Focus: Bob Fesmire

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The Focus small car is living up to its objective in the U.S. of bringing young buyers to Ford Motor Co.'s Ford Division.

Buyers under age 25 have accounted for a quarter of the entry-level car's U.S. sales since its debut in September 1999, says Bob Fesmire, Focus brand manager since spring 2000. He attributes the continuous hype for the car to a two-year "episodic launch" for Focus, with spikes of publicity sparked by concert sponsorships and special limited-edition models such as the Kona mountain bike version.

A partnership with Hachette Filipacchi Magazines last February brought more than 110 million impressions on Ford's focus427. com. The promotion let up-and-coming fashion designers use Focus parts to design apparel and accessories. Another Focus episode arrived in January at the Sundance Film Festival. Three independent directors each created a short film with Focus. The films also appeared on focusinfilm.com. WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit, handles Focus' advertising.

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