• Aug 13, 2008

Click above for high-res gallery of the Euro Ford Focus

For years, enthusiasts have been clamoring for Euro-only Blue Oval models to be sold in American dealerships. This dream is finally coming true, starting with the new Ford Fiesta and next-gen 2010 Ford Focus. Mark Fields has revealed that the European Focus and Foci built in North America will share 90 today. Not only will this make for better cars, it also allows Ford to realize a double-digit profit improvement on each Focus compared to what it's earning today. This is certainly a positive development, as the automaker believes that the small car segment will nearly double in the next few years. We're inclined to agree unless Exxon discovers that the Earth's core is made of crude. The other part of Ford's plan is to make its North American plants flexible enough to respond quickly to the ever-changing U.S. market, which is something Toyota, Honda and other import automakers assembling vehicles in this country have already done with great effects.


[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE

Ford's Global Product Plan to Drive Increased Small Car Profits; New Team to Bolster Vehicle Connectivity

- Ford's upcoming new Focus in North America and other small car derivatives built off a new global C-car platform will deliver a double-digit percentage profit improvement compared with the company's current North American Focus - "One Ford" global product plan to increase parts commonality between the European and North American Focus from approximately 20 percent today to 90 percent in the coming years - Ford forming new customer connectivity team to accelerate its leadership in smart in-car technology, such as Ford SYNC(TM), SIRIUS Travel Link(TM), Ford Work Solutions(TM) and HD radio

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Aug 13, 2008 -- Ford Motor Company expects the quality, fuel efficiency, smart technologies and shared global nature of its upcoming new Focus small car in North America and other derivatives built off a new global C-car platform to deliver a double-digit percentage profit improvement compared with today's North American Focus.

In addition, Ford is forming a new customer connectivity team to accelerate its leadership in vehicle smart technology solutions that are increasingly important to small car customers, including Ford SYNC, SIRIUS Travel Link and Ford Work Solutions and HD radio.

Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas, announced the latest details about the company's accelerated transformation and plan to introduce several new fuel-efficient small cars during a speech at the Center for Automotive Research's annual Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.

"We at Ford see this year's consumer shift to smaller vehicles as an opportunity and one that Ford is uniquely positioned to answer using the strength of our European small car lineup and our fast-moving global product plan," said Mark Fields, executive vice president and president, The Americas. "We plan to answer the call with dynamic, fun-to-drive small cars - and we intend to make them profitably."

Ford is significantly accelerating small car development by leveraging global platforms that will deliver major savings through increased economies of scale.

Ford announced last month that it plans to bring six small vehicles from the company's acclaimed European lineup to North America by 2012 as part of a strategy to leverage its leadership in B- and C-car sized vehicles in Europe in North America and around the world. As part of this product plan, Ford will introduce the new Fiesta small car in North America in early 2010 and the new Ford Focus small car later in 2010.

Ford also is speeding the introduction of its fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine technology and four-cylinder engines, boosting hybrid production and converting three existing truck and SUV plants for small car production, with the first conversion beginning this December.

Ford already has shifted the balance of its North American product portfolio from a 70 percent emphasis on trucks and large SUVs in 2004, to nearly 60 percent cars and crossovers today. By the end of 2010, two-thirds of the company's spending will be on cars and CUVs. Much of that investment is aimed squarely at small cars - particularly the C-segment in which Focus competes today.

Small Cars: A Solid Foundation

Today, small cars like the Focus account for one of every four vehicles sold around the world. By 2012, that number is expected to increase more than 20 percent to 6 million vehicles in North America and 25 million units worldwide.

Ford will address the growing demand for small cars by marshaling its global strength. Within five years, the company plans to build nearly 2 million units a year worldwide off its global C-platform and 1 million units off its global B-car platform.

Ford is building off a strong base. Ford introduced the Focus in the U.S. in 1999, and the popular small car is fast approaching the 2 million unit milestone. Year-to-date, Focus sales are up 26 percent, compared with industry-wide small car growth of approximately 9 percent. Exclusive in-vehicle technology like Ford SYNC and up to 35 mpg fuel economy have fueled the Focus's strong performance.
Leveraging Ford's Global Scale

Ford will build a profitable car business in North America by engineering and sourcing cars globally. For example, Ford is reducing complexity and streamlining the vehicle order process to make it far easier for customers to find the vehicles they want on dealer lots. Dealers will benefit from reduced inventory age, lowered floor plan costs, simplified vehicle orders and quicker days to turn. The company gains engineering efficiencies, reduces build combinations, cuts prototype expenses, further drives quality improvements and creates volume opportunities.

"We've reduced the number of orderable combinations in North America - including series, packages and options - by 90 percent for the Ford brand alone in the 2008-2009 model years," Fields said. "If you look at the C-segment, Focus will provide approximately 150 combinations by the 2010 model year - more than a 95 percent reduction versus the 2008 model year."

New Ford Team to Accelerate In-Vehicle Connectivity

Ford also today announced it is dedicating a new team to further enhance the driving experience for customers and accelerate the company's connectivity leadership.

This new 40-person customer connectivity group will leverage Ford's industry-leading portfolio of on-board technologies - including SYNC, SIRIUS Satellite radio, SIRIUS Travel Link, Ford Works Solutions and HD radio - to deliver information and services from the Internet in a way that maximizes convenience and limits distractions.
The team will build on partnerships the company has established with world-class technology service providers to ensure customers have seamless access to best-in-world data and information services - affordably.

Ford has appointed Doug VanDagens, 50, to lead the team. He joined Ford in 1986 and most recently has been leading Ford's electronic product development and business operations, which already has been working to bring industry-leading features such as SYNC and Travel Link to market.

In-vehicle connectivity is particularly important to small car customers, who want to downsize their vehicle but not their smart technologies or creature comforts.

"We're making stylish, high-quality products to appeal a new breed of buyers," Fields said. "Our small cars need to be more ambitious vehicles than ever, delivering style, perceived quality and appealing to lifestyle, not life stage."

One of the most influential groups of customers shopping the small car segment today - and considering possibilities for tomorrow - is the Millennials, the growing population of 14- to 29-year-olds. Approximately 11,000 of these tech-savvy consumers reach driving age every day. By 2010, this group will represent 28 percent of the driving population.


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  • 30 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      The 2010 Focus is not the "EURO" Focus. It will be a GLOBAL Focus, in that it will be designed not just in Europe for Europe, but for global markets. In fact, a lot of the development work is being done in Dearborn, MI USA.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ckm
        The first and second generation Focus and the Ford C1 platfrom (used in the Mazda3 and many Volvo models) was developt in Germany Cologne in the Ford Europe HQ, next to a engine plant in Dagenham Ford has nothing left in the UK.

        The new Fiesta was also developt in Germany by Ford Europe were the production starts today at the 14.August.

        The Focus was never the best selling car in the world and never the best selling car in Europe..it was only best selling car in the UK.

        Ford Europe made a win of over $500million in first half 2008... John Fleming chief of Ford Europe said the biggest mistake from Ford in the past was to sell cars with the price argument, since they have switched in Europe to sell cars with quality, design, inovation arguments thinks have turned much better, currently run all Ford plants in Europe at 100%.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If that's true, it's a recipe for failure.

        The gen 1 Focus was designed in the UK and Germany, and it was the best selling car in the world in 1999-2004. The current car was designed by the same groups and is the best selling car in Europe.

        Why on earth would you want any other team to design it? Particularly in Dearborn, which built the current NA Focus horror.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just one question...where the hell is the Mondeo?!!?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly what I thought.

        My girlfriend keeps asking me when the Mondeo estate we drove around Switzerland will be for sale in the US.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seriously, if they brought the Mondeo to the US...I'd give my left testicle to get one of the first ones. Ok, maybe not really...but I'd really like to have one.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Who cares?

      Stupid small car crap, getting on my nerves already.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thats a really nice looking Volvo.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Mark Fields has revealed that the European Focus and Focii built in North America will share 90% of their parts compared to just 20% today. Not only will this make for better cars, it also allows Ford to realize a double-digit profit improvement on each Focus compared to what it's earning today."

      I always thought that was a no-brainer duh thing that building two differently-engineered cars for the same segment will cost more money than building one car. I'd heard excuses from Ford in the past that it was cheaper to continue building the old Focus even though engineering money was already spent on the new one that needed to be recouped, but I never heard a satisfactory explanation as to why or how.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I wondered that myself... Toyota make one corolla everywhere and seem to make the most money in all their markets. Give ford 1 bill and they would spend it on building a handfull of lackluster cars, give Toyota the same coin and half would go to one decent car and the rest to marketing. Hopefully Ford has woke up now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      a pig just flew past my side window
      • 6 Years Ago
      In other news, Ford found out today that the sky was blue, and you shouldn't stare at the yellow ball in the sky for long periods of time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The plural of Ford Focus is Ford Focuses, not "Ford Foci".

      • 6 Years Ago
      Good idea in theory, however the Euro engines won't go to the US simply because you Americans don't seem to realise that 135hp is more than adequate for a car like this!!

      The vast majority of these cars sold in the UK are with the 1.6 VVT petrol or the smaller diesels
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually lots of Americans buy economical small cars with 130-140 hp engines and manage to drive them to work every day without getting run down while merging on freeways and pulling away from stoplights.

        Auto enthusiasts and auto poseurs are all about horsepower wars. Don't get me wrong, I drive a station wagon that makes more horsepower than was available in a "common" Ferrari when I was in high school (the 308) and I like it. I just don't think it's necessary, and I might not be satisfied with 26-28 highway if I were buying today.

        I daresay that if gasoline had been as cheap in Europe over the last 15 years as it has been in the US, you'd see more 400-hp Vauxhalls and Fiats.
        • 6 Years Ago
        1985 Sentra, 69 Hp, no torque, just enough acceleration to avoid disaster (acceleration and Sentra in the same sentence?) 40 hwy mpg, drove it for 15 years, chicks loved it (I swear I am telling the truth), wish I still had it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        good point, give me the euro diesel engine in a focus and you'll have me visiting a Ford dealership for the first time ever.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Horsepower is god. suck it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well it's about damn time.

      It's better late than never. Keep up the great work Ford, but whatever you do please do NOT slap that gawd awful 3 bar theme on ANY of the european imports and also please, and I stress NO MORE BEATING THESE NICE EURO CARS WITH THE AMERICAN UGLY STICK!! Leave them alone and build them here exactly to the T without any modifications or changes in the interior or outer exterior and you will have yourselves a couple of new cash cows which will overtake any F-150 sales as well as great winners in this highly competitive marketplace.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You do realize that you can buy fords without the grill right?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this really such a big deal??

      Arent there already a Mazda and a Volvo built on the Euro Focus sold in the USA?

      The Mazda3 is renowned for its excellent interior and excellent handling. Would the Euro Focus be any better or cheaper than a Mazda3?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Mazda3 is build on the same platfrom as the rest of world Focus (only the USA gets the stoneage old technic) the platfrom was developt by Ford Europe in Cologne Germany by a team of engineers from Ford, Mazda and Volvo.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let me see, buyers can't even get 4 wheel disc brakes at any price on the current Focus or the Escape (except perhaps the hybrid). So why would Ford think that it can make a small quality car that people want?


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