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Blog on: Ford is shouting its keenest Focus fans a test drive in Europe.

Ford announces public ‘Global Test Drive’ for next year’s redesigned Focus

Ford logo22 Oct 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

FORD has taken the unusual step of inviting “bloggers, social media fans and Facebook friends” to test drive its next-generation Focus early next year in Europe before the all-new small car goes on sale there – and in Australia in the third quarter of 2011.

Ford of Europe says its unprecedented Ford Focus Global Test Drive will provide it with rapid feedback from interested customers and prospects, while participants will become the first external 2011 Focus test drivers and “get a first look and thrilling international wheel time in Ford’s breakthrough new Focus before it goes on sale”.

Applicants will need to submit video submissions via the Focus Facebook website explaining why they should be selected. One hundred winners will be selected based on a range of criteria, including their “individual creative content, social networking vibrancy and volume of votes they receive”.

27 center imageApart from driving the new Focus at an as-yet-unnamed venue in southern Europe before it is launched to the media and released to Ford dealers globally, successful applicants will be asked to nominate a hunger, education or environmental/sustainability charity to receive the local-market equivalent of $10,000, with Ford’s contribution capped at $500,000.

As we’ve reported, Ford’s new Focus – which first the time will be nearly identical in all 122 markets in which it will eventually be sold, with 80 per cent parts commonality worldwide – will form the basis of 10 different derivatives (hatch, sedan and wagon versions have so far been revealed).

The newest version of Ford’s global small-car initially will be built in North America and Europe, where Australia’s version will be assembled – at least before production of mainstream models for Australia switches from the Saarlouis plant in Germany to a new plant in Thailand from 2012.

Australia’s supply of the existing second-generation Focus from Pretoria in South Africa will dry up when production ceases there in early 2011.

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