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Steve

FORD'S STYLISH CONCEPT GETS THE GREEN LIGHT

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FORD'S STYLISH CONCEPT GETS THE GREEN LIGHT

Ford extends its partnership with Pininfarina to put the star of the Paris Motor Show into production

BRENTWOOD, November 5, 2004 – Ford of Europe and Pininfarina are teaming up again, having signed a new contract to turn Ford's Paris show stopping Focus Vignale Concept from design concept into production reality, expected at the end of 2006.

The one-off Ford Focus Vignale Concept hit the headlines as Ford’s star attraction in the new Ford Focus range, which premiered at the 2004 Paris Motor Show.

"The media and public reaction to the Ford Focus Vignale Concept in Paris was outstanding, and confirmed that we should put this vehicle into production at the earliest opportunity", said Lewis Booth, President of Ford of Europe. "Its elegance and flair emphasise the dynamic design of the new Focus range".

Full technical details and the name of the production version of this new Focus model will be announced closer to its launch in approximately two years time.

Ford and Pininfarina joint design and engineering team

Ford and Pininfarina SpA have already worked together with great success to produce the Ford Streetka roadster. Pininfarina's expertise in engineering and manufacturing relatively small volume production vehicles will be crucial to the success of this latest venture and in this case Pininfarina will also be a significant contributor to the final design of the vehicle.

"We are delighted to be working together with Ford on this prestigious programme", said Andrea Pininfarina, CEO of Pininfarina SpA. "Pininfarina is renowned for its in-depth knowledge and experience in the design and manufacture of specialised and stylish vehicles and we provide the perfect complement to the skills and resources available within Ford's European product development organisation", he continued.

Faithful to the concept car

The elegant new four-door Ford Focus model provides the base architecture for the production version of the Focus Vignale Concept. The vehicle will be built at Pininfarina's manufacturing facilities in Turin with some parts sourced from Ford's Saarlouis plant and others from Pininfarina themselves. Like the Streetka, also built by Pininfarina, the new Ford Focus model will be a convertible but the Focus will be the first European Ford to feature a folding hard top.

Sporty coupe, stylish cabriolet

The key to the elegance and beauty of the Focus Vignale concept car was the core design language of the new Ford Focus family. This provides an opportunity unprecedented in the C-segment to create a vehicle with two identities, a sporty coupé and a stylish cabriolet.

First, a stunningly attractive coupé derivative that avoids awkward design concessions to the practical packaging difficulties inherent in a folding-top cabriolet. Then, at the touch of a button, it transforms effortlessly into an open-top four-seater. As the boot lid tilts open, the retractable hardtop will fold backwards to stow neatly in the boot and provide the car's occupants with sophisticated fuss-free open-top motoring.

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