Ford Motor Co. is optimistic that it will sell a sufficient number of Focus compact cars in Europe to attain full capacity in 2011 at a German factory that is producing the new version of the model.
This will enable Ford to stop a decrease in its market share in the region. Bernhard Mattes, who manages Ford's German factories, said that the output of the Focus is likely to reach the daily maximum of 1,850 cars by the end of January.
The Focus has started production last Monday at the Saarlouis plant, which is expected to be the lone source for new Focus production in western Europe. This plant builds all three body styles: a four-door, five-door and station wagon. Mattes said that the car may start selling in Germany this March and in the second quarter, it will start to be offered in other major European markets. The third-generation Focus will feature driver aids such as parking- and lane-assistance software.
Ford said that the current Focus, its second-best-selling model in the region after the Fiesta, saw 10-month sales fall by 14% to 220,400 in 19 European countries.
Ford also said that it expects 2010 European sales throughout the industry to drop to 14 million vehicles. Ford added that the new Focus, which shares about 80% of its parts globally, will be made available in 120 markets throughout the world.
All three body styles of the Ford Focus share a sporty yet dynamic character. They also make use of the evolved version of the carmaker’s kinetic design form language, which played in big role in the increasing popularity of the Ford’s latest small and medium cars.
The new Focus boasts of a stunning front end, athletic stance, sleek profile as well as dramatic rising beltline, allowing it to express how it delivers a rewarding driving experience to its occupants. It also boasts of a low, streamlined profile with a steeply raked front screen, helping the Focus achieve a spectacular aerodynamic body shape, which in turn helps reduce fuel consumption.
Aside from its wind-cheating shape, the new Ford Focus also comes with a number of optimized aerodynamic elements. These include an active grille shutter – the same as on the Ford Mondeo – that could block airflow through the cooling system when not required, helping reduce aerodynamic drag. As a result, the European four-door model boasts of a coefficient of drag value of 0.27 Cd, improving on the 0.30 Cd of the current model.
Inside, the new Focus comes with a distinctively designed modern cabin that takes up a styling similar to a cockpit. The interior features a stylish center console wrapping around the driver while providing access to major controls and display panels.
The interior of the new Focus comes equipped with Ford’s next-generation driver connect technology, MyFord. This innovation is laden with a number of controls and display screens that operate the vehicle’s key features. On high series vehicles, the MyFord system comes with an 8-inch touch screen.