Beijing Debut for New Ford Focus Concept Sedan
BEIJING, China, June 8 – Ford Motor Company executive vice president for Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa, Mark Schulz, today showed 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.
"Asia-Pacific is now the epicentre of global growth, and C-class 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 Asia-Pacific customers at the very heart of the program."
Featuring German engineering and European style, the new 4-door Focus Concept is insightfully geared to the needs of the region. "Our customers in all parts of Asia-Pacific drive a challenging road," Schulz said. "They deserve products precisely tuned to their environment. It takes the latest technology to compete in this rapidly expanding market … and that's what we aim to deliver."
Asia's diversified road conditions and comfort in fast-growing urban cities 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.
"For the first time, consumers in this region 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 throughout Asia Pacific, we see a dynamic new generation of consumers who increasingly set the trends not only for the region – but for the world," continued Schulz. "They deserve distinctive style for their lasting environment. 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 recognisably 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 the 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 new generation of car buyers," said Gibson.
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