For Sale By:Private Seller
Engine:223 INLINE 6
Drive Type: MANUAL
Garden City, Kansas, United States
It's that time in the life of the Ford Focus to get a little work done - a nip-tuck here, some Botox there. Yes, Ford is testing a facelifted version of its global C-segment entry, which first hit markets in Europe and North America in May 2011.
Like the touchup on the Fiesta, expect Ford's gaping grille to make its first appearance on the Focus. Our spy photographers point out that this is likely to be a more comprehensive makeover than previous spy shots suggested, based on the additional camouflage seen here on the front and rear ends of this five-door model. New head and taillights are also likely in order, as are changes to the front and rear fascia.
The interior was also snapped and features a cleaner design with a larger central display. Other than that, it looks like some buttons have been changed, making us think most of the Focus' updates are limited to the exterior.
Ford announced that it's investing $682 million in its Oakville assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, to make it a global manufacturing plant, which the automaker also says secures 2,800 jobs there. Including this injection of cash, Ford has invested over $2 billion in Canada in the last decade, starting with nearly $1 billion for Oakville in 2004, and over $570 million for its Essex Engine Plant in 2010.
The move to make Oakville a global manufacturer of Ford vehicles means, "If consumers suddenly shift their buying habits, we can seamlessly change our production mix without having to idle a plant," says Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas.
Ford says that the latest investment will help it meet North American demand for the Oakville-produced Edge crossover, which is on track this year to beat 2007's US sales record of 130,000 Edges. The Ford Flex and Lincoln MKX and MKT are also manufactured at the plant.
According to a Bloomberg report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded an investigation into complaints of unintended acceleration lodged against Ford vehicles. The investigation began in June of 2010 when just three complaints had been received and it only concerned the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, but this was at a time when the phrase "unintended acceleration" made grown men go pale. With 49 additional complaints received since then, the investigation has been reclassified as an engineering analysis - the last phase before a recall - and it has been expanded to include the Lincoln MKZ, making for a total of "around 480,000" units affected between the three sedans from the 2008 to 2010 model years.
The ostensible cause is that floor mats are trapping the accelerator pedal, but according to a Ford statement at the time, the entrapment is due to owners placing the optional all-weather floor mats, or aftermarket floor mats, on top of the car's standard floor mats. NHTSA has backed up that assessment, pinning the blame on "unsecured or double stacked floor mats."
On the face of it, it would appear that NHTSA has upgraded the status not because of Ford's error, but owner error, and Ford has stated publicly that it is "disappointed" in NHTSA's move. On top of NHTSA still being skittish after that other unintended acceleration debacle, it could be seen to be taking its time investigating all of the variables: it's reported that Ford changed its accelerator pedal design in 2010, a "heel blocker" in the floorpan has been considered a potential culprit in how the floor mats could be trapping the pedal, some drivers have said the floor mats weren't anywhere near the pedal, and according to a report in the LA Times, in "a letter sent by Ford to NHTSA in August 2010, the automaker said it found three injuries and one fatality that 'may have resulted from the alleged defect.'"