Ford Motor Co. will introduce a North American car smaller than the Focus in 2007 or 2008, according to a report in Automotive News this week. The news was confirmed in an interview with retiring executive Jim O´Connor last week. The vehicle probably will be a spinoff of the Brazilian-made Ford EcoSport, the report said. The EcoSport rides on the Fiesta platform, which is the basis of many of Ford´s European small cars. Ford affiliate Mazda Motor Corp. is leading development of the next-generation Fiesta platform. The new U.S. entry is likely to migrate to Mazda´s platform. The look of the new car is unclear, but it will be more than an econobox. "It would need to stand out," a Ford source said in the report. Sport wagon or SUV-inspired styling is likely, based on concept vehicles the automaker has shown in the segment. Meanwhile, production of the Ford Excursion and Lincoln Aviator will end, according to Ford document. The Excursion, the automaker´s biggest SUV, is expected to end in September, while Aviator production will end in July, an Automotive News report said. Lincoln will revive the nameplate with a car-based SUV in 2006.
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