Ford has just churned out the 500,000th Focus at its Chongqing plant in China. The company's compact was first introduced to the Chinese market in 2005, where it has done well ever since. Ford says that January saw Focus sales explode, with 17,151 units rolling off of dealer lots that month alone. That figure marks a 78 percent sales increase over the same time last year.
The Chongqing plant currently builds both four- and five-door Focus models, and will also start kicking out the next-generation car in 2012 after the new global platform gets introduced to the European and American markets. Hit the jump for the full press release.
CHONGQING, MARCH 29, 2010 – Today, the 500,000th Ford Focus to be built by Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company (CFMA) rolled off the assembly line at Ford's joint venture plant, in Chongqing, China. The popular Focus continues to extend its global success and has become Ford's best-selling model in China. The 500,000th model is a 1.8-liter silver, 4-door sedan.
"We are proud and delighted to celebrate the 500,000th Focus produced at our CFMA Chongqing production line today," said Jeffrey Shen, President of Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company. "This shows the confidence and passion that our Chinese consumers have for the Ford Focus, which is now firmly established as one of the best-sellers in China's mid-size car segment."
Since its introduction in September 2005, the Ford Focus has been a key driver of Ford China's sales. In January, Focus notched its best-ever sales in China of 17,151 units, up 78% year over year, followed by its best-ever February sales last month.
Altogether, over 9.2 million Ford Focus vehicles have been sold worldwide since its 1998 launch in Europe and the model has played a leading role in the global C-car market since then. The next-generation Ford Focus will be the flagship of at least ten models from the company's all-new, global C-segment platform which is expected to account for more than 2 million cars annually by 2012.
"We are committed to delivering world-class vehicles to Chinese customers and will begin manufacturing Ford's next-generation Focus at our new state-of-the-art CFMA plant in 2012", said Robert Graziano, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China. "The new Focus will spearhead Ford's new generation of global C-cars and is a clear demonstration that our ONE Ford strategy is providing global consumers with great products that harness the best of Ford Motor Company."
The next-generation Ford Focus made its worldwide debut at the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January 2010. Ford will start production of the new Focus simultaneously in Europe and North America in late 2010 with market launch from early 2011. Launches in Asia, Africa and South America will follow.
The Focus is one of the world's most acclaimed cars, and won Car of the Year in both the U.S. and Europe when first launched. In China, the Ford Focus has claimed more than 100 media accolades as well as achieving a C-NCAP five-star score for occupant crash protection.
Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company manufacturing facility in Chongqing produces both the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback Focus.
In 2006 and 2007, Focus won the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) manufacturers' championship for Ford and continues to compete in the WRC in 2010. In China, the Changan Ford Racing Team, campaigned the Focus racing car to win both the China Circuit Championship in 2007 and the China Touring Car Championship in 2009.