Ford will introduce 20 new models or derivatives in Europe over the next two years from small city cars to commercial vehicles.

Ford of Europe chief Stephen Odell said: "We have our strongest product line-up ever and we plan to continue improving on it. We will be in the market with electric vehicles from next year with the Focus and Transit Connect EVs."

Also in the pipeline are hybrids and a new three-cylinder, one-litre engine which Odell said will be "a big surprise" in terms of its performance.

Ford's plans are even more ambitious at home in the US and in the Asia Pacific region.

President Alan Mulally said the company will create more than 7,000 new jobs in North America as it ramps up production while on the other side of the world it plans to introduce 50 new vehicles and powertrains by 2015 in Asia Pacific where it is also building new factories in China and Thailand.

Ford unveiled three new hybrid and electric vehicles at the Detroit. By next year its fleet will include plug-in hybrid and petrol hybrid versions of the C-Max, as well as a battery-powered Focus.

The Focus is Ford's first battery-powered car to compete against the Nissan Leaf. It can run for up to 100 miles on a full charge and the company said recharging time is about half that of the Leaf.