The 500,000th Focus built by Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company (CFMA) has rolled off the assembly line at the joint venture plant, in Chongqing, China. The Focus has become Ford’s best-selling model in China and the 500,000th model was a silver 1.8-litre four-door sedan. In January, the Focus posted its best-ever sales in China of 17,151 units, up 78% year over year, followed by its best-ever February sales. Over 9.2m Focus vehicles have been sold worldwide since its 1998 launch in Europe and the model has played a leading role in the global C-car market since then. The next generation will be the flagship of at least 10 models from the automaker’s new, global C-segment platform which is expected to account for more than 2m cars annually by 2012. “We are committed to delivering world-class vehicles to Chinese customers and will begin manufacturing the next generation Focus at our new CFMA plant in 2012”, said Robert Graziano, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China. The next Focus made its worldwide debut at the Detroit show last January. Ford will start production simultaneously in Europe and North America in late 2010 with market launch from early 2011. Launches in Asia, Africa and South America will follow. Chongqing produces both the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback Focus as well as the Volvo S40 and S80 and Mazda 3.
Reports this week said the JV would continue making Volvos for China until new owner Geely establishes its own facilities.