The Shanghai motor show last month saw the unveiling of the new Ford Escort Concept, which got a lot of attention. It’s great to see the iconic nameplate returning to life.
The Ford Escort Concept showcases Ford’s vision for how the company could serve additional customers in China’s compact car segment - a segment that accounts for over 25 per cent of the country’s total vehicle industry and includes the Ford Focus, the best-selling nameplate in China last year as well as the best-selling nameplate worldwide.
Building on the success of the Focus, the Ford Escort Concept is a new kind of compact car, designed for a very different customer.
Its roomy interior, attention to detail, and precise and refined surface language really give the concept car its harmonious aesthetics, where desirable is actually attainable.
While Ford has admitted that they’ve had discussions about bringing it to Europe to sit beneath the Focus on price, the Auto Trade Journal has learned that it will not be coming to the UK. Consequently, the legendary name will also not be going on sale in Ireland.
A UK source explained the background to their decision. Basically, the British dislike of compact/medium saloons, and also the negative effects of the later versions of the Escort, would make it a very hard sell there.
Because our large car market neighbours will decline to import the new Escort, it is very unlikely to be offered in Ireland as Chinese production is right-hand drive (RHD ). However, if left-hand drive markets such as Australia, Japan, India, or South Africa were to get the new Escort, it would be possible, though still unlikely, to see RHD cars on super transporter ships heading for Europe.