Popularizing the methods of automotive assembly at the beginning of the 20th century, Ford Motor Company’s focus on mobilizing populations in general has made their nameplates the most prevalent in the world. Built at the Thailand manufacturing plant in Rayong, a red Ford Focus rolled off the assembly line to claim the major production milestone. The otherwise unremarkable Focus hatchback became the 350 millionth vehicle to be constructed by the blue oval brand.
Produced on an assembly of a newly-opened 450-million dollar Ford Thailand Manufacturing plant with flexibility to build up to 6 different cars at one time, the Ford Focus represents an average production of 8,797 vehicles assembled daily over Ford Motor Company’s 109-year history. Further emphasizing that feat, Ford‘s executive vice president of global manufacturing John Fleming described the accomplishment saying “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,”.
Henry Ford oversaw his company’s production of the 1 millionth in 1915 and 10 millionth vehicle in 1924 (both Ford Model T cars). By the time the Model T concluded production, Ford Motor Company was achieving a manufacturing capacity of two million vehicles a year. In 1959, a Ford Galaxie became the 50 millionth car built by the auto brand with vehicle 150 millionth constructed twenty years later. The 150 millionth in 1979 and 300 millionth milestone cars assembled in 2004 were both Ford Mustangs.
It is probably not by coincidence that the Ford’s 350 millionth vehicle was assembled away from the United States. Like most automakers, the importance of appearing to be the builder of world cars is what has given Ford Motor Company the momentum to create the Focus in the first place. With the 2012 model year redesign, the Ford Focus appears in line to capture the world car crown by taking it from the clutches of an arch rival. According to HIS Automotive, the Ford Focus has outsold the Toyota Corolla by roughly 27,500 vehicles worldwide. Having invested 6.7 billion dollars in the Asian automotive market since 2006, Ford Motor Company expects to have the capacity to produce 2.9 million vehicles a year by the middle part of this decade.
While the Ford Focus has made an impact globally, the compact car is currently trailing the Toyota Corolla in the United States marketplace. Sales charts after the month of July saw 175,366 Corollas sold compared to 147,877 Focus products.