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The Next Ford Focus Is Finally Here, But It's Not Focused on North America

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author photo by Doug DeMuro April 2018

The all-new Ford Focus has been officially unveiled, and it seems the American market is a bit of an afterthought for the car. Ford unveiled the car in China, announced that production will be confined to China and Germany, and says the latest Focus will go on sale in China and Europe later this year, long before the United States debut at the end of 2019.

This is no surprise, and it shows Ford's impressive -- and immediate -- shift from cars to SUVs, trucks and crossovers is in full swing. The reveal of the not-aimed-at-you new Focus comes on the heels of Ford's decision to delay updating the midsize Fusion sedan and cancel the subcompact Fiesta, all while rumors are swirling that the Taurus might be killed off at the end of its life cycle.

In other words: Ford seems to be getting out of the car business.

But don't be worried, as Ford also seems to know what it's doing. The factory that currently builds the Focus in Michigan will instead gear up to produce the new Bronco and the new Ranger, and Ford's lineup now consists of a seemingly endless array of SUVs and trucks -- the Ranger, F-150 and Super Duty pickups, along with crossovers that fill every segment of the market: The subcompact EcoSport, the compact Escape, the midsize Edge, the larger midsize Explorer, the even larger Flex and the full-size Expedition.

In fact, when the Bronco debuts, it'll be Ford's seventh SUV. Compare that to the car lineup, which has dwindled to just five: The Focus, the Fusion, the C-Max, the Mustang and the Taurus. The Mustang, surely, will live on, and the new Focus will come here -- but I wouldn't be surprised to see the C-Max and Taurus end their runs while the Fusion quietly winds down, making Ford basically an SUV and truck company.

But back to the new Focus. It's larger, roomier and I think it's handsome. There's a sedan and a hatchback, and foreign markets will also get a station wagon version (which hasn't been offered in the U.S. in about a decade). There's also an adventure-oriented "Active" model that looks a bit like a Subaru Crosstrek without the ride height. Surely, we'll learn more as the Focus comes close to its foreign market debut later this year.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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New 2018 Ford Focus SE Sedan
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Next Ford Focus Is Finally Here, But It's Not Focused on North America - Autotrader