Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Next Focus Bows In

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Next Focus Bows In

Article excerpt

Byline: MAURICE GLOVER

THIS is the new face of one of the best-loved cars in Britain. More than 12 months before it will be seen on the roads, Ford's next Focus has made its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Due to go into production in Europe and North America at the end of the year, the next-generation model is expected to develop into a 10-strong family of medium-sized vehicles accounting for yearly sales of more than two million units across global markets by 2012.

High operating economy and driving refinement are the key areas of the new range, which will be almost identical in all markets under the ONE Ford strategy introduced by company president Alan Mulally. "Efficiencies generated by a new global C-car platform will enable us to provide customers with an affordable product offering quality, fuel efficiency, safety and technology beyond their expectations," claimed Mr Mulally when hatchback and saloon examples from the new range were unveiled.

First cars to use the platform will be the CMAX and Grand C-MAX, unveiled at the Frankfurt show last year and due in the showrooms this summer. Said product development chief Derrick Kuzak: "Customers increasingly want smaller cars with outstanding fuel economy but they don't want to sacrifice any of the style, technology, connectivity and driving quality they demand from larger vehicles. "The next Focus will clearly show that Ford is ready to meet that challenge."

Engineers around the world have worked on the range, which has a striking frontal appearance and a sleek profile with a rising beltline that echoes the shape of the latest Fiesta. …

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