• Mar 29, 2011
2012 Ford Focus - Click above for high-res image gallery

If Ford has a more important vehicle launch in 2011 than that of the 2012 Focus, we certainly don't know about it. The automaker is well-aware of the importance of the Focus, and to ensure a flawless launch, the company is going all-out.

Automotive News reports that Ford is testing the first batch of 2012 Focus models for 30 miles around the company's Dearborn, MI test track before shipping them to dealers. AN quotes anonymous sources who say dealers asked if there was a problem during the launch that has lead to this extraordinary measure, but Ford insists that the very thorough checks are merely to ensure spot-on quality. And since the company is launching a vehicle capable of up to 40 miles per gallon at a time when gas prices are hitting $4 per gallon around the country, this is an important launch to nail.

Ford spokesperson Said Deep told AN that only the first batch of Focus models were driven for 30 miles, adding that vehicles being produced now are only given a second look at the plant. That first batch of Foci were taken back to the plant for testing after the 30 mile road test. Ford builds the Focus at the Wayne Assembly Plant, which resides only a few miles away from the automaker's Dearborn test track.



Photos copyright ©2011 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Automotive News sub. req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 47 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nothing wrong with taking the extra effort in ensuring a smooth/quality assured launch. This is one opportunity FORD should and is capitalizing on. Good for them I say.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Shouldn't this be SOP for every launch? You have to wonder how many shake and rattle problems would be solved before the ever made it out if the OEM bothered to do such a test.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car will redefine the segment.
      As a premium car owner it's credentials have caught my attention.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'll just wait for the all electric Focus.
      • 3 Years Ago
      i think this is going to be a huge success for ford.im not a ford fan but,, nice small car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've seen they're beginning to arrive at the dealerships in Virginia.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @john riley

        I saw a couple of blue ones in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles last month. They all had a hipster at the wheel. I wonder what attracted them to the hatchbacks?
        • 3 Years Ago
        FWIW, I just began seeing it last week and there have only been a few.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I've lost faith that we will ever see these cars on the west coast. Beginning to think the car does not exist, just a fantasy to generate internet traffic. :-(
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's going to take some Ford dealers some time to figure out how to sell this one.

      My dealer finally got an SE sedan and called me about a test drive. They have their first big shipment on the way and its about 70 percent sedans. My sales guy seemed surprised that I want a hatch. (I think he would've needed medical attention if I'd told him that I wish a manual was available on the Titanium trim.)

      My sales guy also mentioned that he's surprised that there are so many upgrades on this model, sort of sneering that "you could pay more than $25K for a Focus with the new one."

      Well, yeah. The whole point of the new Focus is that Ford is making a quality interior available to people who want a great car that gets good mileage and is challenging to drive.

      Ford dealers need to inform their sales floors that Focus buyers are no longer just college kids and people who want the cheapest possible car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well, it was always the cheap car. But it's sort of sad that he didn't get the memo...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford, by their own admission, had a lot of quality issues around 2000. My now gone 2000 Explorer V8 can certainly attest to that. One of the things Bill Ford wanted in his new CEO when Alan was hired was to fix those problems.

      Fast forward to now. Ford has come a long way and it's paying off. Quality is WAY up and sales are on the rebound as are profits. Lets hope it continues.

      About 1,500 miles ago I bought a rebuilt 2010 Focus, 2-door, 5spd for my wife. It had been hit in the right front. 7,200 miles and six months old. Turns out the previous owner also had a "problem." The engine blew at 6,600 miles on the freeway and Ford installed a new long block. I don't know why and really don't care. So, for $9,000 I got a vehicle with 600 miles on the engine. Yeah, it's rebuilt, but it really is a "new' vehicle. It drives great, is tight, nimble and the 41MPG highway/31MPG town is great. We'll keep it forever as I know rebuilt vehicles have little to no resale, but that's why we got it. It's way better than I ever thought when it was purchased.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford has a still simmering problem with their six-speed automatic transmissions. The same tranny in the Fiesta is evidently used in the Focus. Its a six-speed that seems to be only capable of three gears!!
        • 3 Years Ago
        I may be wrong but I thought they were using a new dual clutch transmission for the 12' Focus.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Additional quality control can never hurt. But I have to wonder what they could possibly discover in 30 miles that didn't come up during the (hopefully) millions of miles of testing and development. Has a new car customer ever had a driveability complaint that came up within 30 miles of ownership?
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think they'll find more then with 0 miles of testing.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yep! I'm a Ford fan, no doubt (read my history), but when we purchased a new Mustang in 1997 (a leftover 1996 m/y with only 9 miles on it), we didn't make it the 12 miles home before the A/C compressor locked up and the speedometer quit working. The car still ran and drove. Ford was quick to fix the issues and the car was fine after that, but the fact that they're taking these steps with an all-new (and extreamly important) model is reassuring. Ford's on a quality roll, and the last thing they need is a fleet of lemons to sour the public on the Blue Oval again.

        I once had a 2001 Buick Century totally self destruct with 13 miles on the odometer (worked at a GM dealer at the time). The car ended up needing an engine. I also saw brand new S-10s and Blazers that came in on the truck (less than 3 miles on the odo) but had to be towed into the shop because they wouldn't run. I thought it was hillarious that I used a traded-in Ford F-150 (with over 200K) to tow the brand new Chevys!

        A freind of mine bought a new Honda Accord DX 5-speed in 1996. She had it less than a week when the trans got stuck in 2nd gear and the car had to be towed back to the dealer. She was without the car for 3 weeks while they waited for a replacement trans. The dealer didn't even offer a loaner.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Has a new car customer ever had a driveability complaint that came up within 30 miles of ownership?"

        You bet. Probably much more often than you can imagine.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am not a Ford fan but this is at the top of my new car shopping list. I have recently looked at one and was totally impressed. Ford hit it out of the park on this one. I hope it does well.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Ford spokesperson Said Deep"?! Are you kidding me?
        • 3 Years Ago
        What's the problem exactly?
        • 3 Years Ago
        He's probably not from a culture with a Romantic alphabet. Said could be spelled Saeed, Sayid, Sayeed and so forth.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car should be a huge hit for Ford if there are no major quality issues.

      I must say though, that I was quite surprised to find out that the smaller Fiesta gets essentially the SAME gas mileage as this Focus.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Focus has direct injection, Fiesta does not. Also, aerodynamics of a shorter car are not necessarily better than those of a longer car (also why the SFE doesn't exist in the hatch variants, I think).

        I'm guessing they had to draw the line on price for the Fiesta at some point, so there'd be enough differentiation between the two models.
        • 3 Years Ago
        that's going to change when the 1 liter EcoBoost engine is available for the Fiesta with a 30% fuel economy increase,but with the power of the 1.6.

        The UK is already getting the 1.6 EcoBoost in the 2012 Focus, along with the current S-MAX, that offers the power of the 2.0L, but with 20-30% better fuel economy.

        My guess is that we will see both engines very soon if gas prices stay pretty high in the U.S.
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