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Ford Focus Named 2000 North American 'Car Of The Year'

11 January 2000

Ford 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

    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).