just-auto.com -- The 1968 Escort marked an important development for Ford in Europe. It was the first car developed jointly by the British and German arms of the company and it was a huge success, a mould breaker combining good looks with very competitive pricing. But the over three decades long Escort story was not wholly unblemished. The European launch of the Mark IV Escort in 1990 was one of the most embarrassing and flawed product launches in Ford's history. But that wake-up call was much needed and taught Ford some important lessons. The critics have lauded the replacement vehicle -- the Ford Focus.