Ford produces its 350 millionth vehicle

The Ford Focus has been crowned the world's best-selling model for the first half of 2012, helping the car-making giant reach a historic production milestone.

Almost half a million (489,616) motorists bought a Focus during the first six months of this year, according to HIS Automotive, with a model built in Thailand becoming the 350 millionth vehicle produced by Ford during its long history.

The closest rival to the popular Ford model this year has been the Toyota Corolla, of which 462,187 were sold, equivalent to billions of pounds worth of car loans.

The Ford Focus won the 1999 Car of the Year award, having first appeared in Europe the previous year. The current third generation of the mid-size model was launched last year.

Ford's executive vice president of global manufacturing, John Fleming, said: "Consider, for a moment, the enormity of 350 million vehicles. It's equivalent to producing one vehicle every 10 seconds for 109 years and, if placed end to end, they would stretch to the moon and back - twice."

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