The plant has the capacity to manufacture up to 1850 vehicles per day over three shifts and will build all three body styles of the Focus – sedan, hatch and wagon.
Production of the high performance ST model will commence early in 2012.
Ford invested 300 million euros ($403 million) in modernising the Saarlouis Assembly Plant for Focus production, and the project has created 500 new jobs. The plant also manufacturers the Ford Kuga compact SUV.
Early production of the Focus sedan and hatch has also commenced at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant.
Production of the 2012 Focus will expand further in mid-2011 when the St Petersburg, Russia, plant begins assembly of four- and five-door derivatives of the all-new model.
The Asia-Pacific region will be the last to join the production ranks, with plants in Chongqing, China, and Rayong, Thailand, to come on board in 2012.
Ford Australia’s Sinead McAlary confirmed local sales of the 2012 Focus are on track to begin around the third quarter of 2011.
Australian Focus models will initially be sourced from the Saarlouis plant. Ms McAlary would not confirm whether our production would shift to Thailand once the Rayong plant was up and running.
She also said it was unlikely that Australia would receive the Focus wagon, with Ford Australia preferring to stick with the current sedan and hatch line-up.
The 2012 Focus represents the first big step towards the ‘One Ford’ global manufacturing strategy. It will be produced on three continents and will be sold in 120 markets around the world. Around 80 percent of the vehicle’s components will be shared across all production lines.
Built on Ford’s global C-segment platform, the Focus will make up a large proportion of the two-million-plus C-segment vehicles produced annually by Ford by 2012.
[gallery order="DESC" columns="4" orderby="title"]