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Story and Photos by Jack Baruth
It’s a shame P.T. Barnum didn’t live to see the release of the ’08 Focus. The man who coined the phrase “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” might be surprised to see just how bad that publicity can be. From the moment Ford lifted the sheet at the 2007 Detroit Show, the race has been on between the media and the bloggers to concoct the most demeaning dismissal possible. The buzz spread through every car-related forum on the Internet: Ford screwed up! They could have had the Euro Focus – the charming-looking, if a trifle bland, “C1” model that is the basis for the Mazda3 and Volvo S40/S30 here in the United States – but they didn’t take it! Instead, they facelifted the old one! And it’s a disaster! Disaster! That was the very word they used, as if Ford had ground troops stranded in Somalia, instead of a rather homely-looking little car rotating on a blue-lit platform. Disaster!