The first consignment of 2,500 redesigned Ford Focus models left the company’s Saarlouis plant in Germany last week. Shipments have since averaged 1,000 vehicles a day, but will increase to a daily total of 1,450 later this month. Output began in December.

The majority of the first production run – all five-door models – are destined for UK dealers in time for the market’s 1 March registration plate change, which produces one of the largest sales months of the year in Europe.  Over 70% of cars being shipped to the UK are high series Titanium models.

Horst Ritze, Ford’s material planning and logistics manager, said: “We currently have 12,000 cars in the pipeline for release to markets across Europe.”

The Focus was designed In Europe as a global car and will be sold in 120 markets around the world. In addition to Saarlouis, the model is also currently in production in Wayne, Michigan. Production commences in St Petersburg in Russia later this year and the model is also scheduled for a new plant in Thailand in 2012.