New Thai-built Focus for local, export markets

Auto & Audio June 28, 2012 00:00

By The Nation

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The Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) plant in Rayong will be the fifth facility globally to produce the all-new Focus, with the Thai-built models destined for the local market and export across the Asean region, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The American auto-maker celebrated the official start of production for the new Ford Focus at the company’s new $450-million plant. Ford will officially launch the all-new Focus in Thailand in August.

Ford Asean president Peter Fleet, vice president of  manufacturing at Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa Gary Johnson and vice president of  quality at Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa Mike Torolski joined FTM employees as they watched the first Focus roll off the assembly line.

“The all-new Ford Focus is the next of eight vehicles that we will bring to Asean by mid-decade, continuing the successful, product-led transformation of our business,” said Fleet. “The all-new Focus will expand our appeal to a whole new generation of Ford customers in Thailand and across this region.”

Developed in Europe for sale in more than 120 markets worldwide with 80 per cent parts commonality, the all-new Ford Focus is the hero model created from Ford’s new global C-car platform, which will underpin at least 10 different vehicles around the world.

FTM becomes the fifth Ford facility globally to produce the all-new Focus.

“The start of production of the all-new Ford Focus reinforces the strategic role of Thailand as a volume production and export hub for the region,” said Johnson.

“It is also representative of our ongoing commitment to realise huge efficiencies in our manufacturing operations by building One Ford vehicles at key locations around the world with class-leading quality and safety,” added Johnson.

The all-new Ford Focus is the first model to be built at the flexible FTM plant, which is capable of producing up to six different models simultaneously.

Highlights in the new Focus include the award-winning Ford Sync system, an advanced software platform that gives consumers the convenience and flexibility to bring digital media players and Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones into the all-new Focus and operate them via voice commands.

A number of other smart features in the all-new Focus are a first in the segment, for example the Active Park Assist, Active City Stop and Blind Spot Information System.