Ford Focus Named 2000 North American 'Car Of The Year'
11 January 2000Ford Focus Named 2000 North American 'Car Of The Year'
First Time Ever Car of the Year Winner in Europe and North America DETROIT, Mich., Jan. 10 -- Small car segment trendsetter Ford Focus was named the 2000 North American Car of the Year this morning at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A year ago, the Ford Focus earned the 1999 European Car of the Year award. This marks the first time ever the same vehicle has been honored with both titles. The Ford Focus has been lauded with overwhelming acclaim for its driving dynamics and spacious interior package. North American Car of the Year is considered one of the most prestigious automotive awards. A jury of 47 independent automotive journalists in the United States and Canada selected the Ford Focus. The Ford Focus was one of three finalists, which included the Lincoln LS and Audi TT. The North American Car and Truck of the year Awards were created five years ago to give consumers insight into what the continent's top journalists view as the most significant cars and trucks of the year. "We are deeply honored by this award," said James G. O'Connor, president of Ford Division. "The Ford Focus has broken all kinds of new ground, from winning both the European and North American Car of the Year titles to initiating the first time ever live television commercial campaign simulcast on the web. Our goal for the Focus was to prove to the world that affordable, compact transportation could also provide world class driving dynamics, roominess, safety and pure pleasure." Focus has already received numerous accolades from automotive journalists around the world, winning more than 15 major awards. Since its introduction in North America in the fall, consumers have enthusiastically accepted the vehicle as well, with sales as of Dec. 31, 1999 totaling 55,846 cars. The Ford Focus has been for sale in dealerships since October 1999. Strong Youth Appeal A key customer group for Ford's all-new compact car, is the highly influential Gen X and Echo Boomer market, according to Bob Rewey, Group Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service for Ford Motor Company. "The two key growth markets are Gen X'ers (20-35 years old, 25 million), who are in the market today and Echo Boomers (19 and under, 80 million) who will be entering the new vehicle market in the next two to three years," said Rewey. "They will dominate the vehicle market for the next 30 years." Focus is off to a strong start with youth and early sales results show the 48 percent of buyers are age 35 and younger, while 26 percent of the buyers are under 25 years of age. Focus - The Car While the "image target" is youth, the Focus 3-door coupe, 4-door sedan and wagon appeal to a tremendously diverse group of buyers of all ages, demographics and lifestyles. Prices range from $12,280 for the three-door ZX3 hatchback to $15,795 for the top-of-the-line SE wagon. The Ford Focus is built at the Wayne Assembly Plant (Wayne, Mich., USA) and the Hermosillo Assembly Plant (Hermosillo, Mexico).