Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Three weeks ago an analyst increased projections for European car sales this year, expecting them to climb three percent compared to last year instead of 2.7 percent. That number is a postive sign after years of hard times but it turns out February was especially good, overall European sales climbing eight percent on a wave of southern European recovery and discounts - and this comes after five months of gains including January's 7.2-percent jump over the year before.
The only country of Europe's five largest markets to post a decline was France, just as it did in January, Germany, the UK and Italy posting solid double-digit numbers, Spain rocking the charts with an 18-percent increase because of a government program to encourage trade-ins.
The only brand to miss the wave was Volkswagen, dropping 0.8 percent as it watched the double-digit growth at sister brands Audi, Seat and Skoda lift the Volkswagen Group sales up by seven-percent. Peugeot overcame flat sales at Citroën to improve the group by 3.5 percent, BMW and the Mercedes-Benz/Smart combo rose by four percent, the Fiat group jumped 5.8 percent, Ford was up 11 percent, the Renault Group 11.5 percent, General Motors 12 percent and the Toyota clan by 14 percent.
Ford has made an art of deeper-than-normal midlife updates since the 2010 Fusion, a strategy that has allowed it to keep models looking fresher in showrooms for longer without needing full redesigns. Instead of slight touchups to light fixtures, new paint colors and perhaps new wheel patterns, Ford has been digging deeper, with significant sheetmetal changes and very different front-end looks, along with an increased emphasis on new in-car technologies to keep models vibrant. Other automakers are following this trend, and Ford itself is continuing on the path with this new 2015 Focus Sedan.
There's a handsome new SE Sport Package that includes a firmer touring suspension, modest body kit and 17-inch wheels.
We first saw this sleek Aston Martin-like nose fitted to a Focus at the Geneva Motor Show last month, but Ford only showed the new look on the five-door hatchback - this is the first appearance of the sedan, which will bow at next week's New York Auto Show. The front end treatment is the same, with a new hood, new headlamps incorporating LED accents, a different grille shape and a completely revised lower fascia that does away with the 2014 model's controversial triangle-shaped corners and gaping intakes. The rear gets a new two-piece, laser-brazed trunk lid with new taillamps, but the overall look is quite similar to last year's car. In any case, the refreshed look brings the Focus sedan more in line with the design of Ford's other recently reworked cars, including the Fusion and Fiesta.
Last August, Ford made a few waves by claiming that the Ford Focus was, at that point, the top-selling car in the world. The automaker failed to account for variations of the Toyota Corolla wearing a different name (such as the Auris and Matrix), however. With official data from Polk coming in now, Ford is able to say that the Focus was, in fact, the best-selling nameplate in the world last year.
Using new-car registrations (which doesn't factor in fleet sales), the Polk data shows that a total of more than one million Focus models around the world. Strong sales in the US and China have led to a 16 percent increase in year-over-year Focus sales from 2011 that helped to create even more of a gap between it and the second-best global seller, the Corolla.
Ford also had the Fiesta and F-Series listed in the top 10 for worldwide nameplates, but what's even more impressive is the fact that the F-Series is only sold in North America. Scroll down to see the list (compiled by Ford using Polk data) of the top global sellers last year and a press release from Ford.