Among its other introductions at Auto Shanghai 2013, Ford unveiled the new C-segment Escort Concept. Ford said that the Escort Concept showcases its vision for serving additional customers in China’s compact car segment—a segment that accounts for more than 25% 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.
|Escort Concept. Click to enlarge.|
The compact car segment in China today is around 5.5 million units per year, approximately the size of total annual auto sales in Germany and the UK combined, and larger than the total annual volume of vehicles sold in Japan (the world’s third largest car market).
Building on the success of the Focus, the Ford Escort Concept is intended to foreshadow a compact car designed for a different customer. While Focus successfully meets the needs of those seeking a fun driving experience and high level of technology, the Escort Concept is for those customers who value exceptional roominess, uncompromised functionality and sophisticated design.
In Ford’s market research, customers in China described seeking a vehicle that is stylish—but not one that is arrogant or pretentious—while also allowing for a balanced life that almost always includes family and friends.
We found a large segment of compact car buyers in China appreciate sophisticated design and want a more spacious family-size vehicle. The Ford Escort Concept reflects those desires.—Martin Smith, executive design director, Europe and Asia Pacific