Well, it was nice while it lasted. Ford confirms its schedule to cease building the Focus, Taurus, Fiesta and Fusion
Within the past eight years, we’ve seen new – and now, final – generations of the Focus, Taurus, Fiesta and Fusion hit the U.S. market. On April 25, Ford officially confirmed they’re killing off all these models, as well as the slow-selling C-Max, to shift its resources toward trucks and SUVs. In the current climate, such a move makes sound fiscal sense, although some argue it will create a vacuum in Ford’s lineup if gas prices or customer demand shift back in favor of smaller cars. Be that as it may, Ford’s moving ahead with its plan. Thanks to Michael Martinez of Automotive News, we now know more precisely when these nameplates are meeting their maker. Within the next couple years, all of these once popular models will cease production and sale in the U.S. market.
Read on to see the timeline for Ford’s discontinuation of these five models.
First up: Current-generation Focus (May 2018)
The Focus has been around for awhile now, first hitting our shores in 1999. The third generation emerged in 2011, and Ford gave it a facelift in 2015. As of 2017, it was still selling well north of 150,000 units, which is a healthy number. However, when you compare that to the nearly 250,000 units Ford shifted in 2012, the current rate looks rather less rosy.
In 2016, Ford finally heeded enthusiasts’ pleas and gave the North American market the hot Focus RS. Packing 350 horsepower, all-wheel drive and even drift mode. Head gasket problems notwithstanding, the RS was positively received, and breathed some life into the aging model. It wasn’t enough to grant the Focus a stay of execution, though, so the current generation will cease production next month. Ford did recently reveal a new Focus, but we’ll only see the Focus Active crossover version, which Ford will import from China. No sedan or hatchback models are in the pipeline for the U.S. market.
End of an era: Ford Taurus (March 2019)
Once upon a time, the Ford Taurus was the best-selling car in America. The first and second generations were wildly popular, carrying a fresh, innovative design to the larger, more traditional Crown Victoria. Back in the mid-2000s, the model went through a bit of an awkward phase, transitioning to a new nameplate – the “Five Hundred” – and a crossover, dubbed “Taurus X”. In 2010, however, Ford returned to formula thanks to customer demand, reviving the Taurus nameplate for the full-size model we have today.
Since then, however, this model has languished in the wake of more popular crossovers and trucks. Selling just over 41,000 units in 2017 – many of those to fleets – Ford is managing to shift just 10% of what they did in the Taurus’ heyday. Therefore, after 32 years, one of Ford’s most iconic nameplates will end its production run.
Party’s Over: Ford Fiesta (May 2019)
Ah, Fiesta, we hardly knew you. It may seem like the Fiesta’s been around forever. That’s partially because Ford hardly updated the damn thing. It did receive a facelift in 2014, but it hasn’t kept up with its competition, like the Honda Fit, Kia Rio, or Chevrolet Sonic. Sure, the Fiesta ST is a great car to drive and it was a welcome addition to the lineup. But, as with the focus, that wasn’t enough to save the rest of the lineup.
Also like the Focus, the Fiesta also recently entered into a new generation in global markets. That version didn’t make it over here, and now we know why – Ford’s killing the nameplate off in the U.S. market. Mind you, the Fiesta has existed in global markets since the 1970s. Now, the Fiesta will return exclusively to global markets as of next summer.
Splitting with sedans: Ford Fusion (2019-2020)
There isn’t an exact date just yet for when the Fusion will cease production. Ford did give it a minor facelift for the upcoming model year. Not that you’d know it, since it looks pretty similar to the previous model. The Fusion originally came along in 2005, sporting the “New Face of Ford” three-bar grille. That face became the brand’s corporate identity for the rest of the 2000s, showing up on pretty much every Ford model in the stable.
In 2012, the Fusion received a European-inspired design, and sales soared, at least for a few years. Ford has updated the Fusion a couple times during its current generation, but against titans like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, the Fusion just wasn’t as popular. Sales dropped significantly in 2017 – over 20% – so it makes financial sense for Ford to drop the Fusion in favor of more profitable crossovers.
The one you might not miss: Ford C-Max (Mid-2018)
It’s likely that this car will disappear alongside the Focus, since it is based on the current generation model. The C-Max never sold particularly well in the U.S. market – at least nothing like as well as the other cars on this list. As with the other cars on this list, with the exception of the Taurus, the C-Max came on a wave of European-designed models as they finally made their way to the U.S. market. Unlike the Europeans, however, Americans weren’t really enamored with a larger, sort-of hatchback, sort-of minivan kind of car.
It’s a good car, and it’s extremely versatile. The hybrid version even scored over 40 mpg on the highway. However, in an age of cheap gas and demand for high-riding crossovers, the C-Max didn’t stand a chance.