The fourth generation Ford Focus is not sold in the United States but is currently one of the company’s most important models on the European market. Together with the new Fiesta, also not available on this side of the big pond, the two hatchbacks form a big portion of Ford’s sales on the Old continent. Due to production issues, however, the automaker now has to stop accepting custom orders for both the Focus and Fiesta.
Automotive News reports that only preconfigured models can be ordered until further notice thus leaving customers with at least some chance of getting a new Focus or Fiesta. A Ford spokesperson told Automotive News Europe's sister publication Automobilwoche that the manufacturer currently has delivery times of up to 12 months for some of its models and disruptions in the supply chains and production don’t help the situation.
"We closed free order availability for our dealers on the Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta, among others, some time ago," the spokesman confirmed to the publication. "However, we are offering available production volume to our dealers in the form of pre-specified units based on customer demand."
The waiting times for the Focus are extremely high at this point. Ford announced in June this year that production at its Saarlouis plant in Germany will be significantly reduced after the end of August, thus adding more stress to the Focus waiting list. Markus Thal, the head of the works council at the factory, said orders currently being processed would likely be delivered in the spring of 2023. Ford forecasts the annual production capacity of the plant will go down from about 195,000 units originally planned to just about 117,000 in 2022.
The situation doesn’t seem brighter for next year, though. Thal said around 143,000 Focus units are planned to be assembled in 2023, though production might not reach its expected levels due to shortages in the supply chain. The situation on the energy market is also a complicating factor.
Ultimately, the Focus will survive until 2025 when it is planned to go out of production without a direct replacement under development. The Saarlouis plant will most likely lose a large portion of its workforce as the Blue Oval admits it has not found a solution to keep the factory up and running following the car's termination in roughly three years' time.