Ford has reached an unheard of production milestone. A Ford Focus, built in one of its Asian plants, was the 350 millionth car made in the automaker’s 109 years.
Ford Focus to the moon and back
The counter started way back in 1903, with the first Model T ever produced. Now, after only 109 years, the iconic automaker has turned out number 350 million.
Ford sold 489,616 units of the Focus model in the first half of this year, beating out Toyota’s 462,187 Carollas. That, according to IHS Automotive, made it the best selling vehicle globally in that same time period.
Now, the Focus has even more reason to brag.
John Fleming, Ford executive vice president of global manufacturing, explained why the number 350 million is so astounding:
“Producing 350 million vehicles is equivalent to producing one vehicle every 10 seconds for our 109-year history. If placed end to end, the vehicles would stretch to the moon and back — twice.”
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Made in the USA? Forget about it
Although the name Ford may be synonymous with the American car industry, the automaker did not build its landmark Ford in Spokane, Washington. The 350 millionth Ford was built in Ford’s $450-million assembly plant in Rayong, Thailand. The plant opened in May and is capable of cranking out six cars at the same time.
One Ford plan in action
The figure is also a vindication of CEO Alan Mulally’s One Ford plan, designed to increase sales and global production by standardizing parts and production practices in all its plants around the world. Starting in 2013, more than 85 percent of Ford’s vehicles will share only nine unique platforms. The 2013 Focus is one of those.
A further testament to the One Ford plan, the Focus is built in all of Ford’s major production regions globally.
The automaker says that its One Ford plan will allow it to make 8 million cars a year by 2015.
“Producing this vehicle in Thailand also is significant. It underscores the power of our One Ford plan to deliver profitable growth with great products built in ultra-flexible and efficient facilities everywhere around the world.”
Ford also builds the Ranger compact pickup in Thailand, in an association with Mazda. The Ranger is available in every major market globally, with the exception of North America.