And Ford doesn't even mind all that much.
Once the star of Ford’s U.S. lineup, the Focus is no longer a cash cow for the Blue Oval in its domestic market where sales of the compact hatchback are declining. It’s not a good sign when a car manufacturer has no less than 37,400 units in stock, enough to last for 54 days. Compared to the first five months of 2016, Focus deliveries have dropped by 20 percent to 67,146 cars. That’s a far cry from the 243,199 Focus models sold in the U.S. throughout the whole 2012 year during its prime.
With that in mind, Ford has decided to move production of the Focus for U.S. market from its Michigan plant to China as part of a cost-cutting business decision, although the initial plan was to build the car in Mexico. Assembly of the locally made Focus will come to an end by mid-2018, but it won’t be for about a year until production of the model will kick off in the People’s Republic. Ford says people in the market for a Focus shouldn’t worry as the company will attempt to fill in the void by stockpiling the model and by launching the EcoSport crossover, which the company estimates some will see as a viable alternative.
It’s important to point out the Focus is already being made in China at two assembly plants catering the local market. For Europeans, Ford is making the model at its factory in Germany from where the hot ST and RS versions are being shipped to the U.S.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global operations, told Automotive News that although it would be cheaper to build and ship cars from Mexico rather than China to the U.S., it’s a more viable business decision to move assembly to the latter. He went on to specify that by doing so, Ford will only have to retool one plant rather than two, thus freeing up “a lot of capital.” In total, the company will be able to save a whopping $1 billion: $500 million by moving production to China and other $500 million by pulling the plug on the Mexico plant.
Needless to say, the Focus we’re talking about here is the fourth-generation model already spied multiple times. It’s unclear at this point when we will see it, but Europeans will likely be able to order their Made in Germany car early next year.