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2009 Ford Focus SES Coupe – Click above for high-res image gallery

Further proof that Cash for Clunkers is fueling sales of small cars comes today by way of Ford. The Blue Oval is reportedly cranking up production of the Focus compact in order to satisfy demand. Shortly after the government's scrappage plan was launched, news came that the Ford Focus was the top-selling nameplate on Cash for Clunkers trade-ins, though it was subsequently replaced by the Toyota Corolla and Ford's own Escape.

No matter what vehicle is benefiting the most from C4C, we're sure the hard hit auto workers at the Wayne Assembly plant will appreciate the overtime, which will run from now through the end of September and will result in an additional 6,400 Focuses rolling down the line. For those interested in the numbers, Ford reported a 44-percent increase in Focus sales in July over the previous month.



Photos Copyright ©2008 John Neff / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 51 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I traded my '97 S-10 for a 2009 Focus SES Sedan. Maybe it's an older chassis but it sure rides good, gets good mpg, comfortable and looks good to me. Sure, it's not a Euro Focus but it's darn good though! I got almost $8500 off sticker with my deal. Can't beat that. I did not like the Cobalt and could not get a good deal on either a Suzuki SX4 Sport or Mitsubishi Lancer. Both of those only qualfied for $3500 since thier mpg's were less than the Focus.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Good luck with the new car, that is quite a good deal you got.

        I was really into the Suzuki until I saw the MPG. Pretty bad for a car that small and slow.
      • 5 Years Ago
      forget all the politics of the program, it's a very good thing that so many people are now able to drive an up-to-date car like the Focus. new cars are so much more reliable now, the mileage is vastly improved in real life, and look at all the safety features that come with today's cars, too. Reliability, economy and safety are never bad things to add to our lives on the road. although it's always good to see a restored Plymouth K-car now and then...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd hardly call this thing up-to-date. Massaging a 10 year old design and throwing in Sync does not make it up-to-date.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's certainly up to date if you're trading in a 1987 Caprice for it!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @John so is a 1999 Explorer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Problem is its not a question of being up-to-date for your average American commuter, it's just not the badass hot-hatch like we all want (and what it used to be). :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Massaging a 10 year old design and throwing in Sync does not make it up-to-date."

        Luis, please go educate yourself on what "platform" actually means. A "platform" is a set of critical dimensions defining thinks like suspension hard points as well as the tooling used to assemble the structure. A "platform" is NOT a set of parts. Just because the current Focus platform is still called C170 doesn't make it a "10 year old car." The Five Hundred/'08 Taurus was "D258," and the new 2010 is still called "D258" even though it's a significantly different car.

        By your logic, the Honda Accord is a 25 year old car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is more or less up to date...it's not like they haven't made changes to the engines, transmissions and other parts since the Focus was first made. It's not like a lot of the stuff on cars is that much different compared to 10 years ago, it's just "massaged."
      • 5 Years Ago
      The program requires the scrapping of your eligible trade-in vehicle, and that the dealer disclose to you an estimate of the scrap value of your trade-in. The scrap value, however minimal, will be in addition to the rebate, and not in place of the rebate.

      Henry
      Blogger
      www.cashforclunkersfacts.info
      http://www.cashforclunkersfacts.info
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its those 80's escort owners trading in their clunker for a car that looks just like it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The earlier small cars don't qualify because their mileage is too high. The F-150 and Explorers are the big Ford trades.
      • 5 Years Ago
      BAD IDEA.

      But it's Ford...so it's expected.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You donot need actual vouchers or coupons to partipate in this program. All dealers are required and government will
      reimburse the fees for the clunkers


      Jimhenry
      Blogger
      www.cashforclunkersfacts.info
      http://www.cashforclunkersfacts.info
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the mazda3 is the best car in this class, but if you want a two door i think the Focus is a nice car too. I wouldn't mind a two door with a 5 speed standard..... A better set of wheels and maybe a stripe or two on it. Allman brothers blaring from it's mega cd system. "Tied to the whipping post" lol
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wanted a 2 door car in this class. There aren't too many. I thought the Focus coupe was ugly, the roofline is way too long, like a sedan, and the car is too tall. I ended up with a G5 (Cobalt) but the Civic was really the only other choice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Focus is a good enough car to take the TOP sales spot in C4C so it can't be that bad. After all, the Corolla and Civic are both on 20+ year old platforms that have been "tweeked"over the years because if you have a solid foundation, why change it.

      Plus, the new Euro Focus coming in 2011 is built off this same foundation, but tweeked. No sense reinventing the wheel just to appease some of the ido@#ts posting here...
      • 5 Years Ago
      if this is what you call massaging then the masseuse must be a sadomasochist.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford had better watch themselves... as should every car maker with this C4C stuff.

      This isn't necessarily higher aggregate demand. This is far more likely people who were going to buy a car in the future anyway, but the C4C program prodded them to action now, instead of later.

      If it did entice new demand, chances are it is risky demand from people who may not be able to afford the costs of a new vehicle, ongoing... (that being why they had "clunkers" up until now...)

      Risky car debt could lead to higher reposessions, and a bit of a glut of late model used cars later. those people are not going to be coming back to buy more new cars again after that point, and for some time later, with poor credit.

      This may look like a demand spike, but it is artificial, and artificial booms have a very strong track record of going bust just as fast. The private sector did it to themselves earlier in the decade, with lots of zero-percent financing... after people got their deals, demand dried up, and then nobody was making a ton of money, and companies started to really have to put incentives on new cars to sell them. Then credit crashed last year. Cheap easy credit can't last forever, neither can government funding, although that is a whole other kettle of fish...

      Don't count your chickens before they hatch, even if a lot of them are hatching now... there may be fewer eggs later.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just over 40% of our clunker deals were cash deals. No one is reposessioning those cars. Other dealers I talk to say they are seeing as much as 60% cash deals. The deals that aren't cash have mostly been short finance contracts 48 months or under with a large down payment in addition to the clunker money.

        They will never be upside down in those cars where they financed it for 36 months at 2.9 percent with half of the cost of the car down.

        I have only seen two loans with terms in excess of 60 months so far. One was 72 months but the girl was in commissioned sales and her income varies greatly from month to month. She makes double payments in good months and the minimum payment on her slow months. She will pay it off in less then five years and she got a good interest rate for 72 months at 6.9.

        The other loan was only 63 months and they had a large down payment too. Interest rate was high at 10.9 percent though. Thats the only loan I have seen so far that was even a little iffy. Still they put down enough money that they shouldn't ever have a problem of being upside down. If they get in trouble they can sell the car for more then they owe and pay off the loan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        BoxerFanatic: You remind of Wolf Blitzer (master of articulating the obvious). C4C is a tonic for the stagnant economy. It's TEMPORARY. It's been very effective, not just for the auto-makers. Its was good for their up streams and down streams, which is a win for an administration trying to stop the bleeding in a terrible economic downturn.

        I doubt that ANY of the auto-manufacturers think that this is it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        also these people might posponed their purchases in anticipation of c4c
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just traded in my 02 Suzuki XL7 for a Toyota Venza 4cyl. Got the full $4500. Paid $22,000 in full, and salesman told me that most clunker deals have been Chinese deals, as in "Wan Lum Sum".

        No I do not think that the dealerships or the manufacturers are thinking that this is going to be sustainable, it has certainly cleared out the "old" '08 & '09 inventory, which the dealerships were paying interest on, and they are not in anyway trying to restock to previous levels since I could not get the options that I really wanted.

        No dealership having been burnt for the last 9 months is going to be foolish enough to think that this is the new normal. Yes they will replenish depleted stocks of fuel efficient models that have been sold through C4C, but that is a good thing.

        And yes, loans are much harder to qualify for in case you have not tried recently. One reason we chose to forego them and just pay it off since we had the cash.

        One thing to remember is that while the government may be putting in $3500 - $4500 per deal, the consumer still needs to at least double that amount to buy almost any new car. The state benefits from the sales taxes and the registration and title fees.

        Not to mention the various other businesses that get supported by each new car sale, like the window tinting establishments or the car wash places.

        How about the fact that these new cars will most likely be insured for full comprehensive coverages at higher premiums which the clunkers certainly would not have been.

        The first oil changes will be coming up in a few months, tire rotation and balances, I could go on. The expenses that a clunker would never get treated to will be lavished (maybe) upon the new cars, and the effect go far beyond that first $3500/$4500.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As long as the financing was not from Ford credit repossessions are not a concern for Ford.

        Why do you assume people that drive a clunker do so because they are poor? Read the "Millionaire Next Door." Lots of people choose to build wealth by saving money rather than give the appearance of wealth by showing it off. Also, some people are just plain cheap and will only go for a deal when it is a deal.

        I know plenty of VERY wealthy people that drive cars into the ground because they (accurately) see no value in having a new one, or expensive one, all the time. It is a needed appliance for transportation for them.

        I agree with you about production though. Dont want to see 100s of these on lots AFTER the clunker thing ends.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Credit is pretty tight now; banks aren't willynilly giving out loans to people who can't afford the payments. So, unless the economy collapses and millions more lose their jobs, they'll be able to make payments. It's not like the top sellers are very expensive cars either.

        • 5 Years Ago
        BoxerFanatic,
        I see your point and often struggle with the same thought that this is only moving the sales from the future to now.

        But at the same time, do you think that the majority of people trading in would really buy a Focus or Corola or whatever a year or two down the road if this program wasn't in place? I think that there may actaully be some good in this.

        Think of it this way, in a basketball game the home team is down by 15 points and things aren't looking good. Finally, they get on a fast break and their star forward slams one in over the opposing team's mvp. This starts a run and they go on a run to take a 10 point victory. Now which basket was more important, the slam dunk or the last shot that made it an 10 point win instead of an 8 point win?

        While I'm still not a huge fan of this program, there is something to be said about the momentum that it is creating. The question is whether or not that momentum will continue...



      • 5 Years Ago
      All u twits that are putting down this car have never driven, owned or even sat in one. Yr a bunch of know-nothings posing as know-it-alls, respouting drivel you've read posted by someone else. I'm not sure half u guys are even old enough to drive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This Focus is a hateful little appliance.

        Fisher price plastics on the interior, terrible seats, horrid road noise, it is uglier than the Aztek, get so-so mileage (for the class) and is overpriced (like all new Fords) for what you get.

        Throwing electronic gimmicks at a turd does not make it good.

        The Cobalt handles better and gets better gas mileage...and GM has NEGLECTED it.


        • 5 Years Ago
        I've also driven one. It didn't drive all that bad but the interior was an awful place to spend time in.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am not saying that the current Ford Focus is the class of the class. (The next gen should take that title.) It is a solid entry with outstanding fuel economy in the category and great value. It's a driving appliance, and not the POS that the "High School Musical" critics on this post make it out to be.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry Luis, not everyone can afford a BMW.

        It's all relative to what you drive. If you're used to a luxury or near luxury car you will be horrified by the Focus or Cobalt. If you drive a Cobalt back to back with a Focus the Focus will seem like a luxury car. I know, I've driven them back to back on many occasions because I work in used car wholesales. For many college and high school kids and adults in need of a serviceable car that nets them good mileage and has a few bells and whistles (SYNC) the Focus does it's job.

        The previous genration Malibu is a horrible car by the way. I've never driven one that doesn't rattle like a coffee can with 40 cents in it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have been in one, and it was a POS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1 @ Tagg
        • 5 Years Ago
        My brother was visiting from CA. this past weekend. Rented one of these, a putrid metallic mustard. I drove it. It is a horrid piece of CRAP. The passenger compartment is a sound chamber, it amplifies everything the tires come into contact with. Good on gas though.

        P.S. The old 200? - 07 Malibu is a Better car. Sorry Ford.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Speaking of turds there's Matt!

        Maybe electronic gizmos don't make it a great car but it makes it a better seller than than Cobalt. Which by the way is lower than whale excrement when it comes to compact cars so it doesn't take much.

        Go blindly cheerlead for Government Motors or pee on a electric fence, your choice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know I was one of the detractors of this car when I first saw it; however, the more I see them the less appalling it looks.

      It is a good deal, does what it does well, and has the cool SYNC system. It is no worse than a Corrolla or Sentra in the looks department and costs much less.

      Its not very exciting sure but its an econocar - they are not exciting cars. It gets good MPG, its cheap, it has SYNC, it is peppy enough for commuting - its good enough, not great, but good enough. Its basic transportation - that is fine for many people. It sells and that's is really all the matters. The rest of the criticism is just noise. If it sells, the formula is right, if if does not, you wasted your time for good reviews.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Luis,

        someone should force you to drive a Vega for a while so you understand what a truly bad car actually is.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I disagree. The Corolla and Sentra have this beat in looks, and the Corolla in refinement and (I know I'll beat to hell for saying it) but reliability and resale value. Focus is not the worst small car out there, that title goes to the Cobalt (IMHO), but it's still ugly as sin.

        The designer(s) should be fired.
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