WAYNE (WWJ) – Ford Motor Company hails it as a game-changing, global vehicle. And, Thursday, the auto company rolls out its new 2012 Ford Focus during a VIP ceremony at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.

WWJ Auto Analyst John McElroy says this isn’t just another high-profile launch. “This is a really big deal on a number of levels. First, you got this car coming out that by all accounts looks like it’s going to sell in big volume. Secondly, this is being built at the Wayne Assembly Plant that used to build some of the biggest SUVs Ford has ever made, now it’s being converted into making a smaller, fuel efficient car,” says McElroy. “And, thirdly, Ford is on a roll, and I think this is just going to keep that momentum going.”

McElroy adds that this is a big deal for Wayne County and the state of Michigan overall. And that’s why the governor as well as Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano will be in attendance at the event. “It isn’t very often that we see what is almost a brand new plant reopening in the state of Michigan. And though it’s not exactly new, they’ve gutted that thing and everything inside the walls is brand new,” says McElroy.

McElroy also says that another special part about the auto plant and the building of this car is that the company is not only going to be building a regular gasoline engine version of the Focus, they’re also going to be making an electric version of the car. He says Ford has been making a big deal of how flexible the plant is, so they could actually build different models at the rejuvenated plant if they choose to.

The Focus is rated at 28 mpg in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway. Experts say that could make the car a big seller if gas prices hit the $4-a-gallon mark late this year.


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