2011 Ford Fiesta – Click above for high-res image gallery

With 3,050 September sales in North America, the Ford Fiesta is just now beginning to move off dealer lots. And while it's far too early to declare The Blue Oval's premium subcompact a success or failure, the folks in Dearborn have to be pleased with one crucial statistic. Car buyers driving off the dealer lot in a new Fiesta are paying a substantial premium over the handsome runt's $13,999 base price.

Bloomberg reports that the average transaction price of a Fiesta is between $3,000 and $4,000 beyond the base MSRP, or more money than customers are paying for the larger (and soon-to-depart) Ford Focus. Given the fact that the Fiesta is newer, fresher, and more heavily marketed than the Focus, we're not all that surprised, but perhaps more shocking is the fact that the Fiesta also has a higher average transaction price than the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic – both of which are class-above vehicles.

That the Fiesta is selling for premium dollar is no big surprise to Ford, as the automaker decided early on to equip the B-Segment seedling with the same top tech that is typically found in larger, more expensive fare. It helps that Ford has already experienced plenty of Fiesta success in other parts of the world, with 940,000 copies already sold to date. And in those other markets, Ford has achieved strikingly similar model mixes as what is being indicated early on in the States. The top trim Fiesta accounts for 39 percent of U.S. sales, compared to a 42 percent mix in Europe, which accounts for 85 percent of global sales.

Ford is also attracting younger, more affluent customers with an impressive 60 percent buying a Ford product for the first time. We're thinking the early returns are just about everything Dearborn was hoping for save perhaps for total volume, so we'll hold off our praise until we see if Fiesta's overall sales numbers climb now that supply issues have been sorted.

Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Bloomberg]

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