First Generation (1998-2005)
Ford of Europe introduced the Focus in 1998 to the European market as a replacement for the Ford Escort. The decision to name the new car the "Ford Focus" was made in early 1998, as Ford's overheads had been planning to keep the "Escort" nameplate for its new generation of small family cars. A last minute problem arose in July 1998 when a Cologne court, responding to a case brought by the publishers Burda, ordered Ford to avoid the name "Focus" for the German market cars since the name was already taken by the publisher's Focus magazine. This eleventh hour dispute was overcome, however, and the car was launched without a different German market name.
Ford of North America began marketing the Focus in October 1999 for model year 2000 with some changes from the European version. The car launched as a 3-door hatchback, 4-door sedan and 5-door wagon; a 5-door hatchback debuted in 2001.
Read more about this topic: Ford Focus
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