The Fiesta badge has been worn by small Fords the world over for more than 30 years, but it may not survive the arrival of the next-generation car according to reports. Apparently people inside Ford believe the new model is such a radical departure from the current model (shown above) that dropping the long-running moniker would be appropriate.

Just-auto.com reports that Ford has investigated three new names and registered a fourth. Genesis, Isis and Phoenix are already being checked for any prior claims by other companies. We suspect Hyundai might have something to say about who owns the "Genesis" badge. The name Cuga, meanwhile, has actually been registered by Ford, though we're not sure if it reserves the name for the new Fiesta or just to prevent other companies from using it and detracting from the Cougar name, which is also a revered name owned by Ford.

There are some inside Ford who believe the Fiesta name should be not so carelessly tossed aside. They make a good case, as the Fiesta name has earned a lot of credibility and cachet since it was first introduced in 1976. At the same time, the next-generation Fiesta will be the most global version of the car ever produced. The name Fiesta means very little to consumers in the U.S., and in fact, may remind some of the Festiva, which would be a bad thing. Either way, the next-gen Fiesta will be sold in the U.S. when it arrives in late 2009. Call it whatever you want, we just want to drive it.

[Source: just-auto.com, sub. req'd]