or MY09. It costs quite a bit to switch a line and all the suppliers -- probably not worth doing for one or two model years.

Of course, Ford NA did make the final generation of the Escort for only one model year (the curvy one in... MY97?)
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:27 PM   #23
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No no, they made the Escort line for atleast 3yrs or so (97-2000 or so, for the sedans). The ZX2 made it to, iirc, 2002. Foci and Escorts were both sold at the same time for a few years.

On topic: no one can explain why Ford didn't bring over any of the Euro models. They're quite popular over there, and look like a blast to drive. Then again, no one can explain why Ford never saw the potential of an all-wheel drive Focus (to match their rally heritage), to be a competitor to the WRX. They make a 230hp Focus in Europe, but it's front-wheel drive.
And, making a Focus coupe will definately not solve Ford's problems. Nor will making a "brand image" where all their cars look the same.
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:32 PM   #24
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they STILL won't give us the european Focus???
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:42 PM   #25
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On topic: no one can explain why Ford didn't bring over any of the Euro models. They're quite popular over there, and look like a blast to drive.
I think a big part of the reason for this was the failure of the Mondeo, which was hugely popular in Europe, but when brought here as the Contour, went largely unnoticed.
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