Ford want their next-generation Focus to show that they have finally figured out how to produce a global car. According to Ford’s American-region President Mark Fields, the North American and European versions of the lower-medium car will share 90 percent of their parts, up from about 20 percent for the current models.
Fields declined to specify the current car’s profitability.
Ford will introduce the new Fiesta small car in North America in early 2010. The re-engineered Ford Focus will follow later that same year.
The improved productivity will come from engineering and sourcing cars globally, Fields said. By reducing build combinations, Ford gain engineering efficiencies, cut prototype expenses and further drive quality improvements.
Ford’s previous attempts at global cars have generally done poorly. The American-market Escort of the 1980s, followed by the American Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique versions of the Mondeo, wound up almost entirely different from the European/rest-of-world cars they were supposed to share parts with.