Though Ford has stated that it will only sell the new Fiesta in the U.S. as a sedan, the debut of two hatchback versions at the Geneva Motor Show this week, a three-door and a five-door model, apparently has the Blue Oval boys and girls reconsidering. Ford's new marketing chief Jim Farley told Automotive News that a decision about whether to sell the hatchbacks in the U.S. as well will come in 12 months. The company will be watching consumer reaction to the Verve hatchback concepts at second-tier U.S. auto shows this year to see if they resonate with young buyers (It may also show the production Fiesta hatchbacks in the U.S., as well). Hatchbacks have traditionally been a tough sell in the U.S., which is what prompted Ford's initial decision not to sell them here, as well as, we presume, the decision cancel the Focus three- and five-door hatchback models when that car was redesigned this past year.
Of course, we think the new Fiesta looks like a winner based on what we've seen this week in Geneva of the production models. But whether or not the hatchbacks will sell in the heartland of America depends more on what they will cost than anything else. And there's the rub. Since the Fiesta was designed to satisfy European tastes that demand quality small cars, they will likely be more expensive than the economy car fare we're used to in the U.S. Would you pay a few bills more for a Fiesta hatchback knowing it was a direct port from Europe? Our answer is yes.
[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]