Due to a massive surge in demand for SUVs and crossovers in recent years, Ford has decided to discontinue every passenger car it currently sells in the U.S.—except for the Mustang—by 2020. We already knew the Fiesta and C-Max were dead in the States but this is the first time Ford has confirmed that the Focus, Fusion, and Taurus will no longer be offered in its home market. The Focus will be replaced with the Focus Active, which is a slightly lifted Focus with plastic body cladding. The Focus Active looks like Ford’s version of a Subaru Crosstrek.
This is quite a bombshell. We’ve been hearing rumors on and off about possibilities of Ford’s cars being discontinued in the U.S. and the brand hasn’t been shy about its plans to focus heavily on expanding its SUV lineup, but killing off every sedan is a bold move and a shock to the automotive world.
When we inquired about what dictated this decision, Ford North America Vehicle Communications Manager Mike Levine sent the following statement in an email to The Drive:
“By 2020, almost 90 percent of our Ford portfolio in North America will be trucks, utilities and commercial vehicles – including their electrified versions.
About SUVs: To respond to the needs of our customers and grow our business, we are significantly expanding our North America utility portfolio while also exploring new ‘white space’ vehicle silhouettes that combine the best attributes of cars and utilities—such as higher ride height, space and versatility.
Consumer buying habits are shifting from small cars to small SUVs—here and around the world. We are focusing our efforts on vehicles customers prefer. Small vehicle fans in North America will be able to buy new our all-new Focus Active, Escape, EcoSport or our all-new, yet-to-be-named small rugged SUV for off-road adventures.”
Although the Mustang remains alive, this move also means a major overhaul for Ford performance cars. The Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Focus RS, Fusion Sport, and Taurus SHO in their current forms are all on death row and are already being replaced with performance crossovers like the Edge ST and upcoming Explorer ST. There might be an ST and/or RS variant of the new Focus Active, but we can’t imagine it will have much in common with the low-riding, high-performance, manual transmission-only variants that hot hatch enthusiasts know and love.
You might call Ford crazy now for putting all of its chips on SUVs and trucks, but maybe Ford is ahead of the curve. Maybe this is what all high-volume automakers will look like a few years from now. In any case, there’s a lot we will miss when the dust is settled from the mass passenger car genocide happening at Ford.