Ford is defying the global trend towards reduced sales with its European Fiesta, which was newly redesigned this year and has only been on the market for two months. In that brief period of time, the Blue Oval's EU operations have managed to move a rather remarkable 42,200 individual units, which accounts for 6.2 percent of the entire new car market in the UK. The only car that's selling better from the automaker's stable is the Focus. Even better for Ford, half of all Fiestas sold are loaded to the gills with options, thereby increasing profit margins.
As good as these early sales figures may be, things are actually set to improve as the new Fiesta hits China within the next few months and is scheduled to arrive in the United States in early 2010. Australia and New Zealand are also slated to get the global car in short order. Although the overall market is down, the Fiesta's impressive sales performance is definitely a bright spot and its entrance into Ford's home market can't come soon enough.
FORD'S NEW FIESTA GLOBAL SMALL CAR OFF TO A FAST START IN EUROPE; COMING TO CHINA IN '09, U.S. IN 2010
* New global Fiesta is off to a strong start in Europe in its first two months on sale, helping Ford's European operations gain market share despite weaker overall demand.
* The new Fiesta was Ford's second best-selling vehicle in Europe behind the Focus in November and is attracting a broader range of customers. About half of new Fiesta buyers are choosing the upscale Titanium and Ghia trim levels.
* The Fiesta, including the new version and outgoing model, was the top-selling vehicle in the United Kingdom in November among all automakers, capturing 6.2 percent of the total new car market, the Fiesta's highest market share in the U.K. since 1998.
* The new Fiesta, the first of a new breed of exciting and refined global small cars coming to market from Ford, is currently on sale in Europe and South Africa. It will go on sale in China, Australia and New Zealand in early 2009 and other major Asian Pacific markets in early 2010. The new Fiesta goes on sale in United States in early 2010.
Cologne, Germany, Dec. 15 – The new Ford Fiesta – the stylish subcompact that is ushering in a new wave of global cars from Ford – is off to a fast start in Europe.
The strong early sales of the Fiesta helped Ford's European operations increase market share in November and bodes well for the company as it prepares to launch the global small car in China in the first quarter of next year and in other key Asian markets and the United States in early 2010.
In its first two months on sale, Ford has sold more than 42,200 new Fiestas in Europe's main 19 markets despite soft overall industry sales, making the new Fiesta the second-most popular vehicle in the Ford of Europe lineup behind the Focus compact. The Fiesta, including the new version and outgoing model, was the best-selling car in the United Kingdom in November among all models from all automakers.
"After only two months since its introduction, the Fiesta is already our second best-selling model behind the Focus," said Ingvar Sviggum, vice president, marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe. "In the U.K., the Fiesta's market share for November was the highest since January 1998 for the nameplate, and the new Fiesta attracted 1,000 more retail British buyers than the previous model in November 2007. This is a promising start for our all-new global model."
Overall, November Ford of Europe sold 95,700 vehicles across its 19 European markets. This was down 21.4 percent versus November 2007, but the company again outperformed the industry by increasing its market share to 8.8 percent, up 0.5 percentage points. The Ford brand is now firmly established as the No. 2 brand in Europe's main 19 markets behind only Volkswagen.
The new Fiesta is attracting a broader range of customers to the Ford brand and customers are choosing upscale features and trim packages, Sviggum said. About 50 percent of new buyers are choosing the upscale Titanium and Ghia versions of the new Fiesta. And half of new Fiestas on the road are equipped with Bluetooth capability, while more than 60 percent were ordered with leather-wrapped steering wheels and 30 percent with privacy glass.
Designed and developed in Europe for sale across Ford's global markets, the new Fiesta is the first in a series of fuel efficient new small cars developed through Ford's global product development process. Its stylish and dynamic flair combines with all the traditional Ford small car strengths to create a confident, contemporary introduction to the next chapter of the Fiesta success story.
The new Fiesta opens another chapter in the story of the popular Ford small car that has sold more than 12 million units since its introduction in 1976. Charismatic and individual, the new model makes major strides in craftsmanship, quality of materials and product choice while continuing to represent Fiesta's traditional strengths of practicality, value for money, agility and safety.
The Fiesta is produced at Ford's plant in Cologne, Germany, for European markets. Fiestas built in Cologne are on sale now in South Africa and will soon go on sale in Australia and New Zealand. Early next year, Fiesta production begins at Ford's assembly plant in Valencia, Spain, for European markets and at Ford's state-of-the-art assembly plant in Nanjing, China, for the Chinese market.
Ford's Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT) facility in Rayong will begin producing the new Fiesta for other major Asian markets in 2010. At the same time, Ford is currently retooling its truck plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico, to build the new Fiesta for the United States and other North American markets.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 224,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.
About Ford of Europe
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 51 individual markets. The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. Ford of Europe now employs approximately 73,000 employees. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford of Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 22 manufacturing facilities, including joint ventures.