SAARLOUIS, GERMANY: Volume production of the all-new Ford Focus, the first global Ford compact car, has begun at Ford's Saarlouis assembly plant in South-West Germany. The all-new Ford Focus is a key part of the One Ford plan to leverage the company’s global assets. Following its unprecedented global development program, the all-new Focus will be produced on three continents and be offered for sale in over 120 markets worldwide.
The Saarlouis plant in the Saarland region of Germany, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, will be the single-source for production of the all-new Focus in Western Europe, building all three body styles – four-door, five-door and wagon, production of the high-performance ST model will be added in early 2012.
In North America, early production of the four-door and five-door models of the Ford Focus is already underway at Ford's Michigan assembly plant. Focus manufacturing will be expanded further in mid-2011 when Ford’s plant in St. Petersburg, Russia, begins building both four-door and five-door derivatives of the all-new model.
Production in the Asia Pacific region will begin in 2012, when new Ford plants come on-line in Chongqing, China and Rayong, Thailand."This is an important day for Ford, the Saarland and for Germany," said Ken Macfarlane, vice-president of Manufacturing, Ford, Europe. "Saarlouis is proud to have been the lead plant for Ford Focus production in Europe since the first model was launched in 1998. Throughout that time, its skilled and dedicated workforce has worked hard to ensure that the plant is recognized throughout the industry for its manufacturing efficiency and quality."
With more than 6,500 employees and over €3 billion invested in the facility’s ongoing development and continuous modernization, Ford's Saarlouis plant is among the leading vehicle production sites in the European automotive industry. The plant is capable of manufacturing up to 1,850 vehicles a day in three shifts. It currently produces both Ford Focus and Ford Kuga model lines.
To further enhance manufacturing quality and flexibility in Saarlouis, the plant has been upgraded with a €300 million investment programme to produce the new Focus. This included €100 million for new robotized body construction facilities, €75 million for new tooling, and €18 million for new high-quality, low-emissions paint shop technology.
It was also announced ahead of the start of volume assembly today that around 500 people previously employed on agency contracts would be offered permanent Ford contracts to help support the production of the all-new Ford Focus.
The all-new Focus is a particularly significant vehicle for Ford and will share around 80 per cent parts commonality globally. It is built on the company's new global C-segment platform, which will account for more than two million units of annual production by 2012.
Distinguished by its sleek and sporty design, the new Focus is packed with more affordable smart technologies and features than any competitor in this segment.
New Focus also offers customers the highest standards of safety, quality and detailed craftsmanship plus outstanding fuel economy, and takes the legendary Focus driving dynamics to a new level.
Key innovations in the all-new Focus include the Low Speed Safety System – available for the first time in a Ford – Active Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Traffic Sign Recognition, Auto High Beam, Driver Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control.
To minimise fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the all-new Focus offers a choice of highly efficient petrol and diesel powertrains, along with other features from the Ford ECOnetic Technologies programme including Auto-Start-Stop and an Active Grille Shutter.
More than ten million examples of the Ford Focus have been sold around the world since the first model was introduced in 1998. Six million of these cars were sold in Europe, with Saarlouis building almost 3.7 million of them.