The updated Ford Focus range won’t premiere in Australia until the third quarter of 2015, up to 18 months after it made its global premiere at the 2014 Geneva motor show, but the blue oval brand’s local arm says it’s all part of a bigger plan.
Some readers out there have noted a pattern in which we see new-generation Ford models appear, and then take a longer-than-usual time to make it into Australian showrooms.
That said, in fairness, appearances can be a little deceiving.
“Our global strategy is to reveal our cars well before the on-sale date, because we like to reveal some information early,” Ford Australia marketing general manager David Katic told us this week.
“And you might say ‘David, does that hurt your current sales?’ [but] it’s a long-term game, not a short-term game, and we want to build excitement for our cars.”
The new Focus did indeed appear for the first time in February 2014, but it didn’t hit European showrooms until late last year. Our Thai-made ones will launch at least eight months after even that, due to the time it has taken to get the factory line up and running, but the gap isn't as marked as it may seem at first.
Likewise, Ford Australia held an event locally for the Mustang in December 2013, and that car won’t go on-sale until the end of 2015. Then again, despite the timing of the reveal, it didn’t actually hit US roads until September of last year. So the lag there is also long, but again, slightly less so than it first appears.
The Mondeo launched this week has also been around for several years as the US-market Fusion, though the delay in its local premiere was a little different — it shut the old Belgian factory and took time tooling up the new one in Spain.
Nevertheless, despite this reasoning, the reality is that Ford in recent times has not delivered a number of its global cars to its Australian division in what you’d call a swift fashion. But the company’s local arm seems ok with it, at least publicly.
“When you launch a product globally they cant do every plant all at once, there’s a staggered rollout. A few months difference," Katic said.
“Generally our products are very close to the global launch. there might be a few months difference, but generally we’re very close to the global launch, and sometimes we’re the first like with Ranger."
Indeed, the local Ranger launch in Q3 will be among the first in the world — suitable, given the car was developed here.