People who appreciate great cars must give thanks that Ford’s current CEO, Alan Mulally, thinks it is a huge waste of money, time, and talent to build vehicles that are unique to specific markets – with a few exceptions. Under a program dubbed “One Ford,” Mulally is consolidating the automaker’s global product portfolio onto as few platforms as possible, powered by as few powertrain variants as possible, all engineered to be sold anywhere on the planet. The goals of this product simplicity and large-scale production volume are to generate big profits for Ford Motor Company, while delivering great cars, trucks, and SUVs to consumers.
The current Ford Focus is one result of this new “One Ford” philosophy, a car on sale all around the globe and built with as few regional modifications as is possible. Americans can choose between a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback body style, and the Ford Focus you can buy in the U.S. is basically the same as the Ford Focus you can buy everywhere else. Better yet, Ford of Europe developed the new Focus, which means it drives like a good European car, one that could easily wear a blue-and-white badge marked with the letters B, M, and W.
But does that make the Focus a good car? Let’s find out.