Ford Focus, the world's most popular car with more than half a million sales in nearly 75 countries worldwide in the first six months of this year, continues its winning formula for the 2001 model year with a number of notable improvements.

The improved 2001 Ford Focus features all of the substance that has made the car such a hit with customers worldwide - from its class-leading combination of driving dynamics, style and space to its tremendous value-for-money - while improving on its feature availability and customer choice.

"We've known for some time just how special a vehicle the Ford Focus is," said Nick Scheele, chairman, Ford of Europe. "Now the Focus' worldwide sales success is ample proof that customers all over the globe are surprised and delighted by the vehicle's outstanding driving dynamics, spacious package and value."

In the first six months of 2000, Ford Focus achieved its sales success in nearly 75 countries worldwide. Nearly 300,000 sales were achieved in Europe alone, almost 190,000 in North America and 20,000 sales throughout the rest of the world.

Since its European launch in the autumn of 1998, Ford Focus has sold more than 1.2 million units worldwide and is now manufactured in four locations around the globe.

Continuous Improvement

The 2001 model year Ford Focus - available in three-door, four-door, five-door and wagon body styles in Europe - sharpens its model range with a number of feature improvements.

Upgrades for the new model year include:

  • A new, standard 60/40 split-fold rear seat cushion on all Focus body styles
  • A new, standard front passenger seat side pocket - a convenient location for a mobile phone, writing instruments or sunglasses - on all Focus body styles
  • The availability of heated driver and front passenger seats - standard equipment on left-hand drive Ghia leather seats and on all
  • European Trend series leather seats
  • New flat woven trim (Match) for all Ambiente series vehicles
  • A standard driver's armrest for all Focus Ghia series models
  • The availability of two new exterior colours - Colorado Red and True Blue - and the addition of a "Collection" series colour, Smokestone, to the mainstream colour palette
  • The upgrading of standard tire fitment to 185/65R14 from the 175/70R14 formally specified on Ambiente series vehicles
  • New 3- and 4-door Ambiente series body styles (available later)

    "The response of consumers worldwide is proof that the Ford Focus is changing perceptions of what a small car should be," said Martin Leach, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. "So, for the new model year we added those features that customers have asked for, while changing none of the substance that has made Focus so popular all around the world."

    The worldwide sales success of the Ford Focus is supported by an array of almost 50 global awards. These awards include the European Car of the Year 1999, the North American Car of the Year 2000, the prestigious Golden Steering Wheel Award in Germany and the Millennium Product designation from the British Design Council.

    Rallying to Victory

    The Ford Focus is also rallying to success in the 2000 FIA World Rally Championship. After 10 of 14 rounds, Ford leads the manufacturer's championship with 79 points, 15 points ahead of Subaru. Ford Focus WRCs from the Ford Martini World Rally Team - one piloted by Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya and the other by Colin McRae and Nicky Grist - achieved an impressive first and second place on the most recent event - the Cyprus rally (September 8 -10, 2000).