The famous Ford Escort name has made a comeback at the Shanghai motor show as a new compact saloon concept that's strongly tipped to make production.

The compact saloon segment is worth more than five million unit sales per year in China. As such, it's a segment Ford is keen to extend its presence in with a model developed specifically for the local market.

And the Escort name has been chosen as it's one that holds resonance with Chinese buyers; old Escorts are regularly popping up at auctions to be bought by Chinese buyers, and classic models are regularly imported.

There are no plans for the name to make a comeback elsewhere however, including in the UK.

The styling of the concept is familiar from Ford's recent design language, with its large Aston Martin-style grille. The concept is described by Ford as offering Chinese customers, "a fun driving experience, high level of technology, exceptional roominess, uncompromised functionality and sophisticated design".

“This compact concept highlights the strength of our global One Ford approach to vehicle design, and represents how we can make use of our global design language to bring refined designs to attainable vehicles,” said Jim Farley, Ford's sales and marketing chief.

“Designed with the Chinese consumer in mind, the new Escort Concept has the potential to strengthen our product portfolio here in China as we take advantage of opportunities for diversification within the compact car segment.”

Read Steve Cropley's thoughts on the return of the Escort nameplate.

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