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Edgy: Ford's facelifted Focus hatch arrives this year.

Ford Australia’s design team, led by Scott Strong, will help shape the next Focus

24 Jan 2008


FORD’S senior personnel may not have been forthcoming about the export destinations for the Aussie-built Focus at last week’s Detroit auto show, but the company’s global boss of design was ready to sing the praises – and touch on the influences – of the Australian-based design team’s look on the vital next-generation small car.

“There is Australian design input happening in lots of our cars,” was J Mays’ broad response to a question on the extent – if any – of Ford Australia’s input in the next all-new Focus, which is due to be built in Melbourne from 2011.

27 center imageClockwise from top: Indian Fiesta, Ford Australian design director, Scott Strong and Ford global design chief, J Mays.

“I would say that Scott Strong, who is reporting to Martin Smith, who is reporting to me, is really doing a great job for us there in trying to bridge that gap between where Australia is currently in the market and where the rest of the world is.

“He is just doing a fantastic job, and we are getting a lot of input from Scott’s team in Melbourne,” he said.

However, Mr Mays would not be drawn into revealing what the next all-new Focus’s design themes might be.

“It is too early to talk about.” However, the Ford design boss did reveal that the Broadmeadows team’s stylistic influences are spreading beyond the small car (Indian Ford Fiesta sedan, current Focus sedan) and large car (BA Falcon, current Territory) work that has helped give the Australians a glowing reputation globally.

“A lot of the work we are doing on SUVs in general is not just confined to the US and Europe now. It’s a global effort between Peter (Horbury – in charge of Ford’s US design), Martin and myself, and we have Scott in the thick of it.

“You will see a lot of influence there that is coming from America, Europe and Australia,” Mr Mays promised.

Read more:

Ford Australia to build Focus at Broadmeadows

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