Ford on Track to Beat Toyota With Focus Vehicle

This Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010 file picture shows the 2012 model year Ford Focus during its debut at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

RAYONG, Thailand (TheBlaze/AP) — Ford Motor Co. says its Focus small car is on track to become the best-selling car in the world this year, trumping the Toyota Corolla.

Ford sold 489,616 Focus sedans and hatchbacks worldwide in the first half of 2012. That was almost 27,000 more than the perennial best-seller, the Toyota Corolla.

Ford made the announcement at its assembly plant in Rayong, which opened in May to build the Focus. The Thailand plant, which is one of Ford’s most advanced, has the capacity to produce 150,000 cars per year for sale in Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and other countries in the region.

Ford’s recently revamped Focus is sold in more than 100 countries worldwide. It’s a strong seller in the U.S., where Focus sales were up 31 percent in the first half of the year compared with 2011. But the Corolla is still king in the U.S., where it outsold the Focus by nearly 27,500 in the first half of the year.

The Corolla could still top the Focus worldwide, too. Last year at this time the Focus was ahead of the Corolla, but the Corolla pulled through in the end, outselling the Focus by around 100,000 vehicles, according to IHS Global Insight, an industry consulting firm.

At the plant Friday, Ford executives were also celebrating the production of the 350 millionth vehicle Ford has made since its founding 109 years ago.

Final Thought: Ford wasn’t bailed out with billions of taxpayers’ dollars. General Motors was. Ford’s Focus is on track to become the best-selling vehicle in the world this year. GM may file for bankruptcy … again. Ford is celebrating the production of its 350 millionth vehicle. GM has suspended production of its much-touted Voltagain. Just saying.

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