Road-testing done on 2012 Ford Focus units before getting shipped

Article by Christian A., on March 29, 2011

The first few units of the 2012 Ford Focus are being road-tested near Detroit for 30 miles before they’re shipped to dealerships nationwide. These compact cars are being produced at Ford’s assembly plant in Wayne, Mich.

According to Ford spokesman Said Deep, the first batch of vehicles was taken to a Dearborn test track where drivers evaluated them for 30 miles each. These cars were brought back to the Wayne plant for further inspection before being shipped to dealers.

The Focus started selling this month. Jim Hall, the managing director of 2953 Analystics, a consulting firm in suburban Detroit, said that it’s more common for high-end cars to receive extensive testing. Hall said that every Porsche built is road-tested but he finds it “puzzling” that Ford is doing the same for this entry-level model, according to Autonews.

He thinks that it is impressive but at the same time, he is worried that there may be other issues. A dealer who came to the council's meeting in Dearborn said that Ford had informed the Ford National Dealer Council members that road-testing is being done to achieve a “flawless launch."

He said Ford denied that that there is a problem. Instead, Ford emphasized that the launch of this 40-mpg car is considered very important as it is well-timed especially with increasing gas prices.

The next-generation Focus, the hero model built on Ford Motor Company's latest global C-segment platform, was developed in Europe to be sold in more than 120 markets in the world with 80% parts commonality. This platform will highlight a minimum of ten vehicles worldwide and will account for two million units produced per year by 2012.

According to Kuzak, presenting three Ford Focus body styles in Paris is an additional major milestone in brand’s international C-car strategy. In only a few months, the production of Focus will simultaneously begin in Michigan and Saarlouis assembly plants, as the vision of distributing at least ten derivatives from the same platform worldwide starts to materialize.

At Paris, Ford confirms that the 3-model new-generation Ford Focus range will not include 3-door or Coupé-Cabriolet derivatives.

Kuzak explained that having decided on adopting a smooth, coupé-like design for the five-door hatchback, the line-up does not have enough space for a 3-door version. The 3-model Focus range is a perfect mix of sporty, dynamic looks plus everyday practicality. Buyers who want the same dynamic look with more space could opt for Ford’s latest C-car line-up that also includes the stylish new C-Max, a car to best suit their needs.

Since Ford has promised to include a performance Ford Focus model in the next-generation line-up, the company at Paris is previewing the way the model will look when presented in 2012. The exciting Ford Focus ST model is announced at Paris and the Ford EcoBoost 250 PS powerplant will deliver the pleasure of driving to complement its excellent looks.

Global Production of Focus in Progress

At present, the leading Ford Focus assembly plants in Michigan (USA) and Saarlouis (Germany) are getting ready for a simultaneous production launch by the end of 2010.

The Ford Focus bodystyles will be produced by the Saarlouis plant while the Michigan plant will produce the 4-door and 5-door derivatives.

Production in Europe will expand in mid-2011 as the assembly plant in St. Petersburg, Russia starts to build the new 4-door and 5-door models. In the next stage, Ford Focus manufacturing is seen to expand in Asia Pacific while the Chongqing, China plant starts operations in early 2012.

To make sure that the strong demand for the Ford Focus in Europe can be met as the Saarlouis plant increases production of the new model, the present Ford Focus will be continuously produced in Valencia, Spain until mid-2011.

Ford Europe Chairman and CEO Stephen Odell said that there is an extremely high demand for the current Ford Focus across Europe, with a multitude of customers having a strong loyalty to the brand. The continuous production of the current Ford Focus in Valencia will let us provide these customers with better accessibility and the best possible value while the Saarlouis plant increases to full production of the latest model.

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