Ford Spanish

The company was founded by Henry Ford in 1903. Ford dreamed of building a car for the masses, and that's precisely what he did, most notably with the immortal Model T of 1908-'27. The latter was bought by 16.5 million Americans during its 20-year lifespan and was affordable enough for Ford's own factory workers to purchase. Ford's early years were also distinguished by its introduction of the moving assembly line. It was the first to utilize this more cost-effective method of production, and its innovation became a mainstay of the manufacturing process.

Ford regained its footing in the early 1960s with the introduction of the compact Falcon, a model that was warmly received by the public. By the middle of the decade the automaker had given enthusiasts something to cheer about with the launch of the sporty Mustang, a car that went on to become one of the biggest sellers of its day. Buyers adored the Mustang's low price, available powerful V8 engines and sporty styling. The Mustang even created a brand-new vehicle category: the pony car.

By the mid-to-late '80s, Ford was showing new strength with its popular Escort and Taurus models while further expanding its empire with the purchase of the Aston Martin and Jaguar brands. Meanwhile, its full-size LTD sedan (later renamed the Crown Victoria) remained a staple of taxi companies and police forces throughout America.

But the new millennium initially saw a downturn for Ford. Increased competition, a continuing operating loss for Jaguar, legacy costs and a reliance on SUVs for profit took their toll. To compensate, the company sold Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo and introduced a wave of successful new products. Models like the F-150, Fusion, Fiesta, Focus, Flex and Mustang have allowed Ford to regain its health and standing as a very competitive manufacturer.

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TOUTED AS the company’s most important car since the Model T, Ford released the third-generation Focus in August 2011.

At launch four models were offered – Ambiente, Trend, Sport and Titanium – with three engine (1.6 and 2.0 petrol and 2.0 TDCi diesel) and two body style choices (four-door sedan and five-door hatch).

A 1596cc 1.6-litre twin-cam 16-valve Ti-VCT petrol engine powered the CL-replacing Ambiente, producing 92kW of power at 6300rpm and 159Nm of torque at 4000rpm and connected to a five-speed manual transmission (not sedan) or a six-speed dual-clutch Powershift from November 2011.

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