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Motor Shock - Young U.S. Drivers Discover Cornering

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The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Ford Focus

Motor Shock - Young U.S. Drivers Discover Cornering

Geoff Maxted
November 12, 2013

Ford Focus
Hello America - the land where everything is bigger, including the portions, and the same goes for the cars - or at least that’s how it used to be. These days it seems that across the board size has ceased to be an issue - except the portions, obviously - as American citizens discover that small can be beautiful. Of course and as usual it has taken the young people of the Land Across The Pond to ring the changes.

Ford have scored a first in this regard with the ‘global’ Focus ST which is showing signs of success in bringing younger, more affluent customers into Ford showrooms as the car and the Ford ST performance brand mark one year in the market.

Through October, U.S. sales of the Focus ST since launch are just under 12,000 units, with demand strongest in Detroit, Los Angeles, Houston and Orlando. Amongst those buyers, nearly two-thirds traded in a non-Ford vehicle to buy their car – the highest percentage of conquest sales for a non-hybrid vehicle amongst all Ford cars and trucks. In addition, many Focus ST buyers are young, with thirty two percent under the age of 35, compared with twenty two percent of non-ST Focus owners. These affluent upstarts have higher incomes, with an average annual salary of $127,000, compared with $67,000 for non-ST Focus customers.

The Focus ST is helping to boost sales of other Ford models, drawing customers to showrooms who then buy a different Ford model, most often a Fusion (Mondeo equiv) saloon or Escape Utility crossover, said a spokesperson, citing anecdotal evidence from dealers.

Americans are realising that as an affordable high-performance vehicle that can also serve as a daily driver, it has no equal - at least according to Ford. Additionally, the Company recently launched the Fiesta ST, the second vehicle in its ST line-up. With a 197bhp 1.6L EcoBoost engine and an estimated fuel mileage figure of 35mpg, Fiesta ST essentially has no direct competition in its price range.

Focus ST, Ford’s first global performance car, integrates advanced and sport-oriented technologies well known in Europe but previously unavailable to North American customers. The combination of these technologies into a refined yet high-performance sporting hatchback elevates the category and further cements Focus as the most complete compact car range sold in North America.

The icing on the cake is obviously the car’s road-holding ability. A traditional hardcore V8 offering may burn up the highways in a straight line but is no match for the agility of the ST around a corner. This is a concept new to the drivers of the USA and they clearly like it.

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