I’m not convinced. Whilst there are plenty of Ford diehards out there I’m not sure they really want to drive an SUV. But then again the diehards (like us on here!) account for a tiny number of sales in the grand scheme of things so we’re probably not that important.
As for Ford being clever, again I’m not sure they’re THAT clever tbh. Sales are getting battered by the premium brands, and battered by the relative newcomers and once budget brands (Kia, Hyundai etc.) and they appear to be miles behind when it comes to electric vehicles. I’m not sure how they carried out their research for the current Focus ST, but it would appear that existing ST owners certainly weren’t consulted. It’s objectively a better car than the old one but just isn’t selling. The problem with trying to appeal to new markets is that if you fail, and in the process alienate your traditional market, you have no market. There’s a bit of that in the Focus ST I think....
I know I keep repeating myself, but the brands only real credibility comes from its sporting heritage, and mildly souped up SUV’s don’t reflect that regardless of marketing. Don’t get me wrong, Fords in general are pretty good cars and often underrated IMO but their standout cars have always been the most sporty ones, and are the ones that have an aspirational image. Trying to shoehorn an SUV into the hot hatch category isn’t a great idea IMO, and risks diluting a very strong sub-brand.
A bit of a rant but with the likes of the GR Yaris on the horizon I’d hate to see Ford loose out in the hot hatch market, as that’s one where their reputation in second to none IMO.
On the subject of the Focus ST, I was going to put an order in for a new estate version, but when the price came back, even with the Drive the Deal discount, I just couldn't justify losing £6k in a year for no reason. Price is a big point for buyers and that to me was the deciding factor also.
With electric cars being higher priced, but designed to be 'cheaper to run' - but are they? You have to get a sparky to fit a plug on your house, plus the price of the car, whereas you could buy a petrol car and have change.
Driving will go back to being a luxury, like in the 60's!