The ‘One Ford’ policy, under which the same basic models are sold in all regions around the world, “has peaked”, according to the company’s global design chief, Moray Callum.
Speaking to Autocar, he said the approach isn’t being abandoned, but new models will be “more tailored to each region”. Of the One Ford policy, introduced by previous Ford boss Alan Mulally, Callum said: “It was the right approach at the time.”
One Ford prompted the development of the Mustang as a global model, the launch of the Fiesta in the US and the arrival of the Brazilian Ecosport crossover in Europe, as well as the disposal of the Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and part-owned Mazda brands from Ford’s portfolio. The One Ford strategy was also partly responsible for returning Ford to financial health following the 2008 financial crisis.
Callum said the next Focus will diverge a little from the original philosophy. “It’s an entry-level model in the US, but not in Europe,” he said. “They will be visually similar but there will be less content for the US model.”
As well as a reduced level of standard equipment, the US Focus could feature less sophisticated suspension, given that the need for strong driving dynamics is less vital in this market and at this price point.
Callum also talked about Ford design. He described the design language as “post-kinetic”, but said it was still being used. “For Ford, it means cars that are fun to drive and great to look at,” he added. “We won’t change it dramatically. It will just evolve.” What it evolves into probably won’t have a label. “I’m not into names,” he said.
Spy pictures of the imminent next Fiesta have revealed a car that appears to have evolved quite modestly. However, Callum said: “There will be more of a step change in style after the Fiesta.”
Of the Vignale sub-brand, Callum said: “There will be no stand-alone model for the foreseeable future.” But he added: “New models are being designed with Vignale requirements in mind, so they will be better differentiated.” That includes the next Fiesta, which will have a Vignale edition from launch.