Ford starts marketing campaign for the 2012 Focus

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 22, 2011

In a move that is against the conventional wisdom that marketing is best developed locally, a European team was tasked to create the global marketing campaign for the 2012 Ford Focus compact car, including the one for the U.S. launch. Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally has emphasized the drive for One Ford -- a company free of regional barriers that can create global products sharing design, parts and engineering for a single Ford brand.

Ford’s group vice president of global marketing, sales and service, Jim Farley, handed marketing responsibility for the Focus to the Europeans partly because of their skill in marketing cars similar in size, which are the heart of the European market.

The marketing campaign for the U.S. Focus has begun ahead of a sales start in the spring, says Autonews. The Focus, which is in many ways a logical car for a global marketing campaign, was developed for markets worldwide. For example, the U.S. and European versions share 80 percent of their parts, setting a new standard transatlantic cooperation.

Ford says all future vehicle launches will have a similar pattern, with a central group in a chosen region leading the marketing effort around the world for that vehicle. Marketing managers in a region or country can choose which of one or two main campaigns to use; however, they can't start from scratch and make their own. Farley forecasts that the result will be a more consistent and better message across markets and with lowered costs.

The latest versions of the Ford Focus were showcased in all their detailed glory at the Ford stand. These are the dynamic five-door hatchback, the refined four-door sedan and the urbane five-door wagon. All are will enter production in North America and Europe in the latter part of 2010.

The Focus is arguably Ford’s most recognisable model worldwide. Since its debut in 1988, more than 10 million units have been shipped such that it is now one of the primary choices anywhere in the world for its affordability, safety and, of course, its enjoyably comfortable handling.

Developed within the Ford ONE strategy, the company’s innovative global development program, Ford envisions the latest Focus models to carry on the line’s winning streak and show off the company’s evolution.

The new Focus models are designed with more dynamism and refinement to set them apart from the preceding versions, and now feature more of the newest practical features and systems. They also now assure higher quality levels of workmanship, better fuel efficiency, and further improvements to the already renowned Ford Focus driving experience.

Ford Group Vice President of Product Development Derrick Kuzak declared great excitement over the anticipated initial delivery of vehicles to their customers, and that the current Ford Focus “truly represents the best of Ford Motor Company.”

He added that what they poured in for the new C-car platform has permitted them to develop an affordable vehicle that exceeds even their expectations in terms of fuel economy, quality, technology, and safety.

Developed in Europe, for the World

Development of the new Ford Focus took place in Europe but it will be in more than 120 individual national markets and 80 percent of all parts will be in common. The Focus represents the prime model of the new Ford C-segment platform, which will comprise no less than ten versions worldwide and is projected by 2012 to have a yearly output of two million vehicles.

Kuzak revealed that several months after the launch of the three core Ford Focus bodystyles in Paris, production will begin at the same time in the assembly plants in Saarlouis and Michigan. This is part of its plan to be able to deliver a minimum of 10 new derivatives from the same platform worldwide. Additionally at the Paris show, Ford announced that there will be no upcoming three-door or Coupe-Cabriolet variants of the new Ford Focus, only the three models already showing.

However, Kuzak clarified that there wasn’t much space in the range to accommodate a three-door model. Nonetheless, he is confident that from its Focus lineup of three models, customers will be able to find the “perfect car” to meet their demands. He mentioned that those who want the same dynamic looks but with bigger space, the brand offers the new C-MAX from its C-car range.

Ford nevertheless announced that there will be a more performance-oriented version of the Focus that will be introduced later on in 2012. A sneak peek of this model’s design was offered in Paris, and it will be known as the Ford Focus ST. It will be powered by a 250 PS Ford EcoBoost engine for an improved and more fun driving experience commensurate with its snazzy looks.

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