Ford was going to move small car production to Mexico to the chagrin of many Americans across the country. Well, that isn’t going to happen, but now the company is going to produce its new Ford Focus in an area of the world that many of its customers will disapprove of even more: China. Ford’s Focus is a global car, and its move to shift production to China makes a lot of sense when you look at the details. Still, we don’t expect many Americans will warm to the idea.

Ford Focus ST parked in a parking lot with the sun on it.

Ford has a new Focus for 2019. It comes in sedan, hatchback, and wagon (the wagon may not come to the U.S.). It looks better, is supposed to drive better, and should be the best Focus the company has ever put out. It has Ford’s new CoPilot360 suite of driver aids, including pedestrian-detecting automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and evasive steering assist. While it will no doubt be a success abroad, we wonder how shifting production of the car will impact U.S. sales.

Ford Needed to Open Up U.S. Production for Trucks and SUVs

Ford Focus parked next to a house on a beach

If Ford was to produce the Focus in the U.S. there’s no way it could make the number of trucks and SUVs it needs to in order to satisfy American buyers' insatiable hunger for the bigger, taller vehicles. Americans want F-150s, Expeditions, Explorers, and Ford’s other SUVs and crossovers. In order to satisfy demand, Ford needed to find a new place to produce its small cars.

Additionally, the fact that the Focus is a global car and the company sells tons of them means that if it had decided to build the car in the U.S., it would have been hard to churn out enough models within Ford’s current facilities. The company probably would have had to open new production facilites, which would have been prohibitively expensive.

Ford Has New Trucks and SUVs to Build

2019 Ford Ranger in orange and off-road

In addition to a new Focus, the company has to find production room for the new Ford Ranger and the upcoming Ford Bronco. Ford has said that the Bronco will be coming in 2020, and the Ranger is set to go on sale in 2019.

Both will be body-on-frame vehicles and will likely share some parts. That means it makes sense to produce those models in the same area of the world. With Ford moving production of its new Focus to China, there’s now space in Ford’s U.S. plants to start churning out enough Ranger and Broncos over the next couple years to satisfy demand.

ford logo

There’s not a whole lot of known info on the new Bronco, but with American buyers snatching up crossovers and SUVs as fast as they can, it would seem that the Bronco will be a hit. Unless Ford botches it in the styling and marketing departments, we can’t see the Bronco being a failure. The Ranger, too, should see some success. The F-150 is a high-seller, and Ford has been missing out on the midsize truck segment for several years now. The Ranger will help satisfy an even larger portion of the truck market.

With all that said, it still won’t sit well with some people that the new Focus will come to the U.S. from a production facility in China. While that could hurt sales, we’d be willing to bet that the truck and SUV sales will be more than enough to make up for it.

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