Currently reading: Geneva motor show 2010: Ford Focus
Third generation Focus stars at Detroit and is the most important new Ford for 25 years

The third-generation Ford Focus will become the biggest-selling car in the world, according to Ford executives.

"We're confident Focus will become the biggest-selling name plate in the world," says design director Martin Smith. "We think we should be able to outsell Corolla around the world."

New Ford Focus: official pics

Although that goal is aided by Toyota's decision to rename the Corolla as the Auris in Europe, the new Focus will become a truly global car. Its chassis and mechanicals will form the basis of up to 10 distinct Focus family models by 2012, a move that will allow Ford to double global Focus-based production to around two million cars a year. It will be sold in 122 countries and has the potential to become one of the biggest-selling Fords in history.

Ford's bosses believe preferences of buyers in major markets - China, Russia and the Americas - are converging to the point where the same carefully honed European car is able to have strong appeal everywhere.

"We'll see people coming to us from Honda, Mazda and Toyota," says sales and marketing VP Jim Farley. "Some Americans are downsizing two car sectors at once - when the fuel price shot up in 2008, the second biggest source of Focus business was from the F truck, and fuel prices are climbing again now..."

In essence, the new four-door and five-door Focus models are the same size as the current cars, with brand new styling inside and out. They will also have the same chassis dimensions and suspension hardware, albeit carefully refined, and new electric power steering that promises improved dynamics and lower noise levels.

Ford has said the cars will be “nearly identical in all markets”, with 80 per cent parts commonality. All of the variants will have common suspension architecture, with regional variations only in obvious areas like wheel and tyre specifications.

The interior is modern and highly detailed, with a driver-focused cockpit layout, a high centre console and lots of emphasis on quality materials and fine detail. It has a ‘technical’ character to go with new levels of cockpit technology in the class.

European buyers will be offered a new direct-injection 1.6-litre Ecoboost (petrol turbo) engine. It should offer better performance than the old 2.0-litre unit, yet “exceptional levels of fuel economy”. Duratorq turbodiesels will be improved, too.

Americans will be offered an advanced, naturally aspirated, direct-injection 2.0-litre petrol motor with double variable valve timing. Again, the new engine will be more economical than its predecessor.

On both sides of the Atlantic, Ford will offer its six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which offers nine per cent better fuel economy than the conventional four-speed automatic of previous Focus models.

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The Focus saloon and hatchback are due to be launched simultaneously in the US and Europe at the beginning of 2011. From the beginning they will be made at Saarlouis (Germany), Michigan (US) and Chongqing (China), with production from plants in Spain and Russia being added later.

If, as predicted, demand for C-segment cars grows to exceed 25 per cent in all major markets, the new Focus could become one of the most important Fords in history.

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Detroit motor show 2010

Detroit motor show: Hot BMW Z4, Detroit motor show: BMW electric 1-series, Detroit motor show: Buick Regal GS, Detroit motor show: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Detroit motor show: Cadillac's new flagship saloon, Detroit motor show: Chevrolet Aveo RS, Detroit motor show: Chrysler 300C, Detroit motor show: electric Fiat 500, New Ford Focus revealed, Detroit motor show: Ford Mustang V8, Detroit motor show: Hyundai Blue-Will, Detroit motor show: Jeep specials, Detroit motor show: Merc E-class cabrio, Detroit motor show: Mini Beachcomber, Detroit motor show: Toyota hybrid concept, Detroit motor show: VW Jetta coupe hybrid concept, Detroit motor show: electric Volvo C30.

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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roverfan1984 13 January 2010

Re: New Ford Focus revealed

HyundaiSmoke wrote:
The Nano has wheels so small that you cant even buy them for cars in the US. Just on the infrasturcture requred to produce the miniscule wheels that are on the thing alone, would be too costly for a US market entry.

Nah, dont worry, I think its supplied with four as standard, so you should be OK.

JezyG 13 January 2010

Re: New Ford Focus revealed

HyundaiSmoke wrote:

Indian Curry (In terms of cars) wont taste good for another 20-25 years my friend. However, Korean curry tastes very good now, and even tastes better with age, and will be so for another 30 years.

Good Analogy!! Although the Curries developed by and for the British Empire and now imported to India and the rest of the world are tasting better by the year!! The JXF is particualy hot.

JezyG 13 January 2010

Re: New Ford Focus revealed

HyundaiSmoke wrote:
By the way, Fiat Linea looks Very outdated, the door handles really kill it It looks like they Copied a Last Gen KIA Rio, and then blew it up, and put a Fiat grille on it. I guess the haters in the US are right, you guys like your cars like your dental care=Sh ite.

FIAT Linea=TATA Indica.

Obama should do sometng to stop FIAT. Damm it Obama, using our Tax Dollars to bring Indian Quality cars over here.

I think HyundaiSmoke's something before coming on here.....

As said we get a paragraph or two of something educational before it decends into a rant. I suppose Jaguar and Land Rover are no good being Indian owned by TATA? Do you like Curry or only curries from Korea?

"HyundaiSmoke do something to stop RANTING. Darn it HyundaiSmoke stop using Autocar forums to promote Hyundai". :o)