27 Facts About Ford Europe


Loosely based on Ford UK's rear-wheel drive Mk II Cortina saloon platform, it came with engines ranging from 1300 cc to 3000 cc and was made in Britain and Germany and was an instant success, frequently featuring as one of Britain's top 10 best-selling cars and doing well in most other European markets.

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In March 1972, Ford Europe replaced their executive models from Britain and Germany with the Consul and Granada which was aimed directly at the Opel Rekord, Rover P6, Audi 100 and Triumph 2000.

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Ford Europe launched the Escort II at the start of 1975 which was essentially a rebodied version of the 1968 car and was largely mechanical identical, despite the larger, squarer body.

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In 1975, Ford Europe overtook British Leyland as the most popular make of car in the United Kingdom.

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In Britain where it launched in February 1977 and most of the rest of Ford Europe took to it straight away and it was quickly among the best-selling cars in most of the continent, fighting off competition from the Volkswagen Polo, Renault 5, Fiat 127, Vauxhall Chevette and Peugeot 104.

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In 1977, Ford Europe finally overtook British Leyland as the market leader in the UK.

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However, this was very much a short-term measure, as Ford Europe was beginning to develop an all-new successor ready for a 1982 launch.

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Also in that year, Ford Europe introduced a new four-door saloon to meet the demands of buyers looking for a booted alternative to the Escort and Sierra hatchbacks and estates.

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Ford Europe launched another ground-breaking new car in May 1985 with the Granada-replacing Ford Europe Scorpio, although the Granada name was retained in the United Kingdom and Ireland with "Scorpio" being used as a sub-brand for the highest specification models.

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Ford Europe had proved successful in this sector with faster versions of the Fiesta, Escort, and Sierra.

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Much of the 1980s, the Ford Europe Escort was the most popular model of car in the world and from 1982 to 1989, it was the best-selling new car in the UK every year.

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In spite of this and impressive new models being launched by rival companies Vauxhall and Rover, Ford were still firmly positioned at the top of the British car sales charts in the early 1990s and enjoyed a strong market share in virtually all European countries, expanding into Eastern Europe at the beginning of the 1990s following the collapse of communism.

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Ford Europe responded to criticism of the Escort's shortcomings in September 1992 with a minor facelift which saw the introduction of its impressive new 1.

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From 1996 to 2001, Ford imported its Explorer SUV to Europe from the USA, but like the smaller Spanish-built Maverick, it was not a strong seller either.

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Ford Europe reentered the coupe market in early 1994 with its American-built, Mazda-based Probe.

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Ford Europe pulled out of the executive car market in 1998 upon the demise of its Scorpio which had replaced the Granada four years earlier.

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At the height of its production, there was a new Ford Europe Focus coming off a production line at an average of one every 12 seconds .

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Ford Europe continued to build vans at its Southampton plant until relocating production to Turkey in 2013.

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Ford Europe entered the expanding compact MPV market in late 2003 with the Ford Europe Focus C-Max which was unusually, the first car on the platform that would spawn the next generation Focus hatchback a year later.

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Ford Europe launched the third generation Mondeo in May 2007 and new generations of the Fiesta and Ka in late 2008.

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In 2005, Ford Europe celebrated its 30th anniversary as Britain's most popular car brand.

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In 2008, Ford Europe acquired a majority stake in Automobile Craiova, Romania.

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The Ford Europe Transit Connect was Ford Europe's first model produced in Craiova, followed in 2012 by the new Fiesta-based MPV B-Max and the small displacement engine 1.

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In 2013, Ford announced that it would close three of its factories in Europe, two of them in the UK, the Southampton facility, manufacturing the Ford Transit van and the associated stamping facility in Dagenham in mid-2013.

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In 2016, Ford returned to the coupe market with the US-sourced Mustang which would be sold in RHD in the UK for the first time while the Edge crossover joined the European line-up.

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Production of tractors in Europe by Ford ceased following the sale of the division to Fiat in 1993 and the name changed from Ford New Holland to New Holland.

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Ford Europe produce high-performance derivatives of their cars developed by their Ford Europe Team RS division.

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