All in the fam­ily

Fo­cus spin-offs are key to Ford’s fu­ture, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

UP TO a dozen cars could even­tu­ally form the Ford Fo­cus fam­ily around the world. The ba­sic hatch and sedan are al­ready con­firmed, and now comes news from Detroit about ev­ery­thing from a bat­tery-pow­ered elec­tric car to a high-roof wagon, a mini peo­ple-mover and even a com­pact SUV that shares the same me­chan­i­cal plat­form as the Fo­cus.

The Fo­cus was the key to Ford’s pre­sen­ta­tion last week at the Detroit Mo­tor Show on ev­ery­thing from elec­tric cars to model di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, and as it un­veiled a range of new mod­els in­clud­ing the C-Max and pre­viewed the Fo­cus-based Vertrek con­cept that will even­tu­ally be the re­place­ment for the Es­cape.

‘‘Think of a plat­form as the go-kart that’s un­der­neath a ve­hi­cle,’’ Ford global prod­uct boss Der­rick Kuzak said.

The new Fo­cus comes to Aus­tralia later this year from Europe be­fore the sup­ply line switches to Thai­land, with the prom­ise of much more va­ri­ety for buy­ers, ac­cord­ing to Peter Fadeyev of Ford Aus­tralia.

‘‘Ford Aus­tralia is work­ing to add sev­eral Fo­cus-based vari­ants to its lo­cal cat­a­logue in the com­ing years. The first model to be re­leased will be the new Fo­cus range, which will be in Aus­tralian show­rooms in the sec­ond half of this year,’’ Fadeyev said.

Ford pres­i­dent Alan Mu­lally said the new Fo­cus ‘‘ rep­re­sented the ‘‘One Ford vi­sion in ac­tion’’.

Mu­lally is most en­thu­si­as­tic about the Fo­cus Elec­tric, which will be­come the brand’s plug-in bat­tery hero. It is also be­ing used to lever- age a range of new technology from af­ford­able home charg­ing sta­tions to iPhone sys­tems to re­motely mon­i­tor­ing the charge of a car.

‘‘We know that many cus­tomers are look­ing for­ward to driv­ing a zero-emis­sions elec­tric ve­hi­cle and never hav­ing to visit a fuel sta­tion again,’’ Mu­lally said.

‘‘We be­lieve most of these cus­tomers are pre­pared to em­brace the re­al­ity . . . that a full bat­tery does not last as long as a full tank of gas and that they will have to do more plan­ning around how far they can go and how much they will need to charge and where to find a charge sta­tion.’’

Start­meup: Ford pres­i­dent Alan Mu­lally with (above) the new Ford Fo­cus Elec­tric and (left) the Fo­cus ST.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.