LONDON - In pricing its new Focus, Ford wanted to depart from the tradition of forcing customers to take options they do not want.
Ford has done away with its base series, or entry-level models, and is pricing its mid-level cars to compete favorably with entry-level models offered by the competition, said Henrik Nenzen, brand manager for the Focus in Europe, based in Brentwood, UK.
The Focus comes in four trim levels: CL, Zetec, LX and Ghia. Every model comes with central locking, a Safeguard Passive Anti-Theft System, body-colored bumpers, power front windows and an adjustable steering column.
In the UK, the lowest delivered price for a Focus three-door or five-door is £12,850 ($20,560), compared with £12,225 for the three-door Vauxhall Astra Envoy and £12,250 for the three-door Volkswagen Golf. In Germany, the range starts at DM25,500 ($14,203), compared with DM24,950 for the Opel Astra and DM26,400 for the Golf.
Paul Jarvis, managing editor of Glass's Guide, an automobile price book published in Weybridge, UK, said: 'The pricing is right in line with other vehicles in the sector. It could be argued that with a new model that looks so different, they might be asking a premium, but they don't seem to be.
'Ford seems to be fairly conservative in its approach to Focus. The car is sensibly priced.'
The Focus comes with four option packages: Reflex, Styling, Climate and Luxury.
'We tried to make it simple and transparent so there is less confusion, and fewer price points,' said Nenzen. 'In principle, we want customers to choose and not link equipment to a series, to have the maximum free choice.'