Ford to build its world fam­ily around Fo­cus

NT News - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL GOVER

UP to a dozen cars even­tu­ally may form the Ford Fo­cus fam­ily around the world.

The ba­sic hatch and sedan are 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 talk at the Detroit Mo­tor Show on ev­ery­thing from elec­tric cars to model di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion — as the com­pany un­veiled a range of new mod­els in­clud­ing the C-Max and pre­viewed the Fo­cus-based Vertrek con­cept that even­tu­ally will be the re­place­ment for the Es­cape.

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

‘‘Ford Aus­tralia is work­ing to add sev­eral Fo­cus­based vari­ants to its lo­cal cat­a­logue in the com­ing years,’’ Peter Fadeyev, of Ford Aus­tralia, says.

‘‘The first model to be re­leased will be the all-new Fo­cus range, which will be in Aus­tralian show­rooms in the sec­ond half of this year.’’

The Fo­cus plan is am­bi­tious and pulls the global strings to­gether for the first time on a new prod­uct.

‘‘This new Fo­cus rep­re­sents our One Ford vi­sion in ac­tion. It is one of our first ve­hi­cles to lever­age the full, global ca­pa­bil­i­ties of our team and it delivers on all the Ford brand prom­ises,’’ Ford’s pres­i­dent Alan Mu­lally says.

He is most en­thu­si­as­tic about the Fo­cus Elec­tric, which will be­come the brand’s plug-in bat­tery hero. It also is be­ing used to lever­age new technology from af­ford­able home charg­ing sta­tions to iPhone sys­tems.

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

‘‘We be­lieve most of these cus­tomers are pre­pared to em­brace the re­al­ity a full bat­tery does not last as long as a full tank of gas.

‘‘We could act like a car com­pany, give them an out­stand­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cle and call it a day. But Ford is more than just a car com­pany — we also are a technology com­pany.’’

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