Ford Focus is a compact car (C-segment in Europe) manufactured by the Ford Motor Company since 1998. Ford began sales of the Focus to Europe in July 1998 and in North America during 1999 for the 2000 model year. In Europe, South America, North America and South Africa, the Focus replaced the various versions of the Ford Escort and Ford Laser sold in those markets. In Asia and Australasia, it replaced the Ford Laser. As of the first half of 2012, the Focus surpassed the Toyota Corolla to become the world’s best-selling automobile nameplate
The first Focus World Rally Car made its debut in rallying and the World Rally Championship on the 1999 Monte Carlo Rally with Colin McRae and Simon Jean-Joseph at the wheels of the two cars, replacing, for the first time in a generation, the venerable Escort. It was immediately on the pace, setting many fastest stage times, but a vehicle weight issue meant that the two cars were excluded from that event. McRae went on to give the Focus WRC its maiden victory on the Safari Rally in February of the same year and took victory again in the following rally, the Rally Portugal. The MkI Focus WRC went on to achieve further victories over the years for McRae, Carlos Sainz and Markko Märtin from then until it was phased out in favour of the MkII offering in late 2005.This car, a winner in both Marcus Grönholm’s and Mikko Hirvonen’s hands in the two-car factory BP-Ford World Rally Team that contested the 2006 World Rally Championship season, duly racked up the manufacturers’ title, spelling the end of a formidable twenty-seven year wait for such an honour in this series for the Blue Oval. The team successfully defended the manufacturers’ title in the 2007 season. The Focus WRC was used until the 2010 season, when it was announced that the new Fiesta will replace the Focus from 2011 and onwards.
Unveiled at the 2010 North American International Auto Show, the third generation of Ford Focus become a real Global Car. Indeed, Ford decided to reunite both international and North American models and the new model was simultaneously launched in all Global markets in the first half 2011.
Third generation Focus is sold with four body styles, with 3, 4, 5 doors and with wagon derivative. In Europe C-Max compact MPV is based on Focus, while considered a stand alone model. Actually Focus is produced in US, Europe, China, Thailand and Brazil.
Last generation is the most successful and in the first half 2012 was the best-selling model World-wide, before to be outpaced again by Toyota Corolla which benefit from a new generation launch in second half 2012. However, in 2012 for first time, Focus was sold in over 1 million units, record for any model produced by Ford.
In 2013 Focus was the World second best-selling model with a record sales of 1.1 million units sold and 1.4% of global market share.
(sources: Ford Motor Company, Wikipedia, Focus2move Database and Reports)