Ford Focus could be on the chopping block
Not long after it axed the Mondeo, Ford says it is evaluating its other passenger car, the Focus.
FORD IS KEEPING a sharp eye on its Focus small car and could axe conventional variants in the lineup as a result of Australia’s changing automotive tastes.
The blue oval has confirmed it has officially cut the slow-moving Mondeo from its books and will not replace existing dealer stock of the mid-sized hatch and wagon once they are sold, while, at the same time, admitting it is keeping a watching brief on the waning popularity for mainstream small cars, like the standard Focus hatch and wagon, as Australian buyers continue to gravitate towards compact SUVs and dual-cab utes.
“At the moment, we’re committed to Focus but we’re definitely evaluating whether there is a consistent shift out of that passenger car segment,” Ford Australia President Kay Hart told Practical Motoring at the launch of the locally-developed Mustang R-Spec in South Australia this week.
“I think the industry, as a whole, is going through a big transition with customers in terms of what they use their vehicles for, and you can clearly see the move from passenger cars to SUV and even trucks.
Launching in Australia this year is the new Focus ST (review here^), which is a hot hatch version of the model. Proving popular in the past, it seems that it and the impending Focus RS replacement for this generation might live on here regardless of what happens to the Focus lineup.
“We still believe there is a place for Focus here in Australia, and we do believe there is a strong place for performance variants of passenger vehicles but we’re closely monitoring if that’s our right play, and is that what the customers are looking for.
“And again, customers will tell us whether we have it right… or not.”