New Ford Focus – the big event of the week
THE launch of a new Ford Focus is always a significant event. It’s a key car in Ford’s armoury for both business and retail customers.
Ford presented the new car at Here East, the business campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London.
It’s been 20 years since Ford ditched the Escort and revolutionised its offering in the five-door hatch sector. Not only was it practical, and good looking, it was sensational to drive, too.
The new car is certainly striking – and there’s a crossover Active model to come, which looks sportier and more purposeful in the metal than it does in photographs.
I spoke to Andy Barratt, Ford’s MD at the event about the new car:
“The new Focus looks a winner to me. It’s got a confident stance. I first saw the car as a clay model. And I’m so excited now that it’s here and we can launch it. It has the same emotion for me as it did 20 years ago.”
There are four distinct model lines: ST-Line for the sporty driver; Vignale for the luxury offering; Estate for extra carrying ability; and the Active with its outdoor lifestyle appeal. I can’t wait to drive them – Fords don’t usually disappoint on that score. More on the new Focus range here.
Why Focus has the answer to the UK’s pothole epidemic
You don’t have to drive around much to know that the continuous rain over the winter and the ‘Beast from the East’ have left the UK’s roads in a pockmarked – and dangerous – state of play. Low profile tyres are at the mercy of these crash holes if you don’t spot them.
An AA-Populus poll came in this week, which surveyed over 21,000 drivers, and found that 92% of British drivers are concerned about potential damage to their vehicle as a result of poor road conditions. I couldn’t agree more.
But, as part of the Focus presentation, I found out that there is a way to avoid the damage: order Ford’s continuously variable damping option.
Guy Mathot, Vehicle Dynamics Manager, explained to me that sensors monitor road conditions every 2 milliseconds. It means that the technology can reduce the impact of driving over potholes, by detecting the edge of a pothole, and then stiffening the damper to prevent the wheel falling so far into a road crater.
The resultant impact is less harsh; and the rear suspension has even more time to react. I reckon that will be worth specifying to cover the cost of damaged alloys and tyres.
Company car tax tables updated with downloadable pdf
Given the complex market for SME business motoring, we have updated our company car tax tables and provided a downloadable pdf version of the tables as well.
Choosing your next company car is exciting – but difficult too. Which type of car should you get? What’s the impact of benefit in kind company car tax on your choice? Our new company car tax tables will help – check out the tax tables here.
New look for Business Vans
We have also updated our vans website for the trades, small businesses and small van fleet operators. It has been completely overhauled to make the content more accessible, and improve the customer experience.
There’s plenty to look at there on the site too, especially with the CV Show coming up – fancy a new Toyota Land Cruiser Commercial anyone? Take a look at the new Business Vans website here.
Audi heads most leased car brand; Ford heads most leased LCVs
Car and van leasing is on the rise as more and more SMEs – and private individuals – realise the benefits of usership rather than ownership.
The desire for car and van leasing is being supported by FCA-approved leasing brokers, those companies with all those great lease deals you see, many of whom are members of the Leasing Broker Federation.
And during Q1, Audi was the most in demand according to data from Fleet Procure, a broker/dealer procurement platform that pools the buying power of a select group of up to 25 leasing brokers with a selection of dealer partners.
German cars are always popular because SMEs want a premium brand and the lease rentals are always competitive. But perhaps more surprising was the result of Land Rover – in fourth place and ahead of BMW thanks to its new Velar.
And while it may not be a surprise to see Ford in number one spot for LCVs, second place to Peugeot, perhaps, is.
Find out who came where on our Leasing Broker News website.