I can't believe how the past decade has flown by. It is highlighted for me by the Ford Focus celebrating 10 years on the road. And what a period of unprecedented success it has been in Ireland, with sales of almost 90,000 units.
And Ford is well focused (excuse the pun ) on the current climate as is demonstrated by their announcement of the introduction of a low CO2 version to take advantage of the tax savings for low-emission cars. The new 5-door Focus Style Special Edition features air conditioning, 16” alloy wheels and front fogs, all for just €20,715 ex-works. Ford say that this launch price is on offer until the end of June and/or until current stocks last.
The Ford Focus has been Ireland’s best-selling car for eight of the past 10 years, clocking up total sales of 89,566. It has been twice voted Semperit Irish Car of the Year by the Irish Motoring Writers Association, its unique blend of driveability, practicality, dependability, low cost of ownership and style has seen it attract an extraordinarily wide range of customers.
As Eddie Murphy, Managing Director of Ford Ireland, explained at a recent press conference: “From young motorsports fans to families to empty nesters, the Focus customer base has always been a broad church. It’s that very breadth of appeal that has made it a perennial favourite among Irish motorists.”
Innovation has been an integral part of the Focus success story. The car was the first in its segment in Ireland to offer ESP as standard. It was also the country’s first production biofuel car and the first to be officially certified as allergy-friendly. Placed bumper to bumper, the Focus cars sold to date in the country would stretch from Dublin to Limerick and back.
The new Focus Style Special Edition is powered by a 1.6 diesel Duratorq powertrain delivering 90bhp and generating only 118g/km of CO2. Correspondingly, fuel economy is claimed by Ford to be outstanding at just 4.5l/100km or 63mpg.
“By managing to bring this car inside the lowest VRT band, Ford engineers have delivered an effective saving of over €2,000 on the previous equivalent model,” says Eddie Murphy. Road tax is reduced to just €104 per year.
In real terms, the entry level 5-door Focus back in 1999 cost over €24,000 in today’s money, and lacked standard features of the Special Edition such as ESP, ABS, four additional airbags, collapsing pedal box, air conditioning, CD stereo with auxiliary input, front fogs, quick clear windscreen, alloy wheels, colour coded bumpers and mirrors and central locking.
“From an economical and an environmental perspective, this Special Edition really is a Focus for our time, and a model to keep Focus at the top of the sales charts as it enters its second decade.”