CHONGQING, China – There was nothing particularly remarkable about the silver, 1.8-litre, four-door Ford Focus sedan that rolled off the assembly line today at Ford's plant in Chongqing, and yet this vehicle brought broad smiles to the faces of all Ford employees across China.
What made the sedan significant was that it was the 500,000th Focus model built by Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company (CFMA) since the vehicle's introduction to the China market in September 2005.
"We are proud and delighted to celebrate the 500,000th Focus produced at our CFMA Chongqing production line today," said Jeffrey Shen, president, CFMA. "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."
The Focus has been a key driver of Ford's sales in the China market, and its popularity among Chinese consumers is growing. In January 2010, Focus saw its best-ever sales in the market of 17,151 units – up 78% year over year – followed by its best-ever February sales last month.
The Ford Focus has claimed more than 100 media accolades across China, and received a C-NCAP five-star score for occupant crash protection.
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 10 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 shortly after.
CFMA's manufacturing facility in Chongqing produces both the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback Focus.
|500,000th Focus produced at Ford China's Chongqing Plant
||From right-Jeffrey Shen, President and Luo Minggang, Executive VP of Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company with the 500,000th Ford Focus|