With Ford also claiming that fuel economy will increase by up to 25% the new car is set to dramatically shake up not only wholelife costs in the lower medium sector but across the fleet industry.
Nick Reilly, chairman and managing director of Vauxhall, which on March 27 will launch the new Astra in Britain - chief rival to the Focus - admitted surprise and said he had not been aware of Ford's move. A Rover spokesman said: 'There is capacity for longer intervals and customer pressure exists for this - but there comes a point when dealers need to see cars for safety checks.'
Toyota aftersales director Mike Mead said: 'We are well aware of the technological advances that might make longer intervals possible. We're looking into it.' Audi director Len Hunt said: 'This is great news. Whichever way you look at it, servicing is a distress purchase and the longer the interval, the better.'