Ford Puma Not Coming To North America: Exclusive

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There’s nothing worse than having to break the news that a cool car Ford model sold elsewhere in the world won’t be coming to our shores. Sadly, that list now includes the Ford Puma.

Ford Authority has learned from sources familiar with the future Ford product roadmap that there are currently no plans to bring the Puma, currently on sale in Europe, to any North American market, including the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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The fact that the Ford Puma won’t be coming to the New World is truly a shame, since it means that the Ford EcoSport will remain the only choice for a subcompact Ford crossover, which is far from ideal. Why so? For starters, the EcoSport is just plain old, having gone on sale in select markets as far back as 2012, before being launched in the U.S. for the 2018 model year. In other words, the EcoSport was already seven years old when it arrived at Ford dealerships across North America. For the 2021 model year, the current EcoSport will celebrate its tenth birthday, making quite old in today’s fast-paced automobile world.

In addition, the EcoSport is neither particularly economical nor particularly sporty, which basically debunks its name. And there’s also the fact that many don’t find it particularly good looking, either. But all those fairly subjective reasons might not really matter if the EcoSport was having significant levels of commercial success in the marketplace. Alas, that’s not exactly the case, with the model being the eighth-best seller in its segment in Q1 2020 out of a total of 17 rivals. A middle-of-the-road performance isn’t anything to write home about for an automaker that purveys undisputed sales leaders like the F-Series and Explorer.

2020 Ford EcoSport
2020 Ford EcoSport

For those who object to using Q1 2020 as a frame of reference to gauge EcoSport sales performance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we present another timeframe: the complete 2019 calendar year. During that time, the EcoSport came in eighth place out of a total of 15 rivals. As you might remember, COVID-19 was not even a thing during that time. So no matter which way you spin it, the EcoSport isn’t a runaway success, and Ford is leaving money on the table by not having a more attractive and more modern offering in the rapidly-growing subcompact crossover space.

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Sales Numbers - Mainstream Subcompact Crossovers - 2019 - United States

MODEL YTD 19 / YTD 18 YTD 19 YTD 18 YTD 19 SHARE YTD 18 SHARE
JEEP COMPASS -15.91% 143,934 171,167 17% 21%
CHEVROLET TRAX +29.92% 116,816 89,916 14% 11%
HONDA HR-V +15.92% 99,104 85,494 11% 11%
BUICK ENCORE +10.02% 102,402 93,073 12% 12%
JEEP RENEGADE -20.79% 76,885 97,062 9% 12%
HYUNDAI KONA +55.71% 73,326 47,090 9% 6%
FORD ECOSPORT +19.06% 64,708 54,348 8% 7%
TOYOTA C-HR -1.43% 48,930 49,642 6% 6%
NISSAN KICKS +149.63% 58,193 23,312 7% 3%
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER SPORT -14.07% 33,644 39,153 4% 5%
KIA NIRO -13.34% 24,467 28,232 3% 4%
MAZDA CX-3 -3.96% 16,229 16,899 2% 2%
HYUNDAI VENUE * 1,077 0 0% 0%
FIAT 500X -51.79% 2,518 5,223 0% 1%
NISSAN JUKE -98.50% 11 731 0% 0%
TOTAL +7.60% 862,244 801,342

Keeping all that in mind, it would make perfect sense for The Blue Oval to either bring the much more modern, stylish, agile, and fun-to-drive Ford Puma to America as a premium alternative to the EcoSport, or simply use it to replace the EcoSport altogether. But alas, that will not happen, at least not for the current-, first-generation Puma.

2019 Ford Edge ST
2019 Ford Edge ST

Since Ford has no plans to bring the Puma Stateside means that we won’t get the upcoming Ford Puma ST, which – from what we’ve seen thus far – looks pretty fantastic. That, combined with the fact that Ford has no plans to make a Ford Escape ST (or a Kuga ST) – for any market – means that the Edge ST will remain the smallest and most accessible Ford SUV with the sporty ST treatment. Though with a base price of $43,260, it’s not exactly the definition of “affordable.”

The upcoming Ford Puma ST pops a wheel while undergoing testing at the Nurburgring in 2019
Upcoming Ford Puma ST pops a wheel while undergoing testing at the Nurburgring in 2019

Hopefully, Ford will plan the next-gen Puma to be a truly global vehicle and will sell it in the Americas, while also changing course and giving the Escape/Kuga the ST treatment it deserves. But for now, North American fans of small and sporty vehicles like the Fiesta ST and Focus ST are just going to have to wait and hope – as our friends in Europe get to have all the fun.

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If you enjoyed this exclusive report, then we invite you to subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Puma news, Ford EcoSport news, and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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5 Comments

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  1. I am a Ford guy through and through but this is getting disgusting and pathetic! Lately Ford is doing everything to go out of business it seems,it just boggles the mind with these no brainer decisions. Ecosport needs to go now! Not only is it ugly,it is impractical and can get expensive. Where are the Broncos? We know auto shows are out for the time being so why not do virtual reveals? I saw recent spy photos of the upcoming F-150 and I am disappointed,they should be more adventurous in its design. That Ram 1500 is starting to look mighty appealing to me not to mention the upcoming TRX model which will be taking the fight to the Raptor. I am getting frustrated with the lack of new striking designs and all these long waits for future projects to be revealed. Enough already,it is time for Jim Hackett to go #firejimhacketnow

  2. Nothing wrong with the Ecosport. Tired of hearing the complaints because the Ecosport looks nice (sporty), and certainly is better than a Chevy Trax or the Buick version. And the Ecosport is not old. It was around for a while at other continents, but the Ecosport is almost new in the USA. Keep in mind that the plant in India is way under capacity, so Ford has to build something at the plant to sell in parts of the world outside India. The reason why Ford European exclusive vehicles are not sold in the USA is there would be little or no profit due to the high labor cost and taxes to import into the USA. This is nothing new. Ford has had European models that are not sold in the USA for decades.

    • The truth hurts doesn’t it? Compare anything to the EcoSport in its class and you see how outclassed it is. Even Hyundai’s smaller offerings looks generations better. I’m a Ford guy but I cannot delude myself,the EcoSport is not competitive and the sales numbers reflects that! The same way Ford brought over the Fiesta,C-Max, Focus and other European vehicles they can bring/build the new Puma here. Why should U.S get second rate vehicles and Europe gets the cream of the crop? Stop apologizing for mediocrity,America deserves better. We knew the EcoSport was a stop gap until better came along so there is no credible reason why it cannot be built in the U.S or Mexico for North American consumption..

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