The Ford Escort returns to the Shanghai Motor Show but this time, it is a new compact saloon concept that is expected to soon begin production. In China, the compact saloon segment is valued at over five million units of sales each year. This is why Ford is developing a model that’s for this segment specifically for the local market.
Ford picked out the Escort name since Chinese consumers are already somewhat familiar with it. In China, there have been auctions that offer old Escorts. Some classic models are also being imported regularly to the country. So far, Ford doesn’t plan on using the Escort name in other markets.
The concept has a styling that’s similar to Ford's recent design language, with its big grille that’s like that of Aston Martin models. Ford said that this concept offers Chinese buyers a “fun driving experience, high level of technology, exceptional roominess, uncompromised functionality and sophisticated design.”
Ford's sales and marketing chief Jim Farley said that the compact concept shows off vehicle design under its global One Ford philosophy. He also said that the new Escort Concept was created with a focus on Chinese consumers and that it could boost its product lineup in China as it benefits from diversifying within the compact car segment.
"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, Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln, Ford Motor Company.
"These are customers whose needs are not being completely met by existing compact cars. They are discerning, modern families, who want uncompromised functionality, quality and safety for themselves and the ones they care about."
Officially known as the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, Auto Shanghai is a biennial auto show that alternates with Auto China (also known as Beijing Auto Show). It was first held in 1985, making Auto Shanghai as China’s oldest auto exhibition.
Ford currently sources its vehicles for the Chinese market from Changan Ford -- Changan Ford Automobile Co., Ltd. – an auto manufacturing company based in Chongqing, China. Changan Ford is essentially a joint venture between Ford and Changan Automobile. It was established in December 2012 when the Changan Ford Mazda was restructured to allow Ford and Mazda to collaborate with Changan Automobile as separate joint ventures.
Changan Ford Mazda was originally Changan Ford Automobile Co., Ltd., as formed in April 2001 as a 50-50 joint venture between Ford and Changan Automobile. But in April 2006, Mazda acquired a 15 percent stake in Changan Ford from Ford, and the joint was renamed as Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd.