Designed to meet the demands of Chinese consumers within the fast-growing compact saloon segment, and built on a global platform, the all-new Ford Escort is part of the Blue Oval's plan to roll out 15 new vehicles in China by 2015.
Although the Focus is Ford's biggest-selling vehicle in China – it sells second- and third-generation variants in the market – the compact saloon segment is growing rapidly. It currently account for five million sales – about one-quarter of the China's entire car market – and that's expected to grow to 7.2m by 2017.
Ford believes the Escort will cater for customers who "value interior roominess, superior safety and sophisticated design in an attainable compact car".
The Escort's development was a collaboration between Ford's Australia-based Asia Pacific design team and the Ford Research and Engineering Center in Nanjing, China.
“It's a perfect example of how Ford’s global approach can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of individual markets by listening to customer feedback,” said Marin Burela, president of Changan Ford Automobile (CAF), Ford's passenger car joint venture.
“Taking Ford’s hugely successful C-car platform as a foundation, the all-new Ford Escort puts us in a perfect position to serve Chinese customers looking for an alternative and attainable compact car.”
Ford's Escort is powered by a 1.5-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine. The car will be built in China through CAF and there are no plans it to be sold outside of China.
The new production model follows a concept version unveiled at the Shanghai motor show last year.