We still have to wait a few for more months before the new Fiesta shows up at Ford dealerships in North America but Europeans have now had a year to play with it, as have some Asian customers. Apparently, those overseas customers are very happy with what they have experienced so far. In the year since it went on sale in Europe, Ford has sold over 500,000 of the new-generation Fiestas.
The North American version of the Fiesta will make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month and it is expected to change very little from the European model that we've sampled a couple of times this year. We'll be getting both the five-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions but, sadly, no three-door hatch. Fortunately for Ford, over 40 percent of European customers are opting for the up-level Ghia and Titanium trim levels, which helps the profitability. It will be very interesting to see if U.S. customers are willing to option up Ford's smallest car in the same way.
NEW FORD FIESTA SALES TOP 500,000 UNITS IN FIRST YEAR; ROLL-OUT CONTINUES IN 2010 TO U.S., OTHER ASIAN MARKETS
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* Customer demand for fuel-efficient Fiesta continues strong in Europe and Asia Pacific markets as Ford prepares to introduce the Fiesta to U.S. buyers in December
* More than 40 percent of European customers are choosing higher end Titanium and Ghia trim levels of the new Fiesta
* From "Hot Magenta" in Spain to "Winning Blue" in China and "Panther Black" in Australia, Fiesta buyers are opting for a wide mix of colors
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 29, 2009 – One year after its debut, more than half a million customers have purchased the new Ford Fiesta, marking an important milestone as Ford Motor Company prepares to bring the fuel-efficient, global car to the U.S. and other key Asian Pacific markets next year.
The new Fiesta, the first in a wave of stylish vehicles being brought to world-wide markets under the ONE Ford plan, went on sale in Germany in October 2008. It quickly became the second-best-selling car for all markets in Europe and the leader in the European small car segment. The new Fiesta has also been a key driver behind Ford of Europe's market share gains, which are up 0.5 percentage points this year through September to 9.2 percent, the highest since 1999.
After its European introduction, the Fiesta was launched in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and China. Global retail sales of the car reached 470,000 units through September of this year, with 430,000 sales in Europe and 40,000 in the Asia Pacific region. Continued strong demand for Fiesta through October has pushed the total number beyond 500,000.
"Customers around the world are recognizing the new Fiesta delivers on the global Ford DNA - eye-catching design, innovation, outstanding driving dynamics and great value," said Jim Farley, group vice president of global marketing and Canada, Mexico and South America.
The new Fiesta will make its North American debut when it is revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December. Set to arrive in North American dealer showrooms next summer, the Fiesta already can claim more than 50,000 potential U.S. customers thanks to the Fiesta Movement, a social media initiative in which 100 young trendsetters are test driving and living with a European-spec Ford Fiesta for six months.
Customers so far have been drawn to higher end models of the Fiesta, with more than 40 percent of European buyers choosing the Titanium and Ghia trim levels. The variety of colors that Fiesta offers is also proving to be a hit.
So far this year customers in the U.K. and Germany, Ford of Europe's two largest markets, drive off in a "Panther Black" Fiesta more than any other color. Drivers in Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands and Greece are also among those countries that favor black.
However, buyers in Spain, Austria and Russia are selecting "Hot Magenta" as their top color. The Scandinavian countries are setting a pattern all their own. The Swedes select "Moondust Silver" most often. Norwegians favor "Hot Magenta." Denmark goes with "Panther Black," while the Finns tilt toward "Tango."
Top choices among China buyers are "Passion Orange" and "Winning Blue." But throughout Asia Pacific overall, the top-selling color is "Moondust Silver," with South African's also favoring "Frozen White" while Australians go for "Panther Black" in nearly equal numbers.
When the Fiesta hits American shores next year it will feature bold color choices, including "Bright Magenta" and "Lime Squeeze."
Ford's Cologne Assembly Plant in Germany and Valencia Assembly Plant in Spain produce three-door and five-door hatch back versions of the new Fiesta. The Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company manufacturing facility in Nanjing, China produces the five-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions of the Fiesta. The AutoAlliance Thailand production facility will start to build the five- and four-door versions of Fiesta as well in the second quarter of next year.
Ford's plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico, will build five-door hatchback and sedan versions of the new Fiesta for the United States and other North American markets.
Within five years, Ford expects to build about one million vehicles worldwide annually off of the new global B-car platform, the basis for the new Fiesta. Since Fiesta was launched in 1976, more than 12 million have been sold worldwide.
The Fiesta has won numerous international awards since it was introduced:
* Prestigious "red dot" award for international product design - Germany's Essen-based Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen
* Car of the Year 2009 by Britain's What Car? Magazine
* 2009 Car of the Year – The Sun Motors
* 2009 Croatian Car of the Year – Croatian Car Association
* 2009 Hellenic Car of the Year – Journalists from Autobild, Drive Autocar
* Woman's Car 2009 – Hachette Filipacchi Editorial Group
* 2008 Scottish Car of the year – Association of Scottish Motoring Writers
* The Best of the 2008 Geneva Show – Most Significant – Autoweek
* Top Gear, Car, Car & Driver and 4 Wheels
* 2008 Croatian Car of the Year – Croatian Car Association
* 2008 Best Supermini – What Car? magazine