The new, global Focus ST has had a successful first year on the U.S. market, with Ford revealing some interesting details about the type of buyers that choose its Euro-flavored hot-hatch.
Through October, U.S. sales of the Focus ST since launch are just under 12,000 units, with the strongest demand reported in Detroit, Los Angeles, Houston and Orlando.
What’s more interesting is that 65 percent of Focus ST buyers came from other brands, trading a non-Ford vehicle to buy their car. Ford says this is the highest percentage of conquest sales for a non-hybrid vehicle among all Ford cars and trucks. Most traded-in cars came from brands like Honda, Chevrolet, Mazda and Toyota.
Focus ST buyers are not only new to the brand, but also young. 32 percent of them are under 35 year-old, compared with 22 percent of non-ST Focus owners. They’re richer too, having an average annual salary of $127,000, compared with $67,000 for non-ST Focus buyers – always according to Ford’s statement and data, and yes, these numbers did raise our eyebrows.
The Focus ST also plays the role of a magnet for the Ford brand, as some buyers that come to dealerships to see it end up with a different Ford model, most often a Fusion sedan or Escape SUV.
“It’s having the kind of halo effect for other vehicles we’d hoped for when we invested in the ST brand,” said John Felice, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.
As a quick reminder, the Focus ST is powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 250-horsepower and 265 lb-ft (360 Nm) of peak torque. The Focus ST is only available as a five-door hatchback in the U.S., with a standard six-speed manual transmission.
By Dan Mihalascu
Note: Ford Focus ST SEMA Custom Project pictured above