There was disappointment last month when Ford Europe confirmed that they were ending production of a few old favourites.
The company, who assembled cars in Cork for many years, will in the immediate future concentre on a range of new electric models, but in doing so they will discontinue production of their S-Max and Galaxy at their Valencia plant in Spain in April next year.
Sadly the old reliable Fiesta will cease production at their Cologne plant in Germany by the end of June 2023. I loved the S-Max and Galaxy and there is no doubt the Fiesta was very popular in Ireland.
Ford say they will introduce three new electric passenger cars in Europe by 2024 and claim they will sell approximately 600,000 electric vehicles by 2026 and that the electric passenger vehicle production at their Cologne plant will reach 1.2 million vehicles over a six-year timeframe.
The Mondeo has already been replaced by the electric Mach-E and I wondered how long more the best-selling Focus can survive? Well the answer is 2025.
Last week I drove an ST-Line X version of the Focus and the car is just as comfortable and smart as before. Naturally there are improvements and the first I noticed was the heads-up display. The display just in your line of vision gives you the speed you are travelling at and the speed limit on the road you are on. A first in a Focus I think.
I drove a manual version, which was surprising as nowadays most press cars tend to be automatic. I was surprised to see a ski hatch. I would think that traditionally not many Focus owners would go skiing, but then we Irish don’t know the driving preferences of skier in southern French and Austria.
My test car, which had a frugal engine, had other goodies like selectable drive modes and unique ST-Line grille, full body styling kit and power 4-way driver seat adjust, with lumbar adjust.
The infotainment screen was a bit too bright during the day, but was much more discreet at night. Black was the dominant interior colour, except for a nice touch of red stitching on the very comfortable black seats.
You would have to wonder about the direction Ford are taking. When he was Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said nobody would be forced to buy an electric car in 2030 and it looks like the methods employed around the world to produce electric batteries are not going to save the world from destruction.
The boot is a decent size and a major plus is that the Focus has a proper spare wheel. It’s always reassuring to know there is a proper spare wheel in the boot.
The Focus was introduced in 1999 when it replaced the popular Ford Escort and I suppose it has had a good run. But I don’t think Henry Ford would be happy with a complete switch to electric, even if they were all to be sprayed with black paint.
We have good memories of Ford cars in our house. My first car was a second-hand Escort back in 1973, I bought a silver Focus in the year 2000 and my daughter currently owns a 151 Focus.
Prices start at €32,541 for the new Ford Focus Titanium Style, while the ST-line X version that I drove, with a few extras, will cost you €36,347.