• Oct 6, 2010

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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 77 Comments
      Carlos
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey what a concept make a good small car that is equipped well and people will actually buy it. I'm pretty sure that's what everyone and there mother in the automotive media has been saying for the last 15 years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        Bingo.

        Instead you got the closed-minded mentality that used to be prevalent in Detroit that said that cheap cars had to be cheap. :rolleyes:

      • 4 Years Ago
      The two people I know who have ordered Fiestas had to wait an eternity for their cars to get built.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I finally got off my arse to test-drive a Fiesta. A very nice car. I can easily see someone paying nearly $20k for one. It's a substantial improvement over any current American "B" or "C" class car - and worth spending money on.

      It truly felt as though it were a little brother to my VW Golf. Handles well, nice interior, nice exterior, great features and enough power to get around. It's not without fault (small whine ~2000rpm and suspension felt harsh) but that's why it's cheaper than my Golf.

      Not to mention my wife's commentary being priceless: "Why would anyone buy an automatic version of this car: it's so easy and fun to drive."
        • 4 Years Ago
        The slush box does let the Fiesta down - the manual is the one to go for. My only gripe with the latest Fiesta was the slanted roofline cutting seriously into boot space; the old mk5 model was cavernous in comparison.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, why do I get tempted by a powershift since I've got a manual in my focus mk2 ?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ditch the chrome and its perfect.

      I don't understand the point of paying a premium on a bargain basement ride though. Economy cars are purchased primarily for their economy.

      Hopefully the launch will go off well with a great reliability track so that it isn't marred like the also well received Ford Focus back in 2000.
      • 4 Years Ago
      20k+ for an econobox?! Sweet Jesus, I know everyone is stuck up Ford's back end but are people really that crazy to pay that?
        • 4 Years Ago
        what econobox are you talking about ?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The local dealer has had a couple 5-doors all priced just north of $20k parked unsold on their lot since introduction. I asked a sales guy about them and he said there has been interest until people see the sticker price compared to what they are dumping Focuses for so they all move over. They did finally remove the $3,000 "marketing adjustment surcharge" stickers though.
      The few sedans they've gotten sold immediately. I'd rather see the hatches sell so it doesn't scare off future availability of similar models.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow a dealer was really marking these up $3k over sticker. This cars isn't a low volume car like a GT500 and even most dealers aren't making those up anymore. I bought my 2011 Fiesta for invoice plus I got the free Sync offer as well as another $750 back from Ford by requesting a brochure on their website.

        I've put about 1500 miles on my car so far. I've got a few minor issues with it but overall it's a solid car for daily driving and keeps the miles off my 2010 GT500.

        Ford would be smart to make Sync standard on all models with all the hands free laws going into effect in the US.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's been a solid run for Ford so far...this is what happens when you create a product that people want. The latest Taurus is another example where the higher trims are selling at much higher rate than lower ones. Again...a product people want...not an appliance.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Simplecar, the Tata Nano should be right up your alley. Go get one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @SimpleCar - hmmm... let's see... more cargo volume than the civic, noticeably better town and highway fuel economy, better standard features, and faster... yes... it should totally cost $5,000 less as opposed to $2,000 less because better products are always cheaper.

        idiot.
        • 4 Years Ago
        simple car: cars aren't sold by the pound. As the car's size goes down, the labor costs to produce it do not necessarily go down proportionally, unless it is _much_ simpler. In this case, it is not.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @SimpleCar

        The Fiesta comes with a lot of standard and optional equipment that a lot of mid-sizers don't.

        Thank you, by the way, for consistently being one of those guys (like Luis, for example) who I know I can mostly just over-look his comments, because he's that full of it.

        Makes browsing AB on my lunchbreak more efficient!
        • 4 Years Ago
        the pizza hut n kfc delivery guys have these over here in Saudi Arabia :P
        • 4 Years Ago
        @RAndroid : Did you actually read my post? I wrote that the Fiesta should be priced *well above* (as in, a lot more expensive) than $10K.

        The only point I was making is that it's not likely to be faster than the Civic given that it has a smaller, less powerful engine.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It doesn't mean much at this point. Typically a car is launched with more high end models and more accessories on it. The people anticipating release typically go for more options... thus higher transaction prices. It may take a half a year before a cars true transaction price normalizes. I checked out the Fiesta a couple of months ago, and every example I saw on dealer lots were around $20,000.

        That being said, congratulations to Ford for building a small car people want.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Yaroukh

        Funny, however ignorant. The Fiesta is not made with any high end exotic material as some small watches are(diamonds, etc). So I repeat, the Fiesta should base at 10K and increase with options.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly. It's sometimes nicer to get into a smaller but better equipped car than it is to move to a bigger vehicle.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the real test is if this will hold up once they hit higher volumes. With only 3000 units available you can basically just sell to the 3000 people willing to buy the most nicely-equipped Fiestas so of course you'll get a nicer transaction price. The real question is whether you can convince 100,000 people to pay $17-18K on average for a Fiesta.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Market is changing where people are no longer chasing the most metal for least money. Instead now it's about style, character, individuality and features formerly found on higher segment cars.

        World tastes are converging. Only Ford is seeing this and perhaps Chrysler/Fiat.

        • 4 Years Ago
        and all watches should cost $1 because they're tiny
      • 4 Years Ago
      As mentioned before, Ford has been delivering mostly high-end models to dealers. Every car that is being shipped is being sold and so you can manipulate the transaction price by shipping only higher end models. Ford did this with the Taurus too and made a press release about that too. And I'm sure the dealers love it.

      Ford is playing a little bit of a game, presuming that people who want lower end models will either buy up or wait an extra couple months for their car. And they're probably right.
        • 4 Years Ago
        True, but its worth noting that pretty much every manufacturer ships mostly high-end models first, so what's happening here isn't different or unusual - its to be expected. Everyone plays "the game".

        My guess is that Ford saw a PR/marketing opportunity and used it effectively. This story was published and we're commenting on it, so mission accomplished for Ford. I'm just glad the car is doing well initially and I hope the sales grow as more Fiestas get on the road, the marketing goes into full swing and production hits its stride.
      • 4 Years Ago
      thats way to much for a car of that size. i think the unions are taking to much and they cant put much into the building of these cars. costs are out of hand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      3,050 sales in the whole of North America is pretty decent for a B-segment car in that market, and that statistic, along with the price tag, is a reflection of what happens when you start injecting the level of build quality which Europeans demand from cars in these segments - segments which traditionally are four wheels and a seat to American buyers.

      Contrast this September sales figure to the UK market alone, where 19,078 Fiestas were sold in the same month. It pipped the Vauxhall Corsa in the B-segment which saw 14,249 sales, the Mini with 7,187 and Peugeot 207 with 6,918. That said, the Fiesta commands a slightly lower price in the UK than it does in the States in real terms, especially for top-spec models with the same engine.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "True, but the UK market for cars in this segment is much more competitive. Not only are there more competing, noteworthy products, this segment of car represents a larger percentage share of the UK (and EU) market compared to the U.S. market."

        This is precisely my point. While the B-segment in North America is unlikely to become anything like as cutthroat as it is in Europe, the sale of 3K-odd units demonstrates what can happen when a state-of-the-art from such a competitive B-segment environment is thrown into one which isn't.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "not to mention one that just recently started shipping with an assembly chain that might not be in full swing yet."

        True, but I don't think the Fiesta will be a major sales sensation overall for the US market, but a major leap forward for the segment. In Ohio at least there are now a number of Fiestas sitting on dealer forecourts, and they're not immediately disappearing as soon as they arrive. I agree with someone else here who said once the new Focus arrives it'll steal the Fiesta's current US mantle.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "That said, the Fiesta commands a slightly lower price in the UK than it does in the States in real terms, especially for top-spec models with the same engine.'

        True, but the UK market for cars in this segment is much more competitive. Not only are there more competing, noteworthy products, this segment of car represents a larger percentage share of the UK (and EU) market compared to the U.S. market.

        The Fiesta may not be a "sales sensation" if you mean by sheer volume sold. This vehicle will obviously not sell in numbers that compare to the F-150. However, the Fiesta certainly has the capability to lead its class in sales and you can't do any better than #1 in a class.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "3,050 sales in the whole of North America is pretty decent for a B-segment car in that market,"

        not to mention one that just recently started shipping with an assembly chain that might not be in full swing yet.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Best minicar yet
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford must be hoping that these buyers will stay in the Ford family when they decide to move on to bigger cars.
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