Ford Motor Company celebrated the company’s 350-millionth vehicle - a Ford Focus, which is the world’s best-selling car for the first half of 2012.
The milestone vehicle rolled off Ford's newest global manufacturing facility located in Thailand. The $450-million facility was opened in May to produce the new Focus, which is also built in four other countries.
"Producing 350-million vehicles is equivalent to producing one vehicle every 10 seconds for our 109-year history. If placed end to end, the vehicles would stretch to the moon and back - twice," said John Fleming, Ford executive vice president of global manufacturing.
"Producing this vehicle in Thailand also is significant. It underscores the power of our One Ford plan to deliver profitable growth with great products built in ultra-flexible and efficient facilities everywhere around the world."
In addition to the manufacturing milestone, for the first six months of this year, Focus became the best-selling single car nameplate in the world, based on global data from IHS Automotive.
According to IHS Automotive, the Ford Focus sold 489 616 units in the first half of this year. The nearest competitor, Toyota Corolla, sold 462 187.
"Embracing its performance, value, versatility and fuel economy, the Focus is attracting many new customers to the Ford brand for the very first time, particularly in Asia where we are growing every day," said Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president for global marketing, sales and service.
"The Focus is a winner on so many levels because it successfully provides customers with what they want most - a safe, smart, fuel-efficient, good-looking, fun-to-drive, affordable car."
From Henry Ford to One Ford
Since the company was founded in 1903, Ford has led the industry with innovations such as the Model T, which helped foster the world’s love for affordable mobility. In its first half century as a company, Ford grew alongside the driving public, producing its 50-millionth vehicle - a 1959 Ford Galaxie - in slightly more than 50 years and generating legions of loyal Ford owners along the way.
In the five decades since, Ford has produced more than 300-million additional vehicles.
As part of the One Ford plan, the company is also executing a One Manufacturing plan for lean, flexible production. It includes standardizing best practices, increasing production in growing markets and accelerating new vehicle introductions on fewer global platforms, which delivers the vehicles consumers want with quality, efficiency and profitability afforded by global scale.
By next year, Ford will build more than 85 percent of vehicle volume off nine core platforms. Also, in the next four years, Ford plans to have the freshest global vehicle lineup - with the entire product portfolio expected to be upgraded at least once.