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Kevin Griffin, Ford fleet director, with the new Ford Focus at the launch in Scotland

Ford’s fleet director Kevin Griffin: high hopes for the new Ford Focus with its blend of low CO2 and company car tax and high-tech features

Editor’s Blog in conversation with Ford fleet director, Kevin Griffin

FORD’S fleet director, Kevin Griffin, was in a sunny mood when I met him at the launch of the new Ford Focus in Scotland – a bit like the early spring weather – although Kevin always comes across as friendly and affable.

But then again, he was launching a key car for Ford: the new Focus.

This is the third new Ford Focus. The original Focus went on sale in 1998 and was subsequently number one in the new car sales charts every year from 1999 to 2008 (when it was toppled by in-house rival Fiesta). As at the end of February this year, the Focus had regained its spot as number one.

So you can see why Kevin was happy to be launching what he hopes will be another best seller, but also a key car in the business car and fleet sector.

“The thing for business car managers to grasp about the car is the tight CO2 emissions range,” explains Kevin. “It runs from 109g/km to 139g/km.

“But the key car for me is the 109g/km Focus 1.6 TDCi which is available across the range. So whether you want the car in the lead in trim of Edge or the bells and whistles of Titanium X all drivers benefit from company car tax at 13%.

“We’ve got the lowest prices and the lowest CO2 emissions in the family hatchback sector, so the benefit in kind must be better,” Kevin adds.

For small businesses, if they buy the car there’s the immediate benefit of writing the cost down against all profits in the first year.”

The latter is a crucial benefit for cash-rich SMEs – the ability to reclaim all capital allowances for corporation tax in the first year. But even for those small businesses that contract hire, this should be reflected in a lower monthly lease rental.

Of course, the new Focus would not be much of a car if it just zoned in on CO2 emissions

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