Ford launches Focus for North America with Euro flavor
The 2011 Focus, which goes on sale in the U.S. and Europe late Dec./early Jan., has a new trapezoidal grille, and Ford says the interior is meant to evoke the feeling of an airplane cockpit. Executives were unveiling the five-door hatchback and sedan here at the Detroit auto show on Monday.
Focus production will start at the same time at the end of the year in Saarlouis, Germany, and in Michigan in the U.S.
The car is meant to “demonstrate how Ford will bring European flavor to America,” says Martin Smith, the automaker's design chief for Europe.
The vehicle comes off Ford's new global platform created to underpin 10 new and redesigned small cars.
Ford expects U.S. annual sales of the redesigned Focus to be about 220,000 units, Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development, said during a press event here in December.
Ford sold 160,433 Focuses in the U.S. in 2009 and 195,823 in 2008.
Kuzak has promised that Ford will be the fuel economy leader in the U.S. in every vehicle segment. The automaker hasn't released estimated fuel economy for the new Focus, but Kuzak said the car will deliver on his promise.
Kuzak said the Focus will offer a “sporty, edgy drive as opposed to the more relaxed drive of the Toyota Corolla.”
An electric version of the Focus is planned for 2011.
Ford says seven other models will be developed for North America on the Focus platform. They include the seven-passenger C-Max van, the next-generation Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner crossovers and a Mercury sedan. Three other models have not been announced.
A Lincoln model has been discussed, triggered by the introduction this decade of small, lowered-priced models by BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
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