Special Coverage

Geneva
Auto Show

Ford Motor Co. says its new Focus wagon, unveiled today at the Geneva auto show, is unlikely to make its way to the U.S., where cross/utility vehicles, SUVs and minivans remain the family haulers of choice.

“It’s very important to Europe,” Frank Davis, executive director-North America product development, says of the new model. “(Wagons) are about 30% of their mix rate on average, and in Italy and Germany, it’s actually over 50%.”

Ford offered a Focus wagon in North America from ’01 to ’07 but discontinued the model due to lackluster demand.

“When we had the previous-model Focus wagon (in the U.S.), the (take rate) was 14%. And in the last year we had it in our lineup, it was only 4%,” Davis says.

While there are no plans to offer it in the U.S., Davis says Ford could introduce the wagon to the market in quick fashion if demand emerged.

“With our flexible body shop at our Michigan assembly plant, we could bring this unit,” he says, referring to Ford’s facility in Wayne, MI, where the Focus is built. “We’ll look at consumer trends, but at this time we don’t anticipate a need for that in North America.”

The wagon will appear alongside the next-generation 5-door Focus in Geneva, the first time that model has been shown in Europe.

The new wagon builds upon Ford’s global kinetic design language, meant to convey motion even while a vehicle is standing still.

It will feature full-length integrated roof rails and a self-closing tailgate, a feature not commonly found on C-segment models.

All Focuses in Europe will be offered with a wide array of powerplant choices, including 148-hp and 178-hp 1.6L EcoBoost engines and 104-hp and 123-hp 1.6L Duratecs.

Diesel offerings include 2.0L and 1.7L Duratorq TDCi (Turbo Diesel Common-rail injection) engines. The 2.0L lineup offers 161-hp, 138-hp and 113-hp ratings, while the economic 1.6L can be had in 94-hp and 113-hp versions.

The next-generation Focus goes on sale in Europe late next year.

Meanwhile, Ford confirms the next-generation Focus will get a performance model for global markets powered by a 4-cyl. version of the auto maker’s EcoBoost technology.

“We want to reassure enthusiasts of Ford performance models that we have a plan for them as well,” says Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president-product development.

“We’re not ready to reveal more details yet, but we have to recognize how important this model will be in the Focus lineup, particularly for consumers in Europe,” he says.

bpope@wardsauto.com