Ford - Focus Concept 
DEBUT IN BEIJING FOR NEW FORD FOCUS CONCEPT SEDAN
- Ford's first global debut in Asia expands commitment to world's most dynamic market
- Most sophisticated Focus ever to be built and sold throughout region starting later this year
BEIJING, June 8 - Mark Schulz, Ford Motor Company executive vice president Asia Pacific and Africa, today revealed a concept version of an all-new Focus four-door at Auto China 2004 in Beijing. Terming it "a teaser version of what will become the most sophisticated Focus to date," Schulz said the concept's "global debut in Beijing underscores our growing commitment to China and also Asia, the world's most dynamic and exciting mega-market."
The current Focus is among the most successful products in Ford's 100-year history. Since its introduction in 1998 Focus has consistently ranked among the world's best-selling cars and has won Car of the Year awards in both Europe and North America.
"China and Asia Pacific are now the epicenter of global growth, and mid-size cars are the core of the regional markets, so this show is a key competitive arena for the new-generation Focus," Schulz said. "That's why we're putting the needs and aspirations of Chinese customers at the very heart of the program."
Featuring German engineering and European styling, the new 4-door Focus Concept is uniquely geared to Chinese needs. "Our customers in all parts of China drive a challenging road," Schulz said. "They deserve products precisely tuned to their environment. It takes the latest technology to compete in China, and that's what we aim to deliver."
China's diversified road conditions and comfort in metropolitan traffic were key concerns behind enhanced safety and features in the new Focus design and development. But in striving to meet consumers' needs our European and Asian Focus design teams have not overlooked their growing aspirations.
"Chinese customers favor German precision engineering and modern European styling, as evidenced by the outstanding performance of the Ford Mondeo today," said Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China, Mei-Wei Cheng. "Chinese car-buyers are looking for reliability, comfort and contemporary styling. Chinese customers work hard and they expect their car to reward them, to help them reduce the stress of everyday life. This means a car should be a pleasure to drive and should provide worry-free maintenance. Just as important, a car's styling should be prominent enough to reflect the status of the owner," added Cheng.
"For the first time, Chinese consumers command the full attention of every motor company in the world. They are saying if you want our business you must consider our needs on the same level as you do for customers in Europe, the U.S. or Japan," commented Schulz.
"In fast-rising cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok and Bangalore, we see a dynamic new generation of Asian consumers who increasingly set the trends not only for the region - but for the world," continued Schulz. "They deserve distinctive style for their exciting environment. And this is just our first step in delivering that."
New edge exterior evolves
If the contemporary Focus was a revolutionary departure from the Ford Escort, the 4-door Focus Concept shown this week represents the considered refinement of a masterwork. "This Concept is recognizably a Ford and evidently a Focus," said Paul Gibson, Ford Asia Pacific's design manager. "But it is Focus with a new sophistication. The design progression is a clear and natural evolution."
That evolution is primarily in the surface language of Focus. The Concept aims to convey solidity and substance while boasting generous curves and a distinct shoulder. It is athletic too, thanks to a lower sweeping roofline and a fast rear screen angle that serves to visually elongate the overall shape. The compelling logic in the exterior design of this 4-door car can be found in greater interior and trunk space - achieved without adding significantly to overall length or sacrificing the crisp appeal that Focus has come to stand for.
This Concept presents the four-door as the style setter for the next generation of car buyers in China," said Gibson.
Home to half humanity … and home to Ford
"Home to more than half of humanity, the Asia Pacific region is infinitely diverse and our program recognizes that," Schulz acknowledged. "Over the coming year the new Focus will go into production at multiple locations across the region, and at each site you'll see increased local sourcing and an integrated manufacturing approach to serve the region's needs. We call this car 'Focus' for good reason."
"People are going to see that at Ford we really do think globally and act locally. The new Focus is going to show we're at home everywhere we go," Schulz explained. "We want to open up a design dialogue with Chinese consumers. So with this leading-edge sedan - we're exploring what it will take to meet China's future needs. The most sophisticated Focus ever is coming, and coming to China, and it is our interpretation of a family sedan for the 21st Century."