The Ford Laser was one of the U.S. carmaker Ford marketed from 1980 to 2003 cars of the lower middle class who experienced multiple model generations.
All laser models based on the platform of the Mazda 323 in 1979, Ford had acquired a 25% stake in Mazda; in consequence, there was a close collaboration between the two companies. The cars were mainly produced in Japan, assembled partly in the respective local markets.
From the laser it gave the following model generations:
In Australia, the laser replaced in 1981 the rear-wheel drive Ford Escort and was a saloon (initially under the name Ford Meteor) as a hatchback very popular. With the model change in 1987 and the sedan went under the name Laser.
The Australian production of laser ended in 1995, when Ford closed its plant in Homebush in Sydney. From this point the laser from Japan was imported; 2002 relieved him of the Ford Focus.
In New Zealand, the mounting of the laser has proceeded; Ford New Zealand and Mazda went to this end, a joint venture under the name VANZ (Vehicle Assemblers of New Zealand) one. But in 1997, the plant in Wiri/Auckland was closed, where in addition to the laser and the Mazda had been built 323. In New Zealand, the combination model of the laser, which was no longer offered in other markets after 1989, remained until 1996, in the program. The statements from 1991 were similar to the Australian versions; In 1997, the KJ-laser was left in favor of Escort versions fall, which in turn were replaced in 1999 by CN laser. Laser 2003 in New Zealand has been replaced by the focus.
In South Africa, the laser was introduced in 1986 and there replaced the imported European Escort. Ford South Africa for operation at that time under the name SAMCOR with the Mazda licensees Anglo American Corporation, but in 1988 withdrew from the country. In South Africa, laser and Meteor proved to be less popular than in Australia and New Zealand. The laser was produced in South Africa until 1995, then replaced the Ford Escort; under the name Ford Tonic remained a Laser variant as entry level but in the offer. A pickup version of the laser, which was only available in South Africa, was sold as the Ford Bantam, but later replaced by a vehicle based on the Ford Fiesta. In South Africa, the laser could with a 1.3-liter petrol engine (50 kW/68hp), a 1.6-liter petrol engine (60 kW/82hp) and an injected 1.6-liter (77 kW/105hp) are equipped. For this was the beginning of the 1990s, a laser 2.0iRS with a 109 kW/148hp Mazda DOHC two-liter engine in the offer.
When U.S. escort the second generation, there was a slightly modified optical laser. Starting in 1987, a made in Mexico laser variant was exported under the name Mercury Tracer in the United States. In Canada, however, the Mercury Tracer Ford imported from Taiwan. The laser gave the basis for the later American Escort models who had nothing in common with the European Escort. The estate version of the local offered in the 1990s in North America Escort was in other parts of the world where the laser was sold, not available.
The Ford Laser was also in some Latin American countries such as Colombia and Venezuela, assembled and sold as right hand drive version in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
In Japan, there was the laser briefly also available as a convertible and under the name Lidea. He was also in Malaysia and Indonesia mounted (right-hand drive). As he was left-hand drive available in markets such as Taiwan and the Philippines. In Taiwan (where the laser was assembled by Ford Lio Ho joint venture) replaced the Ford Tierra with a modified design of the notchback laser from. Models on the basis of which came as a laser Tierra in Thailand in the sale, while the laser is in Malaysia was called Lynx. Facelift versions of the laser were again sold under the name Laser, Laser Tierra, Lynx, Lynx RS, and Tierra in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, but ultimately replaced by the Ford Focus.
In most markets worldwide, the laser was replaced by the European Ford Focus. Since this shares the platform with the Mazda 3, the successor to the 323, both companies sell identical models worldwide basis.