SAN FRANCISCO – Ford Motor Co. has been criticized widely for its lack of a competitive small car in the U.S., especially when it builds some of the finest B-segment cars in the world in Europe and other overseas markets. Pundits question why Ford can’t import those small cars to North America, a seemingly simple solution to compete against the hot-selling Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa subcompacts here. But it’s not that simple, says Freeman Thomas, Ford director-strategic ...

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