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Production begins for the 2012 Ford Focus

The 2012 Ford Focus is the first vehicle marketed worldwide under the company’s “One Ford” plan and yesterday in Ford’s Saarlouis Assembly Plant in South-West Germany, production of the 2012 Focus got underway.

The redesigned 2012 Ford Focus going on sale later this year in over 120 markets around the world and should the sporty new Focus be successful, this could be the next era of Ford Motor Company. Ford hopes to use globalization of certain platforms to cut down on R&D and production costs by using multiple engines and chassis platforms across most of the world’s major automotive markets.

The Ford Focus is one of the models that has seen the most variance around the world with a huge selection of engines, trimlines and performance packages offered in different markets over the past decade but the 2012 Focus does away with all of that. In addition to the same basic architecture being used worldwide in multiple production facilities, 2012 will also mark the long-awaited entry of the high performance Focus ST into the US market. The variations in design styling across the new Focus trimlines as well as the push for both sporty AND efficient engines allows the long time C-segment competitor to distance itself from many competitors which generally stress either efficiency or sportiness – but rarely both. Click here for a gallery of the 2012 Ford Focus sporting a variety of design styles from the 2010 LA Auto Show debut, including a look at the high performance Focus ST. in addition to showing off the versatility of the new Focus, Ford has called upon the expertise of the producers from TV’s Amazing Race to organize Focus Rally America – a cross country rally race pitting several teams against each other with the help of their social networks (images included in the gallery).

The Saarlouis Assembly Plant will produce the 2012 Focus for western Europe in all three available forms – four door, five door and station wagons and in early 2012 production of the western European-bound Focus ST models will begin coming off of the Saarlouis line. Production of 2012 Focus (or is it foci?) for the North American market will take place at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant and starting mid-2011, an additional plant will begin building the 2012 Focus in St. Petersburg Russia. The final phase of production for the One Ford-based 2012 Ford Focus will come in 2012 when Ford’s factories in Chongqing, China and Rayong, Thailand begin producing cars for the Asia-Pacific regions.

There have been rumors that some of the other vehicles that could come to the US under the One Ford plan are the Mondeo sedan (possibly replacing the Fusion) and the Kuga compact SUV (likely replacing the Escape). These non-domestic Ford models are not unfamiliar to the streets of Dearborn and although it would be a shock to see Ford replace the Fusion (it is one of their bestselling models right now), the Ford Escape has aged and could very well be on the chopping block.

Should the initial One Ford products like the 2012 Focus thrive around the world, it will reinforce Ford’s efforts to exercise more sharing across different world markets which stands to benefit the consumers both in cost and in advancements in technology.

For a closer look at the 2012 Ford Focus, click here!