Ford Focus: To Russia with Love

I was watching the Speed Channel's coverage of the Moscow Auto Show the other day, and before going to commercial the announcer listed the five best-selling cars in Russia. Coming in at number 2 was -- you guessed it --
the Ford Focus. Woo hoo, comerade!
The #1 car? The Lada 110. It has a price that translates to USD 2000, so I don't think the Focus will be undercutting it anytime soon.
--
Benjamin Robinson snipped-for-privacy@freenet.tlh.fl.us
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We have a low opinion of the Lada here in North America, but I think some of that was cold war bias. From what I gather the Lada company has come a long way since the fall of Communism, and is quite competitive in the world market.
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wrote

Believe me, the low opinion is justifiable. About the only thing that you can say in Lada's favour is that their cars are like cockroaches; you can't kill them. But with such low tech, that's not surprising. I have a soft spot for the old Lada's as I liked the Fiat 124 they are based on. Too bad they didn't take over the Fiat twin-cam motor as well, instead they plopped in their lump made out of melted down cooking pots. The Lada Niva is a surprisingly competent off-roader, but don't have any pretenses about build quality, comfort, or safety. The "newest" Ladas are still early 90's in terms of tech and design. The design cycle for a typical Lada is about 8 years, more than double the industry standard, so as a car maker they are still hopeless. Lada has made zero penetration into the European market here, despite half-hearted efforts over the last 15 years since the wall fell.
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wrote

market...going for around $9K. the next cheapest car is the Dacia Logan $11K and bare bone Fiat Palio ($13K). But both Lada and Dacia get very very low market share..they sell very few. The cheapest Focus (1.4 liter) is around $19K and it sells like hot cakes!
Ahmet
Turkey
'01 Focus Wagon 1.6 liter
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On the other hand, Soviet aesthetics seem to be exerting some influence on the Daimler-Chrysler designers.
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Yes, the Focus is the best-selling nor-Russian car in Russia. It's quite popular because Ford built a factory there to assemble Focuses so they are not too expensive.

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