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 |  Feb 03 2011, 2:09 PM

Speaking to Autocar Magazine, Ford‘s European design chief Martin Smith said “Our marketing people are telling us there’s demand for an affordable family saloon,” and Ford appears to be moving in that direction for the Chinese market.

The Blue Oval will prepare a concept for the Beijing Auto Show, but rather than target the wealthy coastal areas of China, this car will go after the poorer, inland markets where basic transportation would be a big purchase for the average family. Using either a Focus or Fiesta platform, the car would still meet strict crash standards, but would be decontented with less sophisticated features in order to reduce costs. “We’d never engineer out safety,” Smith said, “but you could give it single-piece headlights and tail lights, and reduce the glass panels in the side from three to two.”

The previous generation Focus, known as the C1 (a different car than our previous compact Ford) would likely underpin the car, as Chinese buyers are thought to be more receptive to a larger vehicle.

[Source: Autocar]