Ford has witnessed the success that vehicle platform sharing can bring when done correctly in the form of its C1 platform that was developed for its European delivered Focus. Unfortunately, it’s Ford’s North American division that needs to improve on platform sharing and model differentiation. The C1 architecture has spawned several models including budget hatchbacks, upmarket convertibles and crossovers, from the likes of Volvo and Mazda in addition to Ford and the program was able to save up to 30% in engineering costs.

The man behind the C1, engineer Derrick Kuzak, aims to repeat the success of the C1 for Ford of North America whose just completed his first year as the company’s product chief. The key, according to Kuzak, is to “have a very strong and capable platform on top of which you put very unique products that are unique not just in how they look but are very consistent with the individual brand DNA," as detailed in a report from AutoWeek.

Ford has been criticized for its bland design and slow development and since seen its market share drop significantly. Part of the problem was that vehicles sharing the same platform would be too similar; case in point is the Fusion and nearly identical Mercury Milan and the slightly revised Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ.

Kuzak’s aim is to design vehicles that could be instantly recognizable from up to 100m away, and that when you sit inside, you’ll be able to recognize the brand just from the touch and fell of the materials. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing any vehicles developed by the man until at least 2008.

Follow the jump to see a list of the vehicles that are based on the C1 platform.

Ford Focus (Europe)

Ford Focus C-Max (Europe)

Ford Focus Coupe-Cabriolet (Europe)

Volvo S40

Volvo V50

Volvo C30

Volvo C70



Mazda CX-7