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Old 11-25-2003, 09:35 AM   #1
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SVT Focus Killed (Sob)

Ford to drop SVT Focus, suspend performance lineup
By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News

DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. is killing its high performance SVT Focus coupe next year and suspending production of the entire Special Vehicle Team lineup for the 2005 model year, the company said Friday.

"It will hurt us," said Dean Sellers, general manager of Dean Sellers Ford in Troy. "But it won't be devastating."

Ford's next scheduled model year for SVT products will be 2006. But its lineup - the Mustang Cobra and F-150 Lightning - will be based on new platforms and offer increased levels of performance.

John Coletti, SVT's chief engineer, said the 2006 Lightning will be powered by an engine similar to the one featured in the 500-horsepower Ford GT, which debuts next year.
Other possibilities include supercharged versions of the Mercury Marauder and Lincoln Navigator, a Mustang with a V-10 and a turbocharged Focus.

In 2005, Ford plans to introduce the Focus ST, which stands for street tuned. It offers slightly less horsepower than the SVT Focus -- 155 compared with 170. But it will have more torque and likely cost less.

Angelo Giordimaina, general sales manager of McLaughlin Ford in Royal Oak, said lease and insurance rates on the SVT Focus were alienating some buyers.

Since its introduction as a 2002 model, about 4,500 units a year have been sold. Tom Scarpello, SVT marketing and sales manager, hinted Ford expected more.

"Did it meet all its objectives? No," Scarpello said. "But the majority of them."

Since the first Cobra debuted in 1993, Ford has sold more than 135,000 SVT products.


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Old 11-25-2003, 11:35 AM   #2
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maybe it will be a change for the better.
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Old 11-25-2003, 12:26 PM   #3
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maybe if Ford MADE more of them, they would have SOLD more of them. The exclusiveness of them made it harder to find them in your choice and to buy. I think Ford is missing alot of the clues from the crowd, the fact that the Focus has been mass consumed by alot of younger kids, and alot of them looking for nice sporty cars. Ford seems to miss the cues alot and kill off some of the best things they have. I think their marketing people have gotten too old for the generations buying cars.
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Old 11-25-2003, 12:35 PM   #4
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I don't think it was because of limited supply. Some just were not selling and sitting on lots.

Oh well, I have my Focus ST, but in a hatch. ;)
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Old 11-25-2003, 12:45 PM   #5
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ok well maybe it was the wrong lots, I know that some of the lots near me had none to speak of, and they would have been the lots to sell them.
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Old 11-25-2003, 12:50 PM   #6
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Ford knows how to sell cars. In my opinion the SVT Focus is a success. They made the best handling car in its class. The Mustang & Lightning don't cut the mustard for me. I think the Lightning is the stupidest thing I've ever seen. It turns rednecks into super rednecks.
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Old 11-25-2003, 12:59 PM   #7
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Personally, I almost bought an SVT fOCUS, so here is one real-world reason why they didn't sell one.

It was a Cobalt(?) blue '03 3-door. Now, I'm an adult with a good job and great credit and clean driving record, and I could *easily* afford it and the insurance. So why did I end up with my PZEV?

Well, for one thing, I wasn't wild about the power band in the SVT. Yeah, it's ballsy, but you really have to get into it, 5000rpm and beyond, to feel the rush. Not exactly what I want in my daily commuter. Second - fuel cost. SVTF requires premium fuel and is rated 21/25. Frankly that sux. The difference in fuel cost alone (at $1.80 for premium and $1.60 for regular) is over $400 per year with the miles I drive. Third, value. The additional performance of the PZEV over the Zetec for basically no additional money (I got my car from Massachusetts) makes it a far better value than the SVTF in terms of sheer straight-line performance.

What I miss about not buying the SVTF is the sharper handling characteristics, 17" wheels, and the slightly more distinctive looks, and the interior amenities like the leather, heated seats. But I saved a SOLID $6000, even when they finally started offering incentives on the SVT, so I can justify giving up a few amenities.

So, that is why at least one SVTF in particular did not get sold. I bet there are plenty more stories a lot like mine.

Personally, I think you have to be an autocrosser or at least a wannabe to really appreciate what the SVTF has to offer, and I guess there just aren't that many out there.

(Last time I checked it was still sitting on the dealer's lot - Tasca Ford in Cranston, RI)
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Old 11-25-2003, 01:41 PM   #8
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I think its Sonic Blue.
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Old 11-25-2003, 01:46 PM   #9
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SVT Focus Killed

Ford does it again. Another fine car bites the dust. Guess we'll have to be happy with a Taurus. I'm buying a German car nest time.
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Old 11-25-2003, 01:58 PM   #10
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I think its Sonic Blue.
Thanks, Egz, you're absolutely right. I was hurrying and the color just wouldn't come to mind. Darn nice color, by the way. I would have been real happy with it.
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