Ford has started production of the Focus at its new, US$450m plant at Rayong in Thailand.

Peter Fleet, president, Ford ASEAN, said the Focus is one of eight vehicles the company is bringing to the region by mid-decade. The new model goes on sale in Thailand in August and Fleet added: “The Focus will expand our appeal to a whole new generation of Ford customers in Thailand and across this region.”

The Thai plant becomes the fifth Ford facility globally to produce the new Focus, with the Rayong-built models destined for the local market and export across the ASEAN region, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, strengthening the country’s role as a volume production and export hub.

The Focus is the first model to be built at the highly-flexible Thai facility, which is capable of producing up to six different models simultaneously.