DETROIT -- The next-generation Ford Focus debuting today at the 2010 North American International Auto Show is more than Ford’s first truly global product created under its ONE Ford approach – it also marks the first worldwide application of a new global brand DNA that will help Ford cars establish a unique visual and driving appeal that is consistently recognizable around the world.
Like the genetic code that defines human beings and makes each person unique, Ford’s global DNA is comprised of specific product attributes that sit at the heart of all new products, defining the character and performance of every vehicle, while providing customers with an unmistakable style and driving experience.
“Our global DNA will ensure that future Fords have the same dynamic and engaging personality – a character that will hit the driver within moments of getting behind the wheel,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development.
“The new Focus is the perfect expression of this DNA. Consistently applied throughout the world, this will provide customers with a car that is striking to look at, great to sit in and great to drive,” he added.
Unique Ford Character
Establishing a clear and consistent brand DNA was an important step in ensuring the success of Ford’s global product strategy, providing customers worldwide a selection of vehicles that are not only desirable to own, but that also have a unique Ford character in the way they look, feel and sound.
The global DNA encompasses all the attributes that have a direct impact on a customer’s experience in the vehicle – from the way it drives to the comfort and quality of the interior and the layout and function of its controls.
Each of these attributes – such as the response to the accelerator pedal or the sound a door makes when it’s closed – is carefully defined using precise technical descriptions, so that engineers can ensure each new product delivers that unmistakable Ford feel, wherever it may be sold.
Natural Evolution from Latest Ford Products
Ford’s global DNA marks a natural evolution from the character of the latest European and North American products, bringing them together and capturing the same dynamic and engaging qualities found in recent vehicles like the Fiesta and Taurus.
Global teams of product specialists worked together to develop the specific requirements for each product attribute, ensuring that the chosen solution delivered the desired character in the optimum way, while fully satisfying the needs of customers in all regions worldwide.
In many cases, special clinics were held with a range of global customers to gain direct feedback on the proposed solutions before they were finalized.
Common Design Language Reinforces DNA Character
The Ford DNA also extends to the exterior and interior design, which plays a critical role in establishing a vehicle’s personality. For the next generation of global products, the vehicles will share a common design language that will reinforce the character established by the other elements of the DNA.
At the heart of the design DNA is the latest evolution of the Ford kinetic design form language that has been developed by the team at the company’s Merkenich design center near Cologne in Germany, under the leadership of Martin Smith, executive design director.
Ford kinetic design is an expressive styling language that gives a visual representation of energy in motion, giving customers a clear message about the dynamic driving experience provided by the vehicle.
As exciting new products like the new Ford Fiesta and all-new Focus demonstrate, kinetic design themes can be applied inside the cabin as well as to the exterior, so that the core values of the marque are consistently reflected throughout the vehicle.
Consistent DNA Character Offers Significant Benefits
This consistency and clarity of character is one of the most significant benefits for vehicles – like the new Ford Focus – engineered to embody precisely prescribed attributes of the new brand DNA.
In defining the final DNA, each product attribute – there are eight precisely defined gene sets for driving dynamics alone – has been developed with exactly the same vision in mind. This ensures that every aspect of the vehicle works harmoniously together, providing the customer with a well-balanced product that delivers outstanding performance with a unique Ford character.
“When customers see and get to drive the new Focus for the first time, they will immediately appreciate the unique Ford personality that is captured in our DNA,” said Kuzak. “By applying that same DNA in all our future products, we can be confident that those exceptional qualities will be enjoyed by consumers in all the markets we serve worldwide.”