The Ford Focus is a compact car (C-segment in Europe) manufactured by the Ford Motor Company since 1998. Ford began sales of the Focus to Europe in July 1998 and in North America during 1999 for the 2000 model year.
For decades, in the U.S., small cars like the Ford Focus were seen as a tool to draw in younger buyers looking for a cheap basic transportation and to increase auto makers' fleet average fuel economies to meet U.S. federal standards. Ford was said not to concern about losing money on the Focus so the company could sell gas guzzlers for big profits. Many industry insiders also view cars like the Focus as 'compliance car' because of their role in helping to bring down the corporate fleet average fuel economy to meet current fuel-economy standards.
In Europe, North and South America, and South Africa, the Focus replaced the various versions of the Ford Escort and Ford Laser sold in those markets. In Asia and Australasia, it replaced the Ford Laser. As of the first half of 2012, the Focus surpassed the Toyota Corolla to become the world's best selling automobile nameplate.