While thousands of cars roll off the assembly line at Ford assembly plants around the world every single day, there is something special about one specific Ford Focus built recently.
It doesn’t sport any unique features or a custom paint job to set it apart. Instead, that Focus is the 350 millionth vehicle produced by Ford Motor Company since the company was founded 109 years ago.
In its first half century as a company, Ford grew alongside the driving public, producing its 50 millionth vehicle – a 1959 Ford Galaxie – in slightly more than 50 years. In the five decades since, Ford has produced more than 300 million additional vehicles.
Simply put, that’s a whole lot of cars. That’s one car for every single person living in the United States today, with enough left over for everyone in Canada as well. It’s the equivalent of producing one vehicle every 10 seconds for the company’s entire history, dating back to 1903. If you placed all of those cars bumper to bumper (and ignored certain rules of physics), they would stretch to the moon and back twice.
The milestone was celebrated at the newest Ford global manufacturing facility, Ford Thailand Manufacturing, located in Rayong, Thailand. The $450 million facility opened in May to produce the new Focus, which also is built in four other countries. Representing the latest in Ford global manufacturing capabilities, it features new stamping presses, flexible body shops and robotic capabilities that enable it to produce up to six different vehicles simultaneously.
It is appropriate that a Focus is the 350 millionth vehicle, because the Ford Focus was the best-selling single car nameplate in the world for the first half of 2012. Based on global data from IHS Automotive, Focus sold 489,616 units in the first half of this year, nearly 30,000 more than its nearest competitor.
At Ford Social, we’d love to celebrate this milestone by inviting you to share stories about the favorite Ford you’ve ever driven. Whether it was a Country Squire station wagon that was a road trip machine when you were young, a dependable F-150 that has seen its share of work, or a best-selling Focus, we invite you to upload your tale to our Your Stories section.