Ford Fiesta, awesome the popular small hatchback around the world, it will not appear in European Ford dealerships any time soon.
Introduced in 1976 as a fuel-efficient “global car” subcompact, the Fiesta was only sold in the United States for about 10 years, appearing here from 1978 to 1980 and again from 2011 to 2018. It was a real success in Europe, however, and in particular in the UK it was the best-selling car for many years.
The parties have, at one time or another, been produced in 15 different factories in Europe, Asia and Latin America. A total of 22 million Fiestas have been manufactured worldwide, putting it close to the historic Volkswagen Beetle in sheer numbers. Today, Ford’s Cologne (Germany) plant, which started making the car in 2017, is the last. That factory will switch to producing electric vehicles when the last Fiesta rolls off the assembly line, which is expected to happen in June 2023.
Ford has said it will sell only electric passenger vehicles in Europe by 2030 and will introduce three new electric vehicles there in the next two years.
Ford hasn’t announced whether any of these new electric passenger vehicles might be named Fiesta, or at least take its own segment in the market. The FIesta has a starting price of around £19,000 in the UK, equivalent to around $22,000.
Development of the first generation of the Fiesta began in 1972 under the direction of Henry Ford II. At that time, It was known as Project Bobcat and teams from Europe and the United States collaborated on the program. The following year an embargo by oil-producing Arab countries caused large increases in gasoline prices, further fueling demand for a small, efficient car.
It wasn’t until 1976 that the first Fiestas were built in a new factory in Saarlouis, Germany and Valencia, Spain. The Fiesta name was chosen for the car partly to commemorate the new Spanish factory, according to Ford. The following year, the Fiesta was named Spain’s Car of the Year.
It also quickly became popular in the UK, when right-hand drive versions, suitable for driving on the left side of the road, became available a few months after the car was introduced. By 2014, Ford announced that it had become the best-selling car, surpassing Ford’s Escort. It was the best-selling small car in Europe every year from 2011 to 2015, according to Ford. The small and affordable Fiesta was the first popular car for many in the UK.
“Bravo Ford and good night Fiesta. Most of us had one or have a story,” racing driver and TV commentator Paul O’Neil wrote on Twitter. “My first car and what a car it was.”
In addition to the fuel-efficient base model, the Fiesta has been produced in performance variants such as the Fiesta ST and the Fiesta XR2. Parties have also been popular enthusiasts and racers to upgrade performance parts.