- Ford unveiled the Escort Concept today at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show.
- The car is targeted at China's family-sedan buyers who want something slightly larger than the Ford Focus, currently the nation's best-selling car.
- Ford plans to introduce 15 new vehicles in China by 2015.
SHANGHAI, China — With the Focus already the best-selling passenger car in China and the "C" segment in which Focus sells being China's largest, it's no surprise the Escort Concept car Ford unveiled at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show leverages the success of the Focus.
To better address a sub-segment of China's family car market that wants more room and a more sedate styling statement, Ford's concept C-segment sedan is deliberately mellower than the edgy Focus — and recommissions an iconic Ford model name.
Chris Svensson, Ford's exterior design director, Americas, told U.S. media prior to the Shanghai show that the Escort Concept is longer and more spacious than the Focus, but most important, is "stylish without being overtly sporty," with "understated yet noticeable elegance."
Ford didn't provide details of the Escort Concept's dimensions or any mechanical specifications, but the car apparently is based on the Focus architecture, as the company said in a release that the Escort Concept "shows the future vision for how Ford could expand its global compact car platform in China. The release added: "Ford designers started by adding length and then sculpting the vehicle with elegant lines to give it a natural flow. The longer profile creates more room for a comfortable and spacious interior while maintaining harmonious proportions."
"By listening to our customers in China, we have developed the Ford Escort Concept to serve a new class of compact car customers," said Jim Farley, executive vice president for global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln, in a release. "These are customers whose needs are not being completely met by existing compact cars."
Ford said China's C segment is expected to account for 5.5 million sales this year &mdash more than the total Japanese car market and about the same as Germany and the United Kingdom's combined sales. The company intends to launch 15 new vehicles in China by 2015.
Edmunds says: "Understated yet noticeable elegance?" Sounds like Ford's going after a chunk of Buick's market in China.